Cleaning & Disinfecting

What Is Hypochlorous Acid?


Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a weak acid that can be found in the human body. The body’s white blood cells use HOCl to fight off infections, but HOCl is also a very effective cleaning product. It’s valuable to know about the many benefits of cleaning with HOCl, as it’s a great alternative to many chemical-laden products. 

Those hoping to keep their homes or workplaces sanitized, particularly those in the food industry, should definitely consider HOCl products. If you’re not familiar with HOCl, don’t worry. In this article, we’ll further define HOCl, how it’s made, and its many uses. 

What Is HOCl?

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a naturally occurring acid found in the white blood cells of mammals. It can be converted to electrolyzed water, which is used frequently in green cleaning and sanitizing products. HOCl is made of salt, water, and vinegar and can be as effective as bleach. 

Once converted to electrolyzed water, HOCl offers several benefits that set it apart from bleach and other cleaning products. Most notably, HOCl has no harmful chemicals, fumes, or residue. 

How Is Hypochlorous Acid Made?

Making hypochlorous acid isn’t particularly difficult. First,  salt, and water, must be combined into a solution. Once an electrical current is applied to the solution, the molecules will break apart, and two new molecules will be formed — hypochlorous acid and sodium hydroxide.

While making HOCl sounds very easy, at extremely high concentrations, it can be corrosive, cause inflammation or other ailments to people. That being the case, you shouldn’t attempt to make HOCl at home. You can easily purchase cleaning products that contain HOCl online or in stores.

Uses of Hypochlorous Acid

HOCl is primarily used as a cleaning agent, as it’s an alternative to bleach. This versatile acid can be used to disinfect hands, surfaces, and even fresh produce. It also has several other uses in the healthcare and medical industry, both as a disinfectant and as an ingredient in medical products. 

Healthcare and Medical Uses

Hypochlorous acid isn’t toxic to humans, as it’s naturally occurring in our own bodies. At low concentrations, it’s gentle enough to be used in countless healthcare and medical products. HOCl is FDA approved for use in wound care, wound healing, eye care, and some veterinary care products. It can also be used to eradicate biofilm, a microbiome structure that makes bacteria more resistant to antibiotics. Hospitals in both the US and Japan also use HOCl as a disinfectant, as it’s safe and highly effective at killing bacteria. 

Disinfecting Uses

Though HOCl can harm the skin at extremely high concentrations, it can be diluted to the point where it’s very mild and gentle on skin. This is one of the many reasons why HOCl hand sanitizers are often used as an alternative to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Though highly effective, alcohol-based sanitizers have a drying effect and can irritate those with sensitive skin, eczema, contact dermatitis, and other issues. Of course, being gentler on skin than alcohol-based sanitizers doesn’t make HOCl products less effective. Even in low concentrations, HOCl products can kill 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

HOCl is also a popular choice of disinfectant for medical, industrial, and domestic uses. Whether you intend on disinfecting your home, restaurant, office, or an entire food processing plant, you can count on the efficacy of HOCl cleaning products. 

Another standout benefit of using HOCl products to disinfect is that they’re safe to use on all surfaces. This saves you from having to purchase multiple disinfectants for different areas in your home or workplace. You can use them to wipe down an entire space, from ceiling to floor. You also won’t have to wear gloves or waste time rinsing surfaces after disinfecting them, as HOCl products are free of harsh chemicals. 

These features are major reasons why HOCl cleaning products are used so frequently in restaurants. Sanitization is extremely important in restaurants, as bacteria can grow quickly on food contact surfaces that aren’t cleaned regularly. HOCl is the perfect solution, as it’s safe enough to be used continuously in fast-paced environments where there isn’t time to rinse surfaces after disinfecting. 


Opt for Gentler Cleaning Products

Why choose between gentle and high-performance cleaning products when you can have both? Hypochlorous acid is a key ingredient in some of the most effective cleaning products out there, whether you’re looking for a gentle hand sanitizer or a disinfectant spray to use on surfaces. HOCl products make it easier to keep spaces clean, from hospitals and restaurants to kitchens and bedrooms. 

PathoSans Solutions Has What You’re Looking For

PathoSans Solutions offers reliable cleaning products with HOCl, including a powerful broad-spectrum disinfectant. This disinfectant, like all of our products, contains no alcohol, colorants, foaming agents, phosphates, peroxide bleach, perfumes, and other harmful additives. 

If you have any questions about hypochlorous acid, or any of our products, please feel free to contact us at your next convenience. Our knowledgeable team would be happy to speak with you. You can also consult our resources page for more information about cleaning products, disinfectants, and much more.

Please Note– this article describes a variety of uses for HOCl, not all of which are applicable to PathoNex. Please review the PathoNex label for recommended uses and handling.