We live in a world where chemicals are the most popularly used cleaning materials and the idea of not using them seems to be unconventional. But over time, the industry has realized that cleaning with pure water shows very promising results.
Pure water technology is ideal for businesses and residential/domestic window cleaning applications. Usually water absorbs impurities from the environment and may not be ideal for cleaning. But once this water is passed through a purification system, those impurities are removed. So, the pure water will now readily absorb any impurities it will come into contact with.
Also, when cleaning with pure water, no chemicals or detergents are used. This makes cleaning with pure water viable to clean window frames, fascia, canopies, PVC and other materials that previously may have been discoloured or damaged by chemicals.
To know more about cleaning with pure water, we hosted a webinar with Brian Neilsen, Sales Manager Export, Unger Gmbh Germany and Minar Aliyar, Executive Housekeeper at Grand Mercure and Ibis Styles, Dubai Airport. Here is an excerpt from the webinar!
The science behind cleaning with pure water
In its natural state, water contains certain impurities which it has absorbed from the environment. Therefore, the water needs to be purified before it can be used for cleaning through reverse osmosis and deionization.
Reverse osmosis removes impurities from water by forcing it through a filter. Using pressure to force the water across a membrane, the impurities are left on one side of the membrane and the purified water on the other side.
Deionization removes impurities such as calcium and magnesium and replaces them with hydrogen and hydroxyl, respectively forming pure water.
For purifying water, either one or both of these processes are used. Once the water is 99% pure and all contaminants have been removed, the water can be used for cleaning.
The beauty of using pure water is that when the pure water reaches a surface, it immediately looks out for impurities in order to return to its natural state. To do this, the pure water looks for dirt, dust and other particles to which it can adhere. During rinsing, with no dirt available for the pure water to bond with, the water will simply evaporate to leave a clean, spot-free, streak-free surface.
Which surfaces can be cleaned with pure water?
Pure water is ideally used for cleaning glass, especially windows. Pure water is a popular choice for many window cleaners because of it being a reliable and effective alternative to chemical based solutions.
By the time pure water is used on the windows, it is free from dirt, chemicals and minerals. It is the residue caused by impurities and detergents that attracts grime to the glass in the first place; so, by using pure water, cleaners can ensure that windows will stay cleaner for longer, without a soapy film attracting dirt and gunk to the glass.
Water-fed pole window cleaning system
Water-fed poles are designed to be used with pure water, as no detergent or chemical residue needs to be rinsed off (something that would be tricky with an extendable pole).
The pure water is pumped upwards through the pole, and out onto the window. The pole has a specially designed brush at the end; as the brush loosens the dirt and grime, the pure water washes it away. The system enables window cleaners to reach the top windows on a property, without requiring equipment like abseil systems, access cradles or cherry pickers.
Once your windows have been cleaned with a water-fed pole and pure water, they are left to dry naturally, as there is no soapy residue or water impurities that could form unsightly smears on the newly washed glass. Letting the windows dry by themselves also means that contaminating particles cannot be transferred from the material used to dry the glass.
Other applications of cleaning with pure water
- Facade cleaning
- PV-/Solar system cleaning
- Cleaning of blinds
- Floor cleaning
- Car washing
“In addition to these applications, pure water can be used for laundry as well. Around three years back, there has been a case study which showed that if pure water is used for laundry, it reduces the quantity of detergent and chemicals used and even the temperature does not remain a major issue,” says Minar Aliyar.
Benefits of cleaning with pure water
- Clean and efficient
Pure water gets surfaces remarkably clean by acting as a lubricant that breaks the bond between dirt and the surface, allowing all the contaminants to be rinsed away. Not only does it negate the use of harsh cleaning chemicals, it has also proved to be extremely efficient in terms of labor, cost, and productivity.
- Cost savings
Using a pure water window cleaning system simplifies the entire cleaning process, increases worker safety and eliminates the need for costly lifts and scaffolding. Pure water creates a residue-free glass surface and the time between cleanings can be lengthened—saving both time and money.
- Environmentally friendly
Unlike chemicals and detergents, pure water is eco friendly. In fact, one of the eco-friendliest features of pure water cleaning is that you can often forego using chemical cleaners that can be potentially harmful to the environment and workers.
- Reduced cleaning time
Pure water is different from soft water in terms of cleaning. Pure water cleans glasses and facades easily and reduces the cleaning time. On the contrary, if you are cleaning with chemicals and regular water, the cleaning time is increased because of the process of scrubbing, then rinsing and then cleaning again.
- Sustainable cleaning
Because cleaning with pure water does not involve any chemicals, it is the most sustainable way of cleaning. A large number of organizations are switching to cleaning with pure water because their CSR calls for a sustainable approach to cleaning.
The training aspect
“Cleaning with pure water might sound easy but in reality, it requires thorough professional training. “It requires going onsite and doing the training. There has to be enough demonstration and explanation to the cleaning staff as to why they should be cleaning with pure water and how they should go about it. They also need to be shown the result of cleaning with pure water,” says Brian.
Often, many cleaners use detergents along with pure water even when there is no need to use them. People are used to cleaning with detergents and chemicals and it seems pretty inconceivable to not use them. So proper education about the entire process and technique is the key. Also, when professional cleaners see how much time they save by cleaning with pure water and how much safer it is for their health, they prefer using it instead of the harsh chemicals.
The future of cleaning with pure water
As more facility managers discover the benefits of science-backed pure water cleaning, its popularity is increasingly growing. Pure water cleaning is emerging as the new standard. It delivers the cleanest, safest and most eco-friendly option for interior and exterior cleaning. The use of pure water cleaning is constantly growing into new markets such as solar panels. Before the use of pure water cleaning on solar panels, chemicals found in traditional cleaning solutions deteriorated and damaged its surface, and eventually, negatively impacted the life of the solar panel system. Since pure water is a natural detergent that is free of any chemicals, this worry is eliminated.
This is an excerpt from our webinar, Cleaning with Pure Water. To access the full webinar, click here.