House Cleaning With Engineered Water: The Definitive Guide

Home Cleaning With Engineered Water: Get Up To Speed

Note: there are several forms of engineered water that are used by the cleaning industry, the main ones being electrolyzed water and ozonated water.

This layman’s introductory guide will almost exclusively focus on electrolyzed water because it has shown the most promise for meeting most household sanitizing and cleaning needs.


What Is Engineered Water?

Engineered water is ordinary tap water that has been electrolyzed or ozonated to make cleaning and sanitizing solutions. Most systems generating electrolyzing water produce two solutions: Hypochlorous Acid, HOCl, a strong sanitizer/disinfectant and Sodium Hydroxide, NaOH, a cleaner/degreaser. Some electrolyzing systems are limited to producing one solution at a time. Ozonating water produces one solution: a strong disinfectant/cleaner.

Despite having been discovered in the early 1800s, electrolyzed water and ozonated water solutions have only recently gained wide acceptance as cleaning and sanitizing/ disinfecting agents. Growing pressure to find ever greener means of cleaning and disinfecting has spurred their widespread use in recent years.

Safe, effective, and sustainable, engineered water is increasingly being adopted by:

  • Facility cleaning companies
  • Medical facilities
  • Restaurants and food service
  • Airports
  • Schools and universities
  • Office buildings
  • Government facilities
  • Malls and retail outlets
  • And many more places…

Regrettably, at this time, the professional residential cleaning industry has not widely adopted the use of e-water.

Alchemy Maids is an early adopter of engineered water as a house cleaning method.

Regular tap water is a solvent used to dissolve and remove contaminants and dirt from many surface types. When used with microfibers cloths, ordinary water’s cleaning ability is enhanced. The tap water dissolves grime as the microfiber cloth loosens and removes it from the surface.

Electrolyzing or ozonating regular tap water further enhances water’s cleaning properties.

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Engineered Water Household Cleaning Uses

Engineered Water Sanitizer (sodium chloride/electrolyzed oxidative water)

Generally, it sanitizes:

  • Baby toys
  • Baby bottles
  • Pet toys
  • Pet bowls
  • Bathroom faucets
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Dentures & holder
  • Razors
  • Coffee maker reservoir
  • Dish sponges
  • Kitchen sinks
  • Stove top knobs
  • Handles & switches

Safe to use directly on food, food contact surfaces, clothing, human and animal skin. Non-toxic. Non-irritating.

Use on:

  • Leafy greens
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Fish & seafood
  • Cutting boards
  • CountertopsLaundry
  • Hands (for washing)

Laundry: replaces bleach without damage or discoloration.


Be sure to use recently created engineered water sanitizer before relying on it to kill microbes in sufficient numbers on the above surfaces and food items.

Generally, newly produced engineered water sanitizer kills 99.999% of viruses and bacteria within seconds after application on surfaces. However, it loses potency at a rate of about 1-2% daily.

Using solution that is too old may make it unsafe to rely on for sanitizing purposes.

Solution strength can vary greatly between devices that generate EW sanitizer.

Be sure to check on the specific RDA and EPA certifications (if any) of the device that created the sanitizer before use.

The reliability of the above information about engineered water sanitiizer assumes that the sodium chloride solution does not contain any additives.

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Engineered Water Cleaner (sodium chloride or potassium chloride/ electrolyzed reductive water)

Generally safe to use as a cleaner on most household surfaces that can be cleaned with traditional or other green cleaners.

Usually, cannot disinfect or sanitize. But there are enginered water products that their makers claim to both clean and disinfect/ sanitize.

Can be corrosive to ferrous (iron-containing) metals if the solution is strong enough.

Different Names For Engineered Water

There are over three dozen ways used to name it. Some are more scientific than others. Others are less confusing to the general public. Still others are downright misleading at best. Here are some of the most notable turns of phrases commonly used.


Most accurate names

Electrolysis of ordinary tap water containing dissolved sodium chloride produces two solvents:

  • “Electrolyzed oxidized water”

  • EOW is a powerful disinfectant/ sanitizer.

