Janitors and other people who do large-scale cleaning certainly don't have an easy job. Among other things, they have to lug around heavy bottles of bleach or other cleansers, then risk the harmful effects of those products when using them. Texas-based GenEon Technologies, however, is now offering an alternative. The company's Immerse-A-Clean wand can reportedly turn regular tap water into an effective sanitizer, glass- and general-purpose cleaner, using nothing other than electricity and a non-toxic catalyst.

First of all, so-called "bleach generators" have been around for years. These use a weak electrical current to electrolyze the salt content in ordinary water, producing sodium hypochlorite – the most common germ-killing ingredient in bleach.

According to GenEon, however, these units are generally quite large, and require an electrical outlet. This means that users have to go to them. The Immerse-A-Clean, by contrast, is compact, portable and battery-powered (although it can also be plugged in). Users carry it with them, filling up a wash bucket or other receptacle from a nearby tap as needed, then sticking in the wand and generating a cleanser on the spot within minutes.

If used with nothing but water, the wand is able to create straight-up ionized water – the same "bleach" produced by other bleach generators. That said, GenEon's Christina Ganzer tells us, "Because we use a different technology, our solutions are much more stable, have a longer shelf-life, devices have a much, much better up-time, and the 'bleaching' effect is achieved with a neutral pH solution, so you can actually use it without the worry of ruining clothing or furniture, etc."

By adding a catalyst consisting of a proprietary blend of minerals, a more effective, grease-cutting cleanser is the result. That solution has been tested at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts, which reportedly concluded that "it performs as well or better than the leading cleaners and degreasers on dirt, grime and soil when used as directed."

Additionally, according to GenEon, using the wand will be much less expensive than buying ready-made cleansers, over time.

The company plans to have the Immerse-A-Clean wand available for purchase by late in the first quarter of next year, at a target price of US$1,500.

UPDATE: GenEon has provided us with an updated estimated retail price of approximately $1,995 to $2,100.