Water is composed of a single atom of oxygen and two atoms of hydrogen. That’s why it’s called H2O. These atoms exist as two charged ions in water. Hydrogen is a positively charged ion; the other Hydrogen ion is connected to the Oxygen ion to form a negatively charged hydroxide ion.
The purification process for window cleaning removes all mineral and particulate impurities from the water, allowing it to evaporate without leaving any trace deposits behind. No squeegees or other drying methods are needed for this spot-free result.
Pure water is a very effective organic solvent. You may have been taught to think of water as the “universal solvent,” which is truly the case. On a molecular level, water is excellent at absorbing dirt. As it fights to return to its naturally occurring impure state, water will absorb dirt. Rinse that dirty water away with a layer of pure water, let it evaporate, and you have a spot-free window!
Pure water without detergent is a beneficial cleaning agent. It will remove nearly all organic, aqueous (water-based), and other ionic contaminants, as well as things such as dirt, grit, and some types of grease.
Water used in this type of cleaning operation is usually filtered through mixed-bed deionization (DI), reverse osmosis (RO), or a combination of the two processes. Pure water will significantly improve your cleaning results. Purified water does not contain any ions, so it is a useful rinse agent, leaving spot-free results after evaporation. This pure water provides an excellent vehicle for the activation, suspension, and ultimate release of soils from surfaces, and leaves a minimal chance of re-depositing soils on surfaces.
Generally, to deliver the water to the building, it is forced or pumped through a tube either inside or outside the pole. At the end of the pole is a brush that has jets or spray nozzles embedded in it. The water is applied onto the surface through the jets, the soil is agitated by the scrubbing of the brush, and the soil is then suspended in the water, ready to be rinsed away by the constant flow of pure water. The safety & efficiency of this type of cleaning is not readily matched by any other means.
There are poles available that exceed 70 feet of reach. This often leads to improved safety for operators, as ladders are eliminated, and hazardous climbs are no longer needed. In many cases, the results of pure water cleaning will exceed that of traditional methods, and the lack of need for detergents is a greener option. Many cleansers can leave a microscopic film behind, which can attract dirt to the surface, leading to faster re-soiling. As there is no residue or static left after pure water cleaning, surfaces cleaned with pure water remain cleaner for longer periods.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) Systems
Water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that blocks anything larger than a water molecule. By doing this, reverse osmosis removes approximately 95% of the impurities in the water, and usually all of the naturally occurring minerals. Mineral content in water improves the pH of the water. When you remove the minerals, you are creating heavily acidic water.
If you think of purified water as “unnatural” water, it makes sense that the water wants to return to its natural state. Therefore, when used as a cleaning agent, it will seek out dirt molecules and bond to them. It is called the universal solvent for a reason.
When pure water is applied to a surface, the water is seeking out dirt to bond with, as the water tries to return to its natural state. (There is no source of 100% pure water that occurs naturally anywhere on the planet). The rinse step washes away the dirt that is now bonded with the water molecules and suspended in the water. Because the dirty water is replaced with clean, pure water – and there’s no dirt left for the water to bond with – when water does what comes NATURALLY (evaporate), you’re left with a clean, static, spot, streak-free surface. It’s simple chemistry and physics at work. Pure water works, and science backs it up.
Utilizing pure water as a professional window cleaner used to be considered the “future of window cleaning.” That is no longer the case. Any professional window cleaner that does not have pure water as an option for their company is now behind the times and is at risk of losing productivity and profit. Being able to eliminate ladder climbs will also bring down the slip/fall hazards inherent in our industry. Smarter, safer, and more savvy window cleaners all around the world are using pure water every day.
An ion-exchange tank consisting of mixed cation & anion resin beads. This provides thorough deionization of the water passing through it. Commonly used to “polish” water already treated by reverse osmosis method.
Reverse Osmosis (RO)
The process of separating one component of a solution from another by flowing the feed stream across a semi-permeable membrane under pressure. RO concentrates ionized salts, colloids, and organics down to 150 molecular weight in the concentrate (discharge, waste) stream and provides a purified flow of water. Also called hyperfiltration.
An engineered polymer film containing a controlled distribution of pores. It acts as a barrier permitting passage only of materials up to a specific size, shape, or character. Used as the separation mechanism in reverse osmosis filtration.
Find equipment for Pure Water cleaning at our WaterFed® page.