  • “Electrolyzed reductive water”

  • ERW is a very good degreaser.

These are the simplest technically accurate terms going.

Most popular names

We think that these names will be the vernacular terms used in the marketplace.

  • “Engineered water”

  • Reasonable, non-technical umbrella phrase for the various kinds of modified water solutions that will gain popularity as house cleaning with engineered water goes mainstream.

    Manufacturers of traditional and “green” cleaners favor this neutral phrase. It’s not critical of other, less green cleaning products.

    Consumers will embrace the phrase because it keeps things simple. Although some will be hoodwinked by marketers to think it’s something new and exotic. Lol.

  • “E-Water”

  • Like “engineered water” expect this to become a go-to buzzword used by marketers and media to create hype and demand for EW products — as though they are somehow new innovations.

    Goodness gracious, the buzz is going to be nauseating…

  • “Electrolyzed water”

  • A technically less accurate (compared to “eletrolyzed oxidative water”), but acceptable phrase.

  • “Ozonated water”

  • Another technically less accurate, but acceptable phrase.

  • “Aqueous ozone”

  • Use of air, water, and electricity. Same thing as “ozonated water.” Acceptable as well.


We laugh heartily every time we come across engineered water characterized as being “natural,” “just water,” or “chemical-free.” Water is a chemical. And engineered water is, well, engineered; not naturally derived or just water. (Sorry about that.)

Great stuff though.

Names to completely AVOID:

Please…we’re begging you NOT to use the following terms to describe engineered water:

  • “Activated water”

  • First, it’s a bad description: water is not somehow “activated” during engineered water production.

    Second, you’ll just get incredibly confused!. The term activated water is a marketing phrase used to describe anything from hand cream and hair gel to alkaline water touted as some kind of fountain of youth drink.

    AW will only add to people’s bewilderment about “water activated” cleaners.”

  • “Enhanced water”

  • Spare yourself and others unnecessary agida by not lumping “enhanced water” cleaners with expensive “enhanced water” beverages with vitamins or coconut in them.

  • “Electro-activated water”

  • Awful. Just unfortunate wording. Rolls the illusion of science and new age mumbo jumbo into one painfully wkward phrase.

  • “Electro-chemically activated water”

  • Bit wordy. Sounds even more scientific. But, again, misses the mark, grasshopper.

  • “Electrolyzed acid water”

  • A sanitizer/disinfectant. Technically more accurate but extremely unappealing marketing-wise. Some consumers will imagine sulphuric acid burning indiscriminately through their flesh — or worse, their marvelous patinaed marble counter tops.

  • “Electrolyzed alkaline water”

  • A degreaser/cleaner. Will only be confused with that snake oil beverage being touted as a health-promoting tonic. Avoid using this — and the tonic — like the plague!

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Why House Clean With Engineered Water?

You can’t be sure what’s in your green cleaning product

A few small studies have found that most of the tested “natural” cleaners were almost as toxic as traditional cleaners, including some third-party “certified green” cleaners. What constitutes “green,” “natural,” “non-toxic,” “environmentally friendly,” etc. is largely unregulated. (It’s scary to think what a large-scale, truly well-funded research study might uncover.)

One study found that fewer than 3% of toxic and hazardous ingredients were disclosed on household product labels, including so-called green cleaning products.

Unless you use home-made cleaning concoctions or hire a solo cleaner or cleaning service that does (good luck with that), you just can’t be sure to what toxins you and your loved ones (including pets) are being exposed.

Also keep in mind that many plant-based ingredients found in non-toxic cleaners are toxic to cats. For example eucalyptus oil.

The beauty of engineered water cleaning products is that they are simply electrolyzed tap water (electrolyzed saline or ozonated water, to be more precise) that reverts to tap water and oxygen during use and passively during storage. For instance, electrolyzed water (a.k.a., electrolyzed oxidized water, a common form of engineered water) degrades to tap water at a daily 1 to 2 percent rate when the container is sealed and stored away from sunlight.

