"Miracle" water eliminates need for Windex, Lysol, bleach, and even Evian

The L.A. Times tells America about a brilliant new miracle cleaning solution. It degreases. It sanitizes food. It kills salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and athlete's foot. In short, it has the potential of doing away with a shelf full of chemicals.

What is it? Tap water. Electrolyzed water, to be exact. The recipe is simple as a snake-oil pitch: mix tap water and table salt and zap with an electric current, creating an alkaline liquid. In fact, it's so easy that if you don't feel like sanitizing your floors with it, you can safely drink it--in fact, some studies say that if you do, you'll absorb vitamins better and mice live longer. The ramifications for the environment are obvious.

Does it work? A professor of food science at the University of Georgia says it's ten times more effective than bleach at killing bacteria, and his study backs him up. The FDA, EPA, and Department of Agriculture have all approved it for a bunch of uses.

Best Shower Cleaners

    Comet Scratch Free Disinfectant with Bleach
    Price: $1.25
    Ranking: 77 out of 100
    Excels at removing established mildew and leaves no streaks. It require some elbow grease, so it's better for weekly rather than daily scrubbings.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

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    Ajax with Bleach Scratch Free
    Price: $1.20
    Ranking: 75 out of 100
    Ajax cleans on par with Comet. It removes mildew and leaves no streaks, but requires effort to use.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Kaboom Shower Tub & Tile
    Price: $4
    Ranking: 68 out of 100
    When used every day, Kaboom Shower Tub & Tile trigger-spray cleaner stopped mildew and soap scum from forming in the first place. This cleaner is meant for those who prefer preventing slime, instead of combating it.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Green Works Natural
    Price: $3.50
    Ranking: 67 out of 100
    Green Works Natural, $3.50, was the best of the cleaners whose manufacturers made claims (often unverifiable) such as "natural." Green Works, which maker Clorox says has "plant and mineral-based ingredients," prevented scum and mildew from building up, removed rust, and left no streaks. But it was poor at removing established mildew, so you need to use it often to prevent slime.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Arm & Hammer Scrub Free with Oxy
    Price: $3
    Ranking: 63 out of 100
    Excellent at preventing scum and mildew. Good at cleaning and leaves no streaks.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Bon Ami Polishing
    Price: $1.20
    Ranking: 56 out of 100
    Good at removing scum, leaves no streaks.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Seventh Generation Natural Tub & Tile
    Price: $4.50
    Ranking: 54 out of 100
    Excellent at preventing scum and leaves no streaks.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Method Tub & Tile
    Price: $4
    Ranking: 46 out of 100
    Very good at preventing mildew, does a good job of removing scum and mildew.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
    Price: $5
    Ranking: 45 out of 100
    Even though we didn't scrub, we found that most products stained or damaged marble, solid surfaces, and stainless steel. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day damaged the fewest surfaces, but was poor at removing scum and mildew.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com

    X-14
    Price: $4
    Ranking: 42 out of 100
    One thing you shouldn't buy is all the claims. For example, the maker of X-14 says it "removes tough soap scum," but it was poor at that job.
    Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with the advertisers on AOL.

    Amazon.com


Like so many simple yet effective solutions, it gained favor outside of American borders. The Japanese spray it on sushi to kill germs without affecting flavor. Europeans treat burn victims with it. Russians kill microbes in oil wells with it.

So far, institutions are being the most active in seizing the new technology. That's because electrolyzed water loses its potency quickly, meaning it can't sit long on supermarket shelves, and a machine that converts the stuff can cost $600 to $1,000. But this non-toxic water is quickly flowing around the country. A Michigan prison is using it to keep dangerous chemicals away from the prisoners, a New York poultry plant kills salmonella with it, and a Santa Monica Sheraton uses it to clean the rooms. "I didn't believe in it at first because it didn't have foam or any scent," said one housekeeper. "But I can tell you it works. My rooms are clean."

A gallon of electrolyzed water only costs a cent, so that initial outlay can be paid off quickly. And Sanyo is quickly developing small units that can be used to purify the air. There was a time when Americans kept a cow around for milk, too, before we found a way to make that perishable liquid marketable.

Sorry, Windex. It's only a matter of time. If this stuff works out, we can slice the cleaning budget down to pennies.

Finally! We may shut Billy Mays up once and for all.

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