Posts Tagged ‘hot water extraction’

The low down on ZEROREZ® and their Empowered Water™

ZEROREZ® , a company that has grown very fast, most likely due to their advertising campaigns describing their seemingly magical Empowered Water™, claims that they clean with patented Empowered Water, a non-toxic sanitizer that leaves zero residue behind. The company states that other carpet cleaners use soaps and shampoos that leave a residue in the carpet and they don’t. Is this true? I will provide you with the facts, to the best of my knowledge, and you can decide for yourself.

ZEROREZ® uses a product called “Primacide B fluid”. This product is either made by EAU and shipped to ZEROREZ® or ZEROREZ® has purchased the generators necessary to manufacture this fluid. EAU Technologies (the creator of empowered water™) describes this fluid as “the active ingredient in Primacide B is sodium hydroxide”* and that it “leaves no film residue associated with chemical detergents”*. Sodium hydroxide, also known as Lye is found in many drain cleaners and oven cleaners, it is highly corrosive (in high concentrations) and will eventually turn into sodium carbonate when exposed to carbon dioxide in the air.
*These statement can be found on the EAU website.

What we know so far:
  1. ZEROREZ® uses a fluid that contains a man-made chemical that is corrosive at high concentrations and is also used in drain cleaners and oven cleaners.
  2. ZEROREZ® claims to leave zero residues behind when EAU claims that “Primacide B Fluid” leaves “no FILM RESIDUE associated with CHEMICAL DETERGENTS“.
Now let’s research the competition. Hot water extraction with detergent is the most common process for carpet cleaning. Because of this, I am going to use this method as the comparison. We will call the competition “Company B”. Hot water extraction is used by both Company B and ZEROREZ®. Major carpet manufacturer’s recommend this method for cleaning carpets.
Now let’s focus on the differences. It seems that ZEROREZ® uses sodium hydroxide infused water to clean carpets and Company B uses a plant-based pre-conditioner that contains surfactants, also known as a surface acting agents along with PH builders much like sodium hydroxide. Surfactants are what EAU claims leave’s a “film residue”. Surfactants are a very important part of the cleaning process. Surfactants break the surface tension of water allowing the water based pre-conditioner to penetrate deeper into the carpet yarn, allowing for a deeper clean. Surfactants also work to break down and emulsify oils as stated by “Each surfactant molecule has a hydrophilic (water-loving) head that is attracted to water molecules AND a hydrophobic (water-hating) tail that repels water and simultaneously attaches itself to oil and grease in dirt. These opposing forces loosen the dirt and suspend it in the water”. With this being said, it seems that cleaning with a product without a surfactant would be less effective that cleaning with a product with a surfactant.

What else we have learned:

  1. ZEROREZ® still claims to be residue free.
  2. Surfactants seem to be a very important part of the cleaning process.
  3. It seems ZEROREZ® uses chemically infused water without surfactants.
  4. Company B and ZEROREZ® both use hot water extraction, the method recommended by most carpet manufacturers.

Let’s dig deeper. We now can assume that ZEROREZ® uses chemically infused water. Knowing this, how can they claim to be residue free? It is well-known among the carpet cleaning industry that when you apply a solution to the carpet, you can’t fully extract 100% of what you put down. Both ZEROREZ® and Company B are applying solutions containing either man-made or natural chemicals to the carpet and both use Hot water extraction to remove said solutions. The difference is ZEROREZ® seems to be leaving a man-made chemical residue that eventually turns to sodium carbonate (or sodium chloride, depending on whether hydrochloric acid is used to neutralize the sodium hydroxide) and Company B is leaving a similar but naturally sourced residue along with a surfactant residue in the carpet. The question is – Which is worse? Or maybe the question should be – Who is more experienced, and who works harder to rinse out as much residue as possible? Both of these methods offer VERY low residue cleaning when properly done.

Hot water extraction has gotten a bad rap over the years because of the many inexperienced and unscrupulous cleaners out there that are more concerned about making a buck than providing a quality service for their customers. In my opinion, hot water extraction, when done by an experienced and honest company is still the best method out there whether done by ZEROREZ® or by small, Ma’ and Pa’ shop down the block.

This site is designed to enlighten readers about the chemistry behind Zero Rez. Comments and discussions are welcome and encouraged (especially by knowledgable individuals) on the discussion of the chemistry behind Zero Rez provided they are free of profanity, misleading information, derogatory statements or advertisements within comments. All other comments will be: deleted, spammed, or edited. Thanks for visiting!