Engineered water does not replace all cleaners. For the really tough jobs, traditional cleaners will still be needed, perhaps far into the foreseeable future. But two e-water products, a cleaner/disinfectant and a degreaser, works for 95% of common household cleaning tasks.

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Why Engineered Water Is The Ultimate Green House Cleaning Product?

  • Safety

    • No exposure to surfactants, colorants, anti-foaming agents, perfumes, and other additives
    • No exposure to toxins like VOCs, phthalates, perchloroethylene, triclosan, quarternary ammonium compounds, 2-butoxyethanol

  • Effectiveness

    • Many large facilities — like hospitals, airports, factories, office buildings, correction facilities — that used to store ten, twenty, or even thirty different traditional cleaners, now only need two cleaners, engineered water cleaner/disinfectant and degreaser. And they can make whatever quantity of engineered they may need when they need it on-site on-demand.

      Eventually, when the price of the technologies that generate engineered water drops sufficiently and when consumer awareness reaches a certain level, household e-water machines will become commonplace.

      Before then, in a few years, engineered water will become all the rage (it’s 12/2017 now) among house cleaning services. Which will be great for the health and safety of professional house cleaners.

  • Sustainability

  • Environmentally friendly…

    • No introducing surfactants, colorants, anti-foaming agents, perfumes, and other additives into the environment
    • No introducing VOCs, phthalates, perchloroethylene, triclosan, quarternary ammonium compounds, or 2-butoxyethanol into the environment
    • Reverts back to water once used or shelf-life ends
    • Cleaning product manufacturing is reduced as well as packaging and delivery
    • Container disposal is eliminated

  • Simple/ Efficient

  • No rocket science degree required!

    • Produce at home or have your house cleaning service provide them
    • Create on-demand as needed
    • No more shopping for most of your old cleaners — two cleaning solutions replace many
    • No need to store so many cleaners
    • No mixing that’s associated with many homemade cleaners
    • No dirt attracting residue left behind on surfaces means less frequent cleaning with less to clean
    • Add water, minerals, and turn on home device

  • Cheap

  • Does anyone remember Alvin Toffler’s “Electronic Cottage”?

    • Initial investment for a home machine is currently (12/2017) around $200
    • Cleaning solutions cost pennies per gallon to make at home

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Cleaning For Health Using Engineered Water

Learn more about Cleaning For Health Using Engineered Water.

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The Truth About House Cleaning With Engineered Water

  • Nothing new or exotic about it

  • The technology to create engineered water has been around for many generations. It’s just that now it’s use is about to become mainstream in homes throughout the USA.

  • No surfactants added to help engineered water dissolve dirt better

  • Engineered Water Sanitizers

    Cleaners need surfactants to help dissolve dirt and grime. More on that later. Engineered water sanitizers — like any other type of sanitizer or disinfectant — are not expected to dissolve dirt and grime. They are meant to kill microbes.

    Engineered water sanitizers kill even the most powerful microbes better than straight bleach. That’s pretty damn powerful.

    So the criticism about engineered water not having some form of surfactants does not apply to engineered water (hypochlorous acid) sanitizer.

    What about engineered water (sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide) cleaners?

    Engineered Water Cleaners/ Degreasers

    Some cleaning experts roll their eyes when engineered water is mentioned in conversation. They like to point out that engineered water lacks surfactants.

    Surfactants (a.k.a., surface active agents) may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants (depending on the ingredient) help water do it’s job better. True enough. Except that these cleaner ingredients are not necessarily benign in terms of health and safety. Much more research is needed.

    No surfactants means that ordinary engineered water cleaner/ degreaser products may not be as good as a solvent as some green and traditional cleaners (that do contain surfactants) already on the market.

    But that may not matter to many consumers if they are content using engineered water with micro cloths. Consumers wanting a more powerful cleaning solution might be able to find engineered water products that do contain benign surfactants or other similar ingredients.

