Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Hydrolyte® Production
  • Hypochlorous Acid: What Is It?
  • Label Listed Pathogens
  • Challenges and Solutions in Infection Prevention
  • Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting
  • Healthcare Facilities and Hydrolyte®
  • Hydrolyte® and Your Facility


Hydrolyte® continues to increase in recognition and use in hospitals, doctor’s offices, long-term care facilities, and even in large educational institutions throughout the United States. Since its introduction to the healthcare market, environmental service departments have been attracted to this disinfectant solution because of its impressive range of pathogen efficacy, its low toxicity rating, its versatility for use, and the ability of on-site production, as well as many other advantages.

What is Hydrolyte®? If you’re not already a user of this disinfectant in your department and/or you aren’t familiar with its properties and applications, this article is the perfect introduction for you. We’ll go into detail about how Hydrolyte® is produced, explain the nature of hypochlorous acid (the primary active disinfecting agent in Hydrolyte® and describe many of the applications where Hydrolyte® can be effectively used against some of the most significant pathogenic organisms in the healthcare field.

Read on to learn all about Hydrolyte® and how it is revolutionizing the way healthcare facilities think about disinfecting and decreasing infection related risk within their offices, exam rooms, operating theaters, and other critical areas. For even more information, get in touch with 21st Century Healthcare Inc. and talk directly to an expert representative about your facility and its disinfecting needs.

Hydrolyte® Production

Hydrolyte® is manufactured by 21st Century Healthcare Inc., a visionary company headquartered in northeastern South Carolina. It is an anolyte solution, one of the two primary byproducts of water electrolysis.

Water electrolysis is a process that uses an electronic charge applied to a salt brine solution. The charge causes the molecules in the salt (sodium chloride) and water (dihydrogen oxide) to break down and recombine in different molecular formations, resulting in two new compounds: anolyte and catholyte.

In 21st Century Healthcare’s process flow, the catholyte compound generated is captured and sold as a cleaning agent, as it is very effective as a general multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser. The anolyte compound forms the basis for Hydrolyte®, the flagship product of 21st Century Healthcare Inc.

As you may suspect from the simple description of the water electrolysis process, Hydrolyte® is a disinfecting solution with a low level of toxicity as registered with the EPA. This helps environmental services staff members avoid hazards associated with mixing toxic cleaning and disinfecting chemicals and the accidental mixing of dangerously toxic chemicals such as bleach and ammonia. As we will note later, the active compound at the heart of Hydrolyte® is hypochlorous acid, a pH neutral acid that is ideal for killing many pathogens that healthcare facilities fight on a daily basis.

Once the anolyte solution is produced at its South Carolina manufacturing facility, 21st Century Healthcare Inc. bottles it as Hydrolyte® and distributes it for use at healthcare facilities of all types. Staff at those facilities can use the hospital disinfectant in a variety of different applications, from spraying hard surfaces manually to using 21st Century Healthcare’s handheld spray guns or utility type spray carts, a choice of tools that streamline the disinfecting process and ensures thorough coverage of all surfaces in a room. Use of spray applicators helps to automate the disinfecting process and helps to eliminate human error.

This process of anolyte and catholyte production is also available on-site in your facility. When produced on-site at a facility, outside of the 21st Century Healthcare Inc. manufacturing and bottling facility, the anolyte and catholyte are labeled with a different label. These are named OSG460D or OSG11-12C, which stands for On-Site Generated (OSG). The OSG460D is the disinfectant (anolyte) and the OSG11-12C is the cleaner (catholyte). Contact 21st Century Healthcare’s corporate office to arrange a site visit and evaluation for your facility, or to further discuss the on-site option for your facility.

Hypochlorous Acid: What is It?

Hypochlorous acid is one of the most exciting discoveries related to infection prevention. It is not a new invention; rather, it is a compound that the human body produces naturally as part of the immune system. Thus, while we depend on the power of hypochlorous acid every day to fight invading pathogens, its identity and functionality has not been understood by science until fairly recently.

The mechanism through which hypochlorous acid attacks and kills invading organisms is fascinating. The compound actually attacks the cell wall from within the bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens, quickly eliminating them as a threat.

The key to the ability of Hydrolyte® to penetrate cell walls effectively is its neutral pH. Hydrolyte® is able to easily pass through the cell wall, where the solution’s free available chlorine (FAC) is able to destroy the pathogen from within.

Since its discovery and the development of the water electrolysis process to produce hypochlorous acid, this compound has gained popularity in a number of important applications. In the area of disinfecting, hypochlorous acid is even more useful, as its disinfecting power can be utilized outside the body to eliminate the threat of bacteria and viruses before they even have a chance to reach the patient, preventing the need for activation of the patient’s immune system.

