The effectiveness of electrically-activated water is being called into question after independent tests found it to clean only as well as regular tap water.

Independent and internationally accredited labs tested the cleaning performance of current floor scrubbers and measured the cleaning efficiency when using three different cleaning solutions: electrically-activated water, plain tap water, and tap water and detergent.

The results show that the floor scrubber using electrically-activated water performed no better than when that scrubber cleaned with only tap water. The results also indicate that when cleaning with electrically-activated water, the scrubber did not clean as effectively as when the scrubber cleaned with tap water and detergent. Further testing showed that electrically-activated water technology reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to the same level as when only using plain tap water.

The results of these studies were released by Plymouth, Minn.-based Nilfisk Advance.

However, Minneapolis-based Tennant Co., which manufacturers equipment that uses electrically-activated water technology, argues that the study only tested machines on petroleum-based stains. Tennant does not claim that chemical-free cleaning technology is effective on such soils and has consistently recommended chemical cleaning for these situations.