Bill Nye “The Science Guy” Explains Acidic Ionized Water

I talk a lot about alkaline ionized water on this blog.   The entire water ionizer industry focuses on alkaline ionized water because of the incredible health benefits of drinking the water.  As a result, the benefits of the cleaning and disinfecting properties of the water often get overlooked.

When ionized water was first created for commercial purposes, the focus was on the acidic properties of the water.  In fact, the health approvals in Japan that you read about when researching ionized water are for the disinfecting properties of acidic portion of the water produced by water ionizers.

I was recently directed by one of our readers to a website that features a very expensive promotional video starring Bill Nye that has been made by a company called Activeion.  My kids grew up with Bill Nye the Science Guy, so I had to take a look.  The video is fun and informative and helps explain why acidic ionized water is effective as a cleaner and disinfectant.

I don’t support specific products or companies, as I support the entire water ionizer industry and any products that improve the quality of our drinking water.  I don’t support the company that paid for the video in the link below, and I had never heard of them before I watched the video.  If I had to guess, I would assume the product is effective because I know of a similar product that works well.  I also know that the powerful water ionizers that you see for sale on the internet create acidic ionized water that produce the same effective results.

The video below talks about “Activated Water”, which they indicate is produced by running water across electrodes that are carrying an electrical charge.  In other words, they are producing ionized water by means of electrolysis.  The video never uses the words acidic water, or ionized water, but it sure looks and sounds like a water ionizer to me!

The only issue I have with the video is that Bill mentions at one point that the water stays activated (charged ionized water) for about thirty seconds which is plenty of time to kill germs.  I have tested the water from various brands of water ionizers, and they all maintain their charge for many hours and typically maintain up to 20% of the charge for a full day.  

The video shows how the surface tension of the water changes when the water is ionized, and it explains why the ionized water is effective as a disinfectant.  I wonder what the sponsored Quackwatchers like Stephen Lower would have to say about Bill’s video.  I guess they would stick to their line that it doesn’t count because it is not in a medical journal.  

Ignore the promotional aspects of the video and just enjoy the fun demonstration with Bill at his zany best.  And remember, a good quality water ionizer will produce the same effective disinfectant in the form of acid ionized water as a waste product every time you pour yourself a drink of alkaline ionized water.  Click on the arrow to watch the video:

As always, the comments in this article are those of the author.

19 Responses to Bill Nye “The Science Guy” Explains Acidic Ionized Water

  1. Hydroanalytics introduced “green” water ionizer tech to Johnson & Johnson in 2000. Happy to see this is being increasingly used. Great job!

    • Hi Stan:

      You responded to my new article within minutes of it going online, which has to be a record.

      The disinfecting properties of the acid portion of ionized water is not unknown, but is virtually ignored by most owners of water ionizers. I hope people will start to understand value of the acid water in terms of saving money and protecting the environment.

      • Hi Stanley:

        Thanks for the follow up post. Congratualtions on your work with J & J

        I eliminated most of your comment as it was just too over the top in terms of sales pitch for your site. I encourage people to comment and add content, and I allow people to include their email and website. However, this is not a forum for pushing products.

        If you read my stuff, you will see that I don’t promote any products or companies. My goal is to promote water and I hope that people appreciate the fact that I’m not selling anything. That means that no sales pitch from me or anyone else.

  2. Yes, synchronistic timing is at work here. J & J was predictably skeptical when I first introduced them to ionized acid sanitizing water but they did in-house tests. Now they’re believers!

  3. Sure. I appreciate how you’re working and will check back on your blog.

  4. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the good info about Bill Nye. I have long wanted to try a drinking water ionizer, but I don’t want to pay a fortune and there are so many out there, I don’t know where to start. I have muni water and it’s AWFUL. It’s so hard it could corrode lead! (j/k) Anyway, it’s bad water–though I don’t think it has many contaminants. Anyway, help..?

    Chris in Edina, MN

    • Hi Chris:

      The internet is a strange place. I was reading about Bill Nye the other day after I wrote the article about his video, and I came across a site where people were claiming that Bill sold out with his endorsement of AcitiveIion. The people that were posting the negative comments were quoting none other than the infamous Stephen Lower as their source. Funny how people can take one fraudulent source and use it to build a case against a man that so many people have respected for so long. The same day, CNN featured Bill Nye as its headline story in regards to ideas about cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If Bill wants to make a living promoting a product, he is not alone!

      In regards to your hard water in Minnisota, you have a few options. Historically, people have used salt based water softeners and then removed the harmful salt with reverse osmosis machines. I believe California has banned the sale of salt based water, and for good reason. So, you can look into salt-free water ionizers (my research tells me to stay away from the magnets). One of my fraternity of fellow researchers owns a company that sells the salt free water softeners and they get great results with water that contains up to 25-30 grains per gallon of calcium carbonate. They also have success, but at lower levels as you move past 30 grains and up to 40 grains. Beyond those levels, you need to get into a distiller or a reverse osmosis “RO” machines. I don’t care for RO machines unless they are a necessity. If you do have to go with a RO system, then you can remineralize the water by adding substances like calcium and magnesium with filters if you are going to use a water ionizer. There are more expensive filters available that add up to 72 minerals. It is imperative that minerals be reintroduced to the water supply before the water enters a water ionizers, because the ionizers won’t work in the abscence of minerals.

      My advice to you and to everybody before purchasing a water ionizer would be to research your source water. Find out if your source water contains harmful contaminants or if the water is so hard that it will scale up your water ionizer. Once you have found the information about your source water, purchase a pre-filter system if required to make your source water as good as possible. Then purchase a water ioniers and drink up! I won’t promote any brands or companies, but if you send me an email, I will tell you what is available without any bias and you can make the decision based upon what works best for you.