Label Listed Pathogens

What pathogens does Hydrolyte® kill? There is a long list, which can be found on the Hydrolyte® product label. Most of the listed pathogens fall into one of these categories:

  • Bacteria. This category includes: C. diff, E. coli, Staph, Salmonella, Multi-drug resistant bacteria such as MRSA, VRE, etc.
  • Non-enveloped viruses. These include norovirus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, and rotavirus, etc.
  • Enveloped viruses. Included in this category are influenza, swine flu, RSV, etc.
  • Mycobacteria, including Tuberculosis
  • Yeast, including Candida
  • Bloodborne pathogens, including HIV, Hepatitis C, etc.

The Hydrolyte® product label indicates high efficacy for the anolyte solution for sanitizing and disinfecting with a contact time of 1 to 10 minutes for hard, nonporous surfaces. See the label for complete details.

Hydrolyte® is an incredibly powerful tool that provides versatility and an enormous amount of value to facilities that traditionally spend very large amounts of money, and employee man-hours to prevent risk of infection to patients, visitors, and staff.

Challenges and Solutions in Infection Prevention

For decades the modern healthcare industry has grappled with a number of infection challenges that are very common across medical facilities. These challenges stem from the fact that in these settings illness is present by definition, and as patients are housed, diagnosed, and treated, the organisms they carry make their way into the environment and create infection risk for other patients, visitors, and staff members.

Healthcare is not the only field that struggles with these challenges; in education, for instance, grouping large numbers of students from different backgrounds for hours on a daily basis also creates a favorable environment for the spread of viruses and bacteria. Here are a few of the biggest challenges that healthcare and other industry face in fighting infection risk and how Hydrolyte® can help meet these challenges.

Disinfecting Challenges

Challenge: Perhaps the most practical disinfecting issue that environmental services staff members face is the fact that pathogens are invisible to the eye and it is difficult to know if all surfaces have been effectively disinfected. This means that no matter how hard a person works to disinfect an area, it is extremely common to miss areas that could be harboring bacteria or viruses, leaving them to threaten patients and staff with increased risk of infection. Close inspections of disinfected rooms frequently reveal that surfaces such as the undersides of the bed, bed-rails, other furnishings like desks, chairs, and tables are often left untouched by disinfectant, as well as surfaces of high touch areas, simply due to time constraints, being called away or interrupted, or just human error.

Hydrolyte® Solution: After a space such as an exam room, operating theater, restroom, waiting room, other area in a healthcare facility or classroom, gym, or office outside of healthcare has been cleaned using standard approved methods, staff uses Hydrolyte® in an spray applicator to quickly cover all hard, nonporous surfaces.

21st Century Healthcare Inc. offers a variety of powerful tools to help make the disinfecting process even more time efficient, thorough, and effective. These tools include battery operated handheld spray guns and electric powered spray carts. These spray applicators are designed to be used with Hydrolyte®. Using 21st Century Healthcare’s spray applicators will help to assure even coverage of Hydrolyte® droplets to all intended hard surfaces in the room.

Spraying Hydrolyte®
Spraying Hydrolyte® is convenient and thorough with the spray cart applicator.

Multidrug Resistant Organisms (MDRO)

Challenge: Multidrug resistance is one of the large areas of focus in healthcare. There are several mechanisms by which an organism may become multidrug resistant. The resistance developed by these organisms may also impact the effectiveness of certain disinfectants, yielding them ineffective against the pathogen. Many of these organisms, once shed from the patient to the environment (in and outside healthcare), may have the ability to survive for a period of time and may even be able to propagate, causing an increased risk of infection to others.

Hydrolyte® Solution: The method of killing and inactivating pathogens used by Hydrolyte® and its active ingredient, hypochlorous acid, is one that is unaffected by the drug resistance acquired by the pathogen. The neutral pH Hydrolyte® is transported through the cell wall of the organism, then the free available chlorine (FAC) is able to destroy the pathogen from within, killing and inactivating the organism.

Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting

At this point in the discussion, it is important to ensure that the differences are clear between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. While many people use these three terms interchangeably around the house or even in official contexts, each of the terms describes a method of removing a specific type of contamination.


Cleaning is the most basic of the three terms. It is the physical process of removing large particles (relatively speaking) such as dirt, food crumbs, dust, liquids, and other contaminants that are visible to the eye. Smaller, non-visible particles may also be removed during this process. It is important to note that cleaning, which often uses products like detergents, soaps, and of course water, does not actually kill pathogens; however, it does a great deal to remove particles that may inhibit the effectiveness of any sanitizer or disinfectant that may be applied.

In the application of Hydrolyte®, it is always recommended to clean all surfaces before starting the disinfecting process. The combination of these two techniques, cleaning and disinfecting or sanitizing, is required to achieve the best possible results and is highly effective in reducing the risk of infection.