    Hydrogen Bonding and Water

    That’s because water by itself is a relatively poor cleaner due to hydrogen bonding. Which simply put means that hydrogen molecules in water attract one another causing high surface tension. It is high surface tension that makes water bead, preventing it from spreading on surfaces.

    A surfactant additive prevents hydrogen bonding — resulting in a cleaning solution with low surface tension that can penetrate, lift, and suspend dirt away from surfaces.

  • Replaces most cleaners for most cleaning jobs

  • Engineered water cleaners without surfactants coupled with micro cloths can accomplish better than 90% of normal household cleaning jobs. For tougher tasks, some green and harsh traditional store-bought products may still needed for tougher cleaning jobs.

    As mentioned above, engineered water cleaners containing benign surfactants or similar nontoxic ingredients can compete head-to-head with other green and traditional cleaning products and still allow you to have a smaller or non-existent (depending on the formulation) environmental foot print.

  • Some engineered water solutions streak

  • Engineered Water Sanitizers

    It is our experience that streaking is not an issue with engineered water (hypochlorous acid) sanitizers. Normally EW sanitizer is not sprayed on surfaces like mirrors. But even if a EW sanitizer does leave streaks on surfaces like door handles or countertops, a little dry wiping or cleaning with an EW cleaner with a surfactant ingredient will take care of any streaking.

    Engineered Water Cleaners/ Degreasers

    Engineered water cleaner/ degreaser solutions without added surfactant or drying accelerant can and often do leave streaks and smudges. That’s because, as they clean, these types of EW revert back to salts (either sodium or potassium) and ordinary tap water.

    There are some EW cleaners that are generated salt-free and so probably leave less surface residue.

    Complicating the matter, engineered water cleaning solutions vary tremendously in potency and somewhat in chemical composition. Some solutions will streak less than other solutions. Shelf life is also a factor. (See below.)

    And so we would recommend buying engineered water cleaner that contains either a drying accelerant or a surfactant or both. Using a dry or nearly dry micro cloth to wipe away streaks is also an option.

    However, cleaning with some EW solutions on some shiny surfaces like mirrors or refrigerators can be frustrating. Dry wiping these surfaces to remove unsightly residue can sometimes be maddening. Just when you think you’ve removed all visible streaks, 5, 10, 20 minutes later — sometimes hours later — you notice more.

    So definitely go with an EW formula containing the anti-streak additives mentioned above.

  • Limited Shelf Life

    • Electrolyzed Water

    • The cleaning and degreasing effectiveness of electrolyzed water degrades 1 to 2% daily while it’s container is sealed and stored away from light. It degrades even faster when not stored correctly.

      In many cases, an expiration date should be written on the container label during the e-water generation process to ensure. “Expired” engineered water can be replaced with a fresh batch. For household generators, it takes all of 5 to 8 minutes depending on the equipment used.

    • Ozonated Water

    • Lasts for about 30 minutes after creation. Stabilized ozonated water can now last 24 hours — before reverting back to water and air.

  • It’s so damn confusing!

  • Engineered water is so simple, chemically speaking (on a layman’s level of understanding), yet has managed to become quite complicated. It has a confusing array of names, solutions, has a limited shelf-life, and is confused with other products with similar names (think anti-aging tonic industry).

    Hopefully, we’re helping some people make some sense of it all. Despite all how confusing it can be, acquiring a working understanding of the strengths and limitations of engineered water is worthwhile — because the adoption of engineered water for cleaning and sanitizing is such an exciting development for the green product movement.

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    Engineered Water Poo Pooed

    Margerine, tobacco products, oat bran, soy, deep-fried turkey. (These are the only examples we can come up with quickly.)

    Yes, fads come and go. Some cleaning experts roll their eyes when engineered water is mentioned in conversation. They like to point out that engineered water lacks surfactants (a.k.a., surface active agents).

    Having no surfactants means e-water may not be as good as a solvent as some green and traditional cleaners (that contain surfactants) already on the market.

    Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting agents, emulsifiers, foaming agents, and dispersants (depending on the ingredient) and help water do it’s job better. True enough. Except that these cleaner ingredients are not necessarily benign in terms of health and safety. Much more research is needed.

    Why take the risk? Why not just switch to e-water for most cleaning needs?

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    The Truth About “Green House Cleaning”

    Advertisers know that health and safety claims of cleaning product manufacturers are essentially unregulated.

    And they also know we’re all leading busy lives these days. Barraged with information (this is the Information Age, for goodness sake) and with limited time and energy, we take shortcuts.

    So when a time-pressed, frazzled consumer is shopping and sees two cleaners, one, traditionally toxic, and the other, labeled as “eco-friendly,” the poor chap ( or “chappette”) is likely to buy the later.

    Terms printed on product labels like “natural,” “green,” and “non-toxic” are used by stressed consumers as short cuts in order to avoid spending scarce time, energy, and mental focus deciding on what to buy.

    Even if the consumer has doubts about green product health and safety claims, surely, she thinks the “eco-friendly” cleaner must be greener than the former toxic cocktail.

    She is probably right, but, unfortunately, there’s no way for the average consumer to know for sure.

    Learn more about The Truth About “Green House Cleaning” here.

    Engineered Water’s Limited Shelf Life

    Electrolyzed Water

    Cleaning and degreasing effectiveness of electrolyzed water degrades 1 to 2% daily while it’s container is sealed and stored away from light. It degrades even faster when not stored correctly.

    In many cases, an expiration date should be written on the container label during the e-water generation process to ensure. “Expired” engineered water can be replaced with a fresh batch. For household generators, it takes all of 5 to 8 minutes depending on the equipment used.

    Ozonated Water

    Lasts for about 30 minutes after creation. Stabilzed ozonated water can now last 24 hours — before reverting back to water and air.

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    House Cleaning Services Using Engineered Water

    Very few — and we mean very few — house cleaning services use engineered water. There are various major reasons for this.

    First, the technology that allows for on-site production is still very expensive.

    Second, many residential cleaning company owners — who first heard of engineered water a few years ago and who did not implement its use because it wasn’t realistic — have probably forgotten about it. After all, they already use green products in their businesses.

    Third, their current and potential customers are ignorant and probably would not care about engineered water anyway. It’s just another green cleaning product, they reason.

    Fourth, many maid service owners and their customers do not care about the benefits of green cleaning.

    Finally, a few cleaning services have tried engineered water cleaners and found that they streaked too much and have simply chosen to not use them. Time is money and paying employees to take the extra time to dry wipe mirrors and refrigerators does not make business sense. Especially since streaks and smudges left by engineered water cleaners have a tendency to become noticeable only minutes — even hours — after a surfaced was originally “cleaned.”

    Admittingly, that last reason has been a hurdle for our cleaning company as well. But we were determined not to miss out on the health and environmental benefits of using engineered water cleaning solutions. Again, the engineered water sanitizer solutions were not the problem. They really work great.

    However, the engineered water cleaning solutions’ streaking and inability to powerfully dissolve dirt and grime needed to be overcome — in ways that were consistent with why we wanted to use them in the first place.

    Additives were needed to accelerate drying time and as well as greatly improve the EW cleaner’s dirt dissolving properties without being toxic to users, customers, and the environment.

    We’ve done a lot of experimenting to overcome these hurdles and, though we are happy with our results, we continue to search for better means.

    The Problem with Adding Vinegar to Engineered Water Cleaning Solutions

    By now many readers will be thinking that vinegar would be the perfect additive to engineered water. It’s nontoxic, readily available, and cheap.

    For most cleaning jobs adding vinegar would make a lot of sense. But the main problem with vinegar is that it is an acid that would — over time — eat away at wood floor finishes. (It also leaves behind that vinegar smell.)

    Another problem with using vinegar is that being an acid it would tend to neutralize the base pH of the engineered water cleaner. Since most dirt and grime has an acid pH, any neutralizing of the EW solution’s pH would reduce much of its cleaning properties.

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