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Yes. Baking soda raises the alkalinity (Ph) of water, so that it cleans better. It might leave a chalky looking residue, however, if you use to much, or don't extract well.
Ionized water is simply water, and won't leave any residue.
You could certainly make an ionizer yourself. I think the materials in assembling a batch-type ionizer is just a few dollars. You might then go on and try to make your own hydrogen-making machine, as it is simply a variation of an ionizer. Power it via solar or wind energy, and you can then go and live "off the grid".
So my latest research suggests that the basic (alkaline) ionized water is very weakly buffered, and so it will be neutralized easily on contact with almost anything. Adding salt (NaCl) during electrolysis will promote the formation of small amounts of NaOH, which is also known as lye or drain cleaner, to give a more alkaline, more stable solution, although still very weakly buffered. The same result might be obtained by adding a few pea sized (very inexpensive) NaOH pellets to a gallon of water.
I have purchased the small batch electrolysis device from "hidden cures" as Mark suggested. I intend to test this at the houses of volunteer customers ("free if you let me test at your house, new technology, no guarantees") etc. Some of my greeny and chemically sensitive customers will want to try it out.
I am going to use this with bonnet cleaning, changing the bonnets often to keep the ionized water in contact with the rug new and fresh.
I am expecting that results will be unspectacular or no better than plain tap water, but we shall see. I will post the results here in a few weeks. Then we will all know for sure.
Looking forward to hearing your results from using the batch
ionizer. My own thoughts in this direction have gotten sidetracked in the last few days by a different technology:
we just had a 24-panel solar electricity array mounted on our roof, and are awaiting the OK from the local electrical inspector to actually turn on the system.
Jon, tried anything with ionized water yet?