The advancement of science and technology revolutionised every area of our lives, the way we spend our time and the way we work.
At the same time a quiet revolution in the window cleaning business started with the introduction of pure water systems. But what exactly is pure water and how it changed something as straightforward as window cleaning? Let’s dig deeper into this topic.
Water has no colour, no smell, no taste. When it’s raining, it’s condensed water that’s falling from the clouds. But how come after the rain stops and your windows have dried out you are left with white spots all over the glass? The dust and exhaust fumes from street traffic, the pollen from the trees and all other end up smeared on your windows.
In the past, in order to get your windows cleaned, you’d use soapy water to properly wash your windows. But now there is an elegant solution to your spotty windows problem and it is ultra-pure water.
What is pure water and why you should care?
Pure water is plain H2O. No other elements like salts and dissolved solids are present. But how do you know the water has no hard particles and how do you measure its purity?
Tools and units for measuring purity
TDS, which stands for “total dissolved solids” is the measuring unit for water purity. The more minerals and solid particles in the water, the higher the TDS number. This number starts from zero and represents how many foreign parts per million (ppm) the water contains. For example, the World Health Organization discovered that water from natural sources can have a TDS number that varies from less than 30 ppm (or milligrams per litre, which is the same) up to 6000 ppm.
Measuring the TDS of pure water with a TDS meter
TDS meter is the tool that measures how many particles or impurities the water contains. To be more precise – it’s actually measuring the electrical conductivity of water and then presents a relative value for the number of particles dissolved in the water.
How’s that possible?
The simple answer is this: ultra-pure water does not conduct electricity. It is the minerals and dissolved particles in the water that conduct electricity but without them the water molecules can’t pass electrical current.
What are the industry recommendations?
Zero parts per million is the recommendation when you want to achieve outstanding results in the window cleaning process. However, as mentioned above, the natural state of water is far from that number. The standards for tap water are not so strict and may vary somewhere between 100 to more than 400 ppm. That’s the reason why the use of tap water for cleaning windows gives less than satisfying results.
So how do we get that ultra-pure state?
The answer comes in the form of complex filtration systems which include a multi-stage purification process. Here’s how tap water goes through two main steps to get to the state that’s required by professional window cleaners.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Deionisation (DI)
The first step in the water purification process is reverse osmosis (RO). The water is pushed against a special semipermeable membrane that separates minerals and solid particles from water molecules. That’s how on the other side of the membrane you get pure (90% – 99%) water. And what about the other 1 to 10% of impurities? They are removed with the next step.
The second stage of the process is Deionisation (DI). Although most of the solids are removed in the pre-filtering step, the water still contains some positive and negative ions like Calcium (Ca++), Magnesium (Mg++), Iron (Fe+++), Chlorides (Cl-), Sulfates (SO4–), Carbonates (CO3–) and probably Nitrates (NO3-) as well. These positive cations and negative anions are attracted by the ion exchange resins and what’s left is pure H2O molecules.
What’s so special about this state of water? Well, now that the water is cleared of solids, it becomes a powerful rinsing tool. It binds to the accumulated solids on your windows and removes them. This is the magical moment when your window cleaner, armed with a pure water fed pole is able to bring back the sparkling and crystal clear appearance of your windows.
How does pure water window cleaning work
The combined and accumulated effects of the technology improvement described so far and the stricter legislation in the window cleaning business lead to the proliferation of the water fed pole window cleaning. To summarise the process:
- Professional window cleaners take tap water and store it in a dedicated container inside their vehicle.
- The tap water is passed through various types of purifying systems.
- All solid particles are filtered from the water with reverse osmosis and deionisation.
- The result is pure water ready for cleaning your windows, sills, fascias and whatever’s necessary.
- The pure water runs through a telescopic fed pole, goes out the brush, and onto the window surface.
- The accumulated dirt is agitated and gets out of the window surface.
- A finishing rinse of the window leaves it sparkling, without any visible marks or stains. There’s no need to blot or wipe the window as all that’s left on the glass is H2O molecules that will evaporate.
The advantages of pure water window cleaning
At the end, let’s summarize the benefits you’ll get from pure water window cleaning:
- Safe for your health – no harsh chemicals are used during the process;
- Safe for your property – without the use of any detergents the frames and sills of the windows won’t get damaged or worn out;
- Environmentally friendly – there’s no harmful effect on your garden, plants and trees.
- Spotless results – the cleaning process doesn’t leave any marks or streaks so you can enjoy your bright and shiny window glass.
- Cost effective – it will take longer for dust to accumulate and so your windows will stay clean for longer, too.
Posted in Cleaning Guides
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