What are the advantages of Lightning Cleanze over industrial sodium hypochlorite (sh, hypo)

August 18, 2021

Lightning Cleanze sodium hypochlorite, sh, hypo, softwash biocide

Benz Lightning Cleanze is the only sodium hypochlorite (SH) based softwash biocide that has been fully approved by the HSE and PRCD for the cleaning of exterior hard surfaces. As such it is the only sodium hypochlorite soft washing product that can legally be called a biocide.

There are a number of points about the use of sodium hypochlorite (aka sh, hypo) for soft washing, which we explore in more depth on this page: Click here to read

The main one is that all "home chemistry" hypo mixes are illegal in the UK and Ireland, even those that use commercially available surfactant/scent mixes that are added to non-approved industrial hypo. This is not our opinion but a fact, as stated to us in writing by the HSE in the UK and PRCD in Ireland:

Click the here to read Part 1 which contains the text taken directly from emails we received from the HSE and PRCD

Click here to read Part 2 in which we go into more depth regarding the law and technicalities

Unfortunately, the HSE and PRCD are not currently (Aug 2021) enforcing the legislation around the use of industrial sodium hypochlorite. Hence the reason many contractors think they can get away with using it and are safe.

But in our view this is a false notion of safety, which will cease to exist altogether when a customer or employee suffers a serious injury from the use of unapproved hypo.

As we all know, like it or not the H&S laws today are extremely tough and in the event of an injury it is highly likely that contractors could be prosecuted and fined. H&S inspectors even have the power to shut down businesses who break the law.

Sadly, the latest long-term studies of swimming pool attendants, who frequently inhale the fumes from hypo when disinfecting the water, show that they are exhibiting signs of lung damage due to their breathing in chlorine fumes. This danger is also present when mixing raw hypo with additives such as surfactants and scents – and is much reduced by choosing to use Lightning Cleanze.

We've been officially told that there's an international investigation going on into the commercial uses of hypo and that tougher legislation is in the pipeline. What we don't have as yet is a date for the enactment of that legislation. But when it comes it will likely impose similar stringent legal criteria to that already in place for DDAC based biocides such as Benz Bio Cleanze.

We just hope and pray that it will not take a serious injury to a child before the authorities finally take action to stop the widespread misuse of industrial hypo.

Additional points

Compared to a 15% hypo mix (15% is the most commonly available strength) Lightning Cleanze has a longer shelf life and is much safer to use.

This is because Lightning Cleanze is

  1. Formulated using 10% sodium hypochlorite, which, due to the chemical nature of sodium hypochlorite, degrades more slowly than 15%.

  2. Uses a very high quality surfactant. There are thousands of surfactants on the market and most react with sodium hypochlorite, causing it to rapidly degrade. In contrast, the surfactant in Lightning Cleanze does not react and so the solution remains stable.

    Quick tip: The surfactant in Lightning Cleanze is biodegradable and does not bio-accumulate – which are increasingly important criteria in today's environmentally aware marketplace.

    Along with the government approvals for Lightning Cleanze, these are particularly powerful selling points for convincing managers and business owners – who are very aware of the need to comply with H&S legislation – when quoting them for large contracts.

  3. Is formulated with 10% sodium hypochlorite, making Lightning Cleanze much safer for humans (operators, customers and the general public) than the more dangerous 15%.

    Btw: Ben sustained severe chemical burns from using sodium hypochlorite mixes in the early days of his experimentation with various soft washing practices. These burns were the original reason for his discontinuing the use of strong sh. Since then we've learned more about the other negatives and so do not, as a company, support or advocate the practice of "bleaching" properties.

  4. Comes ready mixed – with a surfactant and scent – so the danger of sustaining chemical burns when soft washing is greatly reduced.

In terms of business profitability Lightning Cleanze also has advantages

  1. Because it comes ready mixed, the time needed to get up and running on site is considerably reduced compared to having to manually mix a surfactant, scent and hypo. And because "time is money" this a considerable cost-saving.

  2. It requires only the purchase of a single product, not separate hypo, scent and surfactant, thus saving on admin and accounting overheads.

  3. Because of the high-quality surfactant, Lightning Cleanze "sticks" to surfaces far more effectively than any other surfactant mix we've tried (we've completed a great many hours of testing of our own and other products to evaluate their relative effectiveness).

This means that
  • Run-off is reduced, effecting cost-savings on the quantity of product used.

  • Less run-off will enter drains or come into contact with a customer's lawns and plant life, considerably reducing the impact on our environment.

  • It is more able to stay in contact with the organic growths that it's designed to kill. And it stays in contact for a longer time. This makes it highly effective at lower dilution strengths than would otherwise be needed to achieve a similar result using industrial hypo.

Click here to learn more about Benz Lightning Cleanze


We hope this information is helpful and sincerely wish you great success in your soft washing business.


Ben, Leo, Fiona, Stevie & Anthony


Click here to explore the extensive range of Benz Softwash cleaning chemicals and equipment

Benz Softwash Bio Cleanze DDAC biocide & Benz Softwash Lightning Cleanze SH sodium hypochlorite biocide

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