Can I Use Hypochlorous Acid as a Cleaner?

Hypochlorous acid (also called HOCl) is well-known as a biocidal disinfectant and in health applications such as infection prevention/treatment, burns management and wound treatment.

There are a number of other applications of hypochlorous acid too, one of which is as a cleaner. Coler Medical PPE explores a range of cleaning applications in this article.

Useful where cleaning and disinfecting is required

The words “cleaning” and “disinfecting” have subtly different meanings. To illustrate this, we provide a definition for each word below:

  • Cleaning definition – “
    the activity of removing the dirt from things and places, especially in a house
  • Disinfecting definition – “
    to clean something using chemicals that kill bacteria and other very small living things that cause disease

So, hypochlorous acid can be thought of as useful where cleaning, as well as microorganism killing, is required. It achieves two objectives in one.

Hypochlorous acid is used in applications such as aircraft cleaning and disinfecting
Hypochlorous acid is used in applications such as aircraft cleaning and disinfecting

Examples of areas to clean with HOCl

The areas where HOCl can be used to clean includes (just as a few examples):

  • Interiors – for example in cars, planes and on interior soft furnishings
  • Flooring – use HOCl to treat flooring and disinfect in particular from microorganisms which are brought in by foot
  • Food processing:
    • Preparation – when preparing food, the surface (e.g., worktop counter or chopping board) should be sanitised first. Additionally, food such as eggs, fruit, meat, poultry, seafood – would all be made safer to eat through HOCl cleaning
    • Sponges – HOCl can also be used for sanitising washing up sponges, which typically harbour many dangerous microorganisms
  • Surfaces – such as in kitchens, bathrooms, high chairs, and staffrooms – it is particularly ideal for cleaning hard surfaces
  • Tattoo healing – HOCl is very commonly used to clean/disinfect tattoos and prevent infection after a tattoo is completed
Hypochlorous acid should be added as an extra item to your cleaning equipment
Hypochlorous acid should be added as an extra item to your cleaning equipment

Reasons why hypochlorous acid should be used as a cleaner

The list below is not intended to be exhaustive, but gives some great reasons to use hypochlorous acid as a cleaner:

  • Cost-effective – buy in bulk as instant sanitiser as a cost-effective cleaner
  • Disinfects – as we said above, HOCl both cleans and disinfects
  • Environmentally-friendly – unlike bleach and other chemical cleaners, HOCl is safe to the environment. There is no chemical discharge/residue and cleaned surfaces require no rinsing after cleaning is completed
  • Non-toxic – as a totally-natural product, HOCl is entirely non-toxic and can safely be used by humans and in close proximity to babies, toddlers, and animals. If swallowed HOCl is harmless, which is not the case for bleach. HOCl is even used by breastfeeding mothers to remove potential viruses and bacteria prior to infant suckling

Coler Medical PPE – Hypochlorous Acid specialists

Whatever you want to use hypochlorous acid for, Coler Medical PPE are a high-quality provider. Choose from our MIST-IFY hand sanitisers range with confidence. If you have any questions give us a call on +44 (0) 1827 794 294 or email us at

Image Credits: Wikipedia and Wueste Nigel