DIY DI H20 for Window Cleaning


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Old 06-04-21, 09:22 PM
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DIY DI H20 for Window Cleaning

I live on the 25th floor of my building, so it's tough for me to squeegee my windows every time the birds take target practice... I was talking to some guys doing windowwashing on a building down the street, and they were evangelizing the "black magic" of just using a scrub brush and de-ionized (DI) water.

Here's the thing - I know I can buy DI water, but it's like $12 a gallon, and that seems like it will add up really fast. I've tried looking online for systems to make my own, but I'm not having an easy time figuring out what I need. (I'm neither an engineer nor a chemist).

I see lots of under-sink reverse-osmosis and 99.9% filtration systems, but I don't know that 99.9 percent filtration is what I want - I believe I want the RO to filter the crap out of the water, but want to actually change the charge(s) of the water itself, right? (Isn't that the black magic part?)

An under-counter system isn't ideal (I rent my place). I was kind of hoping I'd find something like a "home brew" kit where I can fill a tank from the sink! I have found things like this Car Wash Filter system , but that needs a garden hose hookup. I suppose I could jury-rig a connection in my apartment. This would lack the pressure of a garden hose, probably - would that be a problem, does anyone know?

And, you know, if I could keep it to a few hundred bucks, that would be great.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions and / or experience? Thanks!!

 
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Old 06-05-21, 02:57 AM
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Simply removing the minerals and other contaminates from water will get you much of what you want. Then there is distilled water. With either the water will mostly evaporate away without leaving water spots. Since you have a budget of a couple hundred dollars and a RO system costs about that I'd say the decision is almost made for you since that first step alone will consume your budget. Or, you can just buy a few jugs of distilled and call it a day. Either way I would not attempt the expense of manufacturing your own DI water without first experimenting to see if it's worth the effort.

I used to use DI water for electronics washing but in the very beginning triple distilled water was used. They were both great for final rinsing as no residue was left behind. The water was surprisingly corrosive though so everything was made of stainless steel. The main reason DI water was chosen was because we could easily filter it to make our own on site while triple distilled was a more expensive process but both were nearly identical waters.

If you order DI water to experiment with I would only get if it's in a glass or stainless steel container as it can even pull ions from plastic. I remember we had contamination problems with it pulling ions out of PVC piping when left in the pipes over weekends and holiday. But, if you can get a gallon or two from your local window washing company to try you should be able to store it for a short period without it degrading too much. Still, I'd start with distilled water and see how you like it.
 
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Old 06-07-21, 11:41 AM
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Thanks. That's interesting that the plastic container is no good, given that so much is sold in plastic jugs!

My concern with the RO "system" is I have to install it in my plumbing, and I'm sure my building management won't be down with that.

Also, with buying it a gallon at a time - I am sure I will waste a LOT of water, since I will be most likely hanging out one window with a deck sprayer and a scrub brush with crappy leverage/weak pressure as I reach around to try to spot clean... So I figured even in the short term, brewing my own would be cheaper / less frustrating...
 
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Old 06-07-21, 01:57 PM
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I would just use regular water. There are streak free surfactants and some cleaners that have it in the mix. It's like sheeting agent for your dishwasher and helps prevent spots.
 
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Old 06-07-21, 02:21 PM
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I haven't had good luck with water - I've also tried with ammonia. Ended up spotting and streaking.

Another concern I just thought of - if I only do part of the window, I'll have the opposite effect - rain/dust spots where I DIDN"T clean. Well, it will still be better than bird poop!

Good call on surfactant - I paid my way through school washing dishes, so I"m familiar (even if I don't understand how they work). Any suggestions?
 
 

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