Zap Water Non-toxic Cleaners Made Fresh Daily at the Oneota Community Co-op

Zap Water Non-toxic Cleaners Made Fresh Daily at the Oneota Community Co-op

The Oneota Co-op is proud to be the first business in Iowa to adopt a completely non-toxic cleaning system known as Zap Water.  In an effort to find a truly green cleaner and to reduce the harmful chemicals that staff can be routinely exposed to in food service, the Co-op is now using electrolyzed salt water—or ECA, Electrochemically Activated Water—for all its cleaning and sanitizing operations.

It sounds so simple that you might think it just can’t possibly work, but it does: Softened water flows into a holding tank saturated with water softener pellets. A small machine the size of a window air conditioner is turned on and water flows through the machine that houses titanium rods. The rods give the water a charge and produce a hypocholorous acid sanitizer (anolyte) and a high-alkaline cleaner (catholyte), each one pumped into a separate holding tank. Zap Water technology produces a cleaner and sanitizer that are so effective they replace bleach and surface cleaners, and so safe that you can actually drink it.

First discovered in Russia twenty years ago to clean oil-drilling equipment, the science behind giving an electric charge to water saturated with salt then moved to Japan. Now a few companies in the US are developing ‘electrochemically activated water’, one of them is Zap in Minneapolis. GM Troy Bond saw the system on a tour of the Seward Co-op and looked into bringing it to the OCC to make our cleaners even greener.

“Many supposed ‘green’ cleaners are just watered down versions of conventional chemical cleaners,” says David Schneider, President & CEO of Zap Water. There are still warning labels on green cleaners, he points out. David says the Zap Water technology, however, produces a chemical that poses no threat to health and requires no warnings. The first aid procedures on the Zap Water label state there are no adverse reactions to ingestion, eye contact, skin contact, or inhalation. Another benefit: because we produce our own cleaners, we eliminate the need for packaging and transportation of toxic conventional cleaners.

Cleaning with ZAP Water fits squarely within the 3rd point of the Co-op’s Mission: To provide our member owners with products and services that reflect a concern for human health and the natural environment and that promote the well-being of the workers and communities which produce them.

The OCC now uses Zap Water for floor cleaning, sanitizing, mop buckets, bathroom cleaning, counter surface cleaning and sanitizing drains to prevent lysteria. The Seward Co-op even uses the sanitizer mixed with ice to hold displays of greens in their produce department, something we would like to do once we budget for an ice maker. The bacteria-killing properties of the Zap Water give the produce a longer shelf life.

Catholyte (cleaner) and Anolyte (disinfectant) are now available for sale at the Co-op.  Details to follow.

For more information on the physics behind ZAP, please visit