Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl) is a powerful disinfectant that is naturally produced by our white blood cells to fight infection. It is easy to use, inexpensive, and has a good safety profile. It can disinfect large areas quickly and has a broad range of bactericidal and virucidal effects. HOCl consists of three atoms: Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Chlorine, and carries a neutral charge, which allows it to effectively target bacteria and viruses without causing resistance problems. Chlorine in water can exist in two forms, HOCl and Hypochlorite (OCl–), but at a high pH range, such as that provided by bleach, it is in the less effective hypochlorite form. On the other hand, when produced in the 5.0 to 6.0 pH range, HOCl is 100% of the free available chlorine and has been shown to have up to 100 times the disinfecting power of hypochlorite (bleach). HOCl has also been proven safe for the environment and life and is approved by the USDA, EPA, and FDA.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding HOCl.
How does HOCl kill microbial pathogens?
HOCl, or hypochlorous acid, is a unique molecule effective at killing microbial pathogens. Unlike hypochlorite (OCl–), which is negatively charged, HOCl is neutrally charged, allowing it to easily penetrate the walls of bacteria and destroy them with its strong oxidation potential.
Do HOCl products contain surfactants?
Most HOCl products do not contain surfactants, which are useful for tougher cleaning before disinfecting. Solutions with surfactants leave a residue that needs rinsing and wiping.
What is Chemical Residue?
Surface disinfectants using Bleach, Quaternary Ammonium, or Phenol technologies can leave a chemical residue if not rinsed properly. The residue composition includes the antimicrobial substances themselves and additives that enhance the stability and performance of disinfectants. Consider product attributes and balance with efficacy when choosing a disinfectant. Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a neutral pH chemistry (no added acids or bases) and does not require stabilizers or boosters. HOCl formulation usually contains no fragrances or dyes, only a very low amount of residual salt (NaCl), a non-hazardous material, from the manufacturing process.
Is HOCL non-toxic and non-hazardous?
Electrolyzed water systems create hypochlorous acid from table salt, water, and electricity. HOCl can be used without requiring personal protective gear. Unlike traditional or concentrated sanitation chemicals, it’s non-toxic, non-hazardous, and doesn’t cause skin irritation or harmful fumes.
Does HOCL cause skin irritation?
Hypochlorous acid is a non-irritating sanitizer and may not require any personal protective gear (PPE). It can replace toxic disinfecting chemicals such as bleach and quaternary ammonium (quats) for high-touch surfaces in healthcare, surgical and patient rooms.
What does HOCL smell like?
Hypochlorous has a light, unique scent that some people may compare to a pool, spa, or ocean, while others may mistake it for a faint bleach smell. However, HOCl is not bleach; the scent is harmless and dissipates quickly.