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De-ionized water is just that, isn't it--water without dissolved ions (eg iron, copper, etc etc)--the water itself is unchanged. You could call distilled water an extreme version of de-ionized water. It isn't more reactive or more of a solvent than any other form of water, it just has fewer "impurities" that could spot or leave deposits.
Distillation can lead to impurities. DI water is usually more pure- because anything with higher volatility than H2O will go with the water vapor. Both are as pure as you're liable to be able to tell for home use. Pure water is an incredible solvent- until it's found enough crap to balance it out. It also has a low pH, think acid. That's why your tap water has hardness- it's leached out of the rocks it floats through/over. Concrete floors in a DI plant would be a tasty way to 'quench the hunger.' Metals will too, but not nearly as quick.

I'd agree with PFWiz, except- there are plenty of leftover impurities on the car's surface and in the air that will negate negate the purity. Soap will tend to buffer the water as well, so probably not a huge deal on the corrosion side.

From a cost perspective, if your water is fairly hard (50+ ppm), you're better off with a whole house Softener, then an RO to pull the rest. Way cheaper in the long run, and adds life to your water heater. One caveat- if your house has a soft water loop built in, the exterior bibs are probably NOT included as softened water tends to burn plants.

FWIW.
 

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Thanks for that last part. I'm new to the water softener game.

Picked up a test kit and the water from the fixtures inside show hardly any "hardness" at all. The exterior fixtures are off the scale in the opposite direction.

Needless to say I picked up a hose adapter to attach to the sink in the kitchen.
 

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I haven't read through the replies but adding an ounce of Optimum No Rinse to your car wash soap will soften the water. Wolfgang Uber Rinseless also works for this.

Or stop washing with the hose. I switched to rinseless or Waterless Wash and haven't looked back. Done correctly it works just as well and safe for the paint. No worries about water spots.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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Our water is not only hard but car washing with city water is not allowed. I put a 550gal rain collection under our rear deck and pump it out front thru a 5micron filter.

Washes come out spotless.
 

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Does anyone else wash their car in sections?? On Saturday I modified my normal plan which starts at the front working counter clockwise around the car and drying after washing each section to washing the roof and all windows then working counter clockwise around the car. I also use three buckets one for soap, one for rinse and one for wheels and I wash my cars in the garage no issues with the sun. All in all takes about an hour and a half with no water spots.
 

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I was in submarines. I don't know what DI water will do to paint, but I do know what will happen if you drink that stuff. It was hilarious to watch when we made coffee from it on the midwatch!
 

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The new Adams Wash and Wax car shampoo does a great job of preventing spots. If followed up with detail spray before drying you can even pause to chat with the neighbors.
 

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Just ordered the CR DIC 20 from Costco.

http://www.costco.com/CR-SPOTLESS-De-Ionizing-Spotless-Water-System™.product.11762647.html


$60 bucks off right now, plus you get extras:

Includes:
DIC-20 with in-line TDS meter
(2) 20” cartridges filled with de-ionizing resin
4’ inlet hose (attaches to hose bib)
Nozzle (7 pattern garden sprayer)
Roll of Teflon plumber’s tape
Housing wrench
Quick start guide/warranty card
Bonus: (2) sets quick connects
Bonus: (2) bags of resin (R2-20)


I picked mine up at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KFWVN4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (no tax for this purchase in Texas saved me about $40) And while I've already had to replace the resin ($99 on Amazon), I love not having to spend time drying the car. It means I can spend more time actually washing the car.


 

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I've been using the same resin for a couple of summers now. I recharge it regularly in salt pellets and water container I got from HD.

JAM
 

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Get a one gallon pump sprayer and a gallon bottle of distilled water. Spray it last thing. Cheap and seems to work!
Yes, this works well if water beads on the car. First wash and rinse with tap water. Then finally rinse with distilled water dispensed from a garden type tank sprayer using a jet rather than a mist to replace all beaded water with distilled water. Start from the top and work downward. Car dries beautifully without having to wipe. If you like to wipe the car of any water droplets, please do that too with a clean cloth after using the distilled water final rinse. That's what I do. It tends to polish the wax coating a bit and enhance the shine.
 

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I've moved to waterless washing with Chemical Guys EcoSmart. I love the stuff.
 

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Just to clear up some information here... home water softeners will NOT make for a spot free wash. Yes, the resin in the water softener will remove calcium and magnesium but will NOT lower the total number of dissolved solids at the output of the unit. What do home water softeners use to remove these impurities? resin. when the resin has "filled" up with these impurities, the unit goes through a "regenerate" cycle, and you know that big tub of SALT that sits next to it? That's right... NaCl (sodium chloride). This chloride solution rinses the resin in the water softener to "recharge" the resin and allow it to then attach to the magnesium and calcium that will flow over the resin again. for those who don't want to have salt (rust causing evil cubes from ****), you CAN get Potassium chloride (KCl) instead of using regular salt, but we are talking $20 for a 40lb bag when regular salt is $6.50 for a 40lb bag.

I have VERY hard water here in Phoenix, AZ and measure about 650-700 TDS going into my home water softener... and the SAME high number on the output. Yes, I measure it with live monitors... The only way to remove the dissolved solids (including the newly introduced SALT from the regen cycle) is to go through an RO or DI system. RO is cheaper per gallon, will get out 97% or more of the TDS, but slow to filter, needs a drain line, etc... hence the popular choice to go with a CR Spotless or other DI solution for car washing. These DI resins are very strong and can take a very high amount of TDS input and output 0 TDS as long as you stay within 2.5 gallons per minute or so flow. It is very common to use a pressure washer to limit flow to allow the DI to filter the input water, and also increase efficiency with the water as it blasts through the pressure washer. win win

What do I do here in phoenix for my own car washing? well I use an RO system to make gallons jugs of water and then use ONR (optimum no rinse) for most of my (rinseless) washes. for dirtier cars, I have a CR spotless system that connects to a pressure washer. Due to my high TDS I go through resin fast, so I try to do as much ONR washes as I can to avoid the $50 resin recharge on the DI system.

TL;DR water softeners will not make for a spot free rinse. DI resin is safe, and the best way to wash cars when you live in a place with terrible water (phoenix, some places in nevada, some places in california, well water, etc)
 

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Discussion Starter #60
I ended up being able to use a DI tank while I was in California. It was basically a big version of the CR Spotless systems. It was worth every penny. Before I had the tank no matter how hard I tried to dry the car completely I always missed a spot and you could tell. With the DI tank it was no big deal. I did by a TDS meter and my well water was in the 250ppm range and was always 0 coming out of the tank.
I no longer have the tank but the spot I'm at in Oregon uses the River for city water and it's always tested under 25ppm and I have not had any spotting issues like I did in California.
 
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