  5. I need to know more about the acetic and basic water. I know that this is the term of the science field; I need to know how I can make it the water alkaline or neutral. I know that the pH is the degree of the taking the way to access the water acidic and basic.
    Thanks for blog.
    Alkaline Water and Energy Drink

    • Hi Brooke:

      I don’t know where to start. You obviously know one of the answers because your company sells the chemical sticks or wands that are now available. The fact that you use the term “basic” instead of “alkaline” gives away the fact that you know far more than you pretend with your message.

      For the benefit of others, there are several ways to make water alkaline. The least expensive is to stir a spoonfull of baking soda (sodium hydroxide) into a glass of water and stir. One spoonful should generate a pH of about 8.3 and two spoonfulls will generate a pH of over 9.0

      Another method is to put fresh cut lemons in water and your body will convert the solution to alkaline.

      The chemical sticks that your company, and many other companies offer can also turn water alkaline with the minerals that are in the sticks. I have tried the sticks and I don’t care for them despite the fact that they can be purchased for the cost of a fast food meal if you know where to buy them. I would use a stick to freshen ionized water that has been sitting for a few hours or if there was no alternative. However, if you leave the stick in the water too long, they manufacturers instruct you to throw the water away. If you use a stick and leave the water for a couple of days, it begins to smell and take on a bad odor.

      The best product on the market by far is a water ionizer. Unfortunately, many of the brands are very expensive. My goal is to get the price of the machines down so more and more people can afford the incredible benefits of the water.

  6. Hi Rob,

    Use my Tyent ionizers all the time.

    Could you clarify for me:

    1. Do I use the Strong acidic water that comes out of the machine for sanitizing/washing surfaces?

    2. For washing vegetables/fruit/meats, do I use the ALKALINE water?

    Read somewhere that I should use:

    – acidic water for washing poultry for samonella
    – alkaline water for washing away pesticides

    kind of confused.

    If you could clarify the above, it would be much appreciated.

    Keep up the good work =)

    • Hi Sharon:

      Great to hear from you.

      I’m sure Tyent will be happy to see their name in print. The people in the States who run Tyent and other similar companies think I’m out to get them, but it is not true. I just want everyone to work at promoting the industry instead of bashing each other, stop using fake review sites in an attempt to fool people into thinking that their products are superior, and to work hard to reduce prices so that water ionizers become affordable to more people.

      You are correct in regards to uses of ionized water:

      Strong acid for sanitizing
      Mild acid for cleansing skin
      Purified water for taking medications or for drinking water for infants and small children
      Medium alkaline (up to a pH level of 9.5) for drinking water
      Strong alkaline for removing oil based petrochemicals/pesticides from the surface of fruits and vegetables.

  7. Rob,

    It’s Rich from Florida again. My ionizer is on it’s way to me. Thanks for all your unbiased advice. What is the difference between using the acidic water my ionizer will produce and put it in a spray bottle versus Bill Nye’s Active Ionizer?

    • Hi Rich:

      Glad to be able to help. I don’t know which machine you purchased, or from whom, but congatulations whichever choice you made. You really can’t make a bad choice as long as you stick with a good company and a good product.

      I don’t know much about the unit the Bill Nye is promoting, but based upon the video, they are simply ionizing water the same as a water ionizer.

  8. I am sceptical about the existence of so called ‘acid’ water or ‘alkaline’ water for that matter. The production of water with a low Ph at the positive electrode is more likely to be due to the production of hydrogen peroxide.

    • Hi Maurice:

      I have to disagree with you in that water ionizers absolutely do produce both acidic and alkaline water. The results are easy to test with either a pH reagent or a pH meter. I have personally tested thousands of sample over the years. Perhaps you are speaking of a different definition of acidic and alkaline that the industry refers to.

  9. So what happened to the company that made the device that Bill Nye used to show that ionized water kills bacteria? Could you also tell me where in a medical or scientific journal where this was explained or similar research that was conducted to show that bacteria was killed by ionized water?

    • Hi Mike:

      I don’t know what happened to the “acid water” maker that Bill Nye was endorsing. I think I heard that they had a disagreement about royalties so they ended the relationship which is unfortunate imo. I picked up a similar product in Korea many years ago and my wife loves it and still uses it regularly. I don’t know if anyone offers that type of product in North America these days. I would have to do some research to find the scientific studies to support the “bacteria cleaning” claim but I can tell you that the unit my wife uses creates very acidic water which has a strong bleach-like odor. If you want to do a bit of research, you will find that bleach-like materials kill bacteria.

  10. all snake oil, ionization of water does not help the water as it goes back to original after a few minutes,you are better of to filter it, consult WHO web sites and find the truth.

    • Hi Alan:

      You, like the rest of the alkaline world has missed the point of ionization. It is not about alkaline at all. It is about the ability of an electrolysis unit or a natural water ionizer to produce molecular hydrogen. Currently, there are 1,600 researchers worldwide that are studying molecular hydrogen, which I expect will rapidly expand upon the 600 scientific studies that have shown that molecular hydrogen is beneficial for more than 160 diseases.

      Dr. Lower had his day when he described the alkaline water phenomena as snake oil. Dr. Lower did admit that the water probably worked, but until the benefits could be supported by the scientific and medical communities, he would never support the water. Now, there evidence to support the benefits of molecular hydrogen are piling up fast. The scientific community is jumping in with both feet and the number of doctors that are contacting the hydrogen people is surprising. I know of one group of 4,300 physicians in the USA that is monitoring the progress of the scientific research very closely.

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