Sanitizing goes a step further than cleaning. In some ways it is the most complex of the three terms, as its definition changes slightly depending on the industry. Sanitizing typically uses chemicals stronger than those used in cleaning in order to kill germs and discourage their growth to a specified acceptable level for that industry.

As you can imagine, sanitizing in the food industry requires a very high degree of efficacy in order to meet required standards, while the requirements in retail or other commercial contexts may not be as stringent. In the residential setting, people usually understand that sanitizing will provide more protection against infection risk than the basic cleaning process.


Disinfecting is the most thorough and effective process, of these three mentioned, at killing and inactivating microorganisms. Disinfectants kill the pathogens that are present on a surface, even the microorganisms that survive the cleaning and sanitizing process. Disinfectants and their label claims are approved and regulated by the EPA.

Hydrolyte® is a hospital grade disinfectant, fully approved by the EPA for use in hospitals and other healthcare settings where it is most crucial to effectively disinfectant the environment in order to greatly decrease infection transmission risk.

Healthcare Facilities and Hydrolyte®

Where is Hydrolyte® of most use? The fact is, 21st Century Healthcare’s anolyte solution is ideal for use in any setting that requires disinfecting, from everyday household applications to food production lines and everything in between. But Hydrolyte® has found an especially valuable place in hospitals and other healthcare settings, where it is necessary to disinfect rooms as quickly yet as thoroughly as possible. The use of Hydrolyte® allows quicker “turnaround” to get rooms ready for new patients in a timely manner without compromising patient health.

With ongoing difficulties in hiring and retaining staff at hospitals and other facilities, it becomes even more important to find a disinfecting solution that can reduce the manpower and time necessary for getting patient rooms, exam rooms, and other needed areas cleaned and disinfected. 21st Century Healthcare Inc. is proud to meet this need with Hydrolyte® and associated product offerings such as the spray applicators. Here are a few examples of the most prominent applications for Hydrolyte® in the healthcare field:

The hospital setting is a primary application for Hydrolyte®.
The hospital setting is a primary application for Hydrolyte®.


Hospitals are the largest and most profitable application for Hydrolyte®. With hundreds of patient rooms, exam rooms, and operating rooms, not to mention other high traffic areas like waiting rooms, restrooms, and dining spaces, the task of disinfecting hard surfaces is a monumental one. The application of Hydrolyte® makes it a perfect solution for this environment.

Long-Term Care

Retirement facilities and nursing homes are another great application for Hydrolyte®. The task of disinfecting residents’ rooms and common areas every day is a huge one for staff that are often overburdened already with caring for residents in many other ways. Hydrolyte® gives staff a powerful tool for streamlining the disinfecting process while effectively reducing the risk of infection.

Private Practices

With the battery operated handheld spray gun in particular, Hydrolyte® helps private medical, dental, and other practices accomplish one of their primary goals: turning around exam rooms as quickly as possible while providing each patient with an aseptic environment.

Institutional Use

Other institutions, while not technically within the healthcare field, can also benefit greatly from the use of Hydrolyte® to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces. The educational field, from preschools to colleges, is often challenged by the potential risk for infection between students, and spraying classrooms, dining areas, and restrooms with Hydrolyte® discourages the spread of viruses and bacteria, decreasing the likelihood of absenteeism.

Hydrolyte® and Your Facility

If your facility is looking for a better, more effective, and more streamlined way to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces in all types of rooms, Hydrolyte® is likely the solution for your facility. You can learn more about 21st Century Healthcare’s anolyte solution, the functionality of hypochlorous acid, label listed pathogens, and procedures for disinfecting following cleaning of surfaces by contacting 21st Century Healthcare Inc. directly. With a long personal history of serving hospitals and the broader healthcare industry, the leadership at 21st Century Healthcare Inc. is committed to improving public health through more effective disinfecting processes and eradication of environmental pathogens.

Ronnie Syverson

Author Bio

Ronnie Syverson, Senior Epidemiologist for PCT Corp. since 2017. Ronnie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Nursing. In 1997 he completed North Carolina’s Statewide Program in Infection Control and Epidemiology (SPICE) at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He is currently licensed as a Registered Nurse in North Carolina. Ronnie holds a Certification in Infection Control and Epidemiology (CIC) from the Certification Board for Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC). He has been employed in healthcare since 1983, working in Infection Control and Occupational Health and Disease Management in the hospital environment. In 2016 Ronnie became Director of Infection Control for Greenspeed. He joined PCT Corp. in 2017 as Senior Infection Control Director. His vast knowledge in infection control and epidemiology has helped PCT Corp. develop the Annihilyzer, an onsite generating disinfection and cleaning system.