Helpful tips on De-ionized water cleaning methods



So what exactly is De-ionization?


Deionization is a physical process which uses specially-manufactured ion exchange resins which bind to and filter out the mineral salts from water. Deionized water is produced through a filtration process that removes all negative charge in the water caused by minerals and salt. High mineral content tap water is commonly used during window cleaning and pressure washing services. Tap water contains many different minerals such as calcium, magnesium and silica. These minerals and other undesirable materials such as fluoride, chlorine and metal ions bond with the minerals in the glass producing stains. They are also essentially the same minerals and salts that you are attempting to keep from leaching out of precast during the stone cleaning and sealing processes. When tap water evaporates, it leaves these particles behind to form a residue that is visible on nearly all surfaces. This residue can also change or hide the natural colors of precast and stone materials.

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Why deionized water?

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Deionized water which is also known as demineralized water (DI water or de-ionized water; can also be spelled deionised water, see spelling differences) is water that has had its mineral ions removed, such as cations from sodium, calcium, iron, copper and anions such as chloride and bromide. Because the majority of water impurities are dissolved salts, deionization produces a high purity water that is generally similar to distilled water,and this process is quick and without scale buildup. However:

Deionization does not significantly remove uncharged organic molecules, viruses or bacteria, except by incidental trapping in the resin.

Specially made strong base anion resins can remove Gram-negative bacteria. Deionization can be done continuously and inexpensively using electrodeionization. It should be noted that deionization does not remove the hydroxide or hydronium ions from water; as water self-ionizes to equilibrium, this would lead to the removal of the water itself. Without these elements present, the water attempts to stabilize itself by becoming very aggressive, seeking negative particles in the form of dirt and other contaminants. The water then pulls these contaminates from the building and washes them away. Without minerals and salt in the cleaning water, it can dry on the glass absolutely spot-free.



Why NOT to use this method on your residential windows.

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As you can see de-ionization removes the negative charge in the water caused by minerals, this allows your windows to dry spot free right? WRONG!!! Even though you remove the negative charge the water can still leave spots on the windows. In addition, you are forcing water onto and around the window, dirt that is not even on the window ends up getting loose and often just runs down the glass and dries on your "spot free" windows. This additional debris usually comes from the above the window wrap. If you have old windows, you will have a little flood on your hands at each window INSIDE the house.

Do not get me wrong. DI water IS convient and does have its uses, primarily commercially. In other cases, often there is no way to put a ladder on a sheer glass building without the liability of breaking glass panes so this method is used to safely to the job. Price points are sometimes more expensive than that of a hand wash. DI is a great method for commercial work, but not for residential homes.

I hope this has been a little helpful to educating you on DI water cleaning methods and what application should call for it.

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