The detailing dos & don’ts of deionisation.
According to both the instruction booklet and the SVR’s owner I’d be undertaking this test in a hard water area and this, coupled with the fact I’d intentionally chosen a hot sunny day in which to do it meant that the Aqua Gleam certainly had it’s work cut out.
Setting up the filter is a pretty straight forward affair using the supplied hose couplings and once connected to an outside tap, in theory at least you should have pure, deionised water at the ready.
In order to ensure you get as much life out of a filter like this as possible it’s sensible to only hook it up for the final rinse but to give this one the best shot at providing a spotless finish as I’d most likely be allowing water to dry on the surface while faffing around with the camera throughout the day, plus the fact I’m not sensible, I used filtered water for every part of the process including the wash itself.
The ‘Rangey’ was pretty clean and presentable to begin with so there were no before shots captured here I’m afraid but to be fair that’s not what this video was about, my focus was whether I could get away with not having to towel dry the car after rinsing it off in the direct summer sun.
Before wetting anything with purified water though, the two-tonne ‘super-SUV’ had to be lifted from it’s slammed stationary street stance so I could get at the innermost arch areas during the wash process.
Ride height adjusted and side steps deployed then it was time to blanket the Estoril Blue beast with some thick snowy suds to loosen up what light contaminants there were sitting on the surface. It was then left to soak for a minute or two in the sun before being rinsed off with the de-ionised water for the first time.
The whopping 22-inch polished wheels and beefy 6 pot Brembo brake callipers were then given a clean using a diluted wheel cleaner, a few different soft bristled brushes, a gentle bodywork shampoo and a demoted wash mitt.
Now I’m sure you’ve seen my general wheel cleaning routine many times before so I’ll spare you the tedium of being unnecessarily walked through every aspect of it and instead just assure you that all areas were given a good going over.
With the wheels out of the way then it was on to the bulky body. I grabbed a trusty soft synthetic mitt and gently washed over the various dynamic details of the SVR with the de-ionised suds, safe in the knowledge that if they did happen dry on the surface it was no big deal.
The more I got to know the 540bhp supercharged beast as I bathed it the more I grew to like it, surmising that it would make the ultimate detailing wagon, especially in this squeaky-clean ‘Guru’ Blue!
Once washed the car was throughly rinsed off in the usual manner using the pure water to eliminate all of the suds and ensure that if there were any marks or spots left inflicting the finish at the end of the day, then they certainly wouldn’t be caused by stubborn shampoo residue.
Following the thorough pressure rinse I uncoupled the Kranzle and gave the car a final drench with the hose to try and remove as much standing water from its surfaces as possible.
Now admittedly this wasn’t a real open-ended hose rinse in the true sense of the term as the pressure was a little too strong and the surfaces weren’t adequately protected in order to sufficiently sheet the water off, still, it was worth the extra few minutes of work if it meant there might be slightly less of it drying in the sun.
By the time I’d finished rinsing off the final panels of the SVR then the ones exposed to the sun were beginning to dry and to my utter dismay I could clearly see that despite my best efforts, the car was covered in fresh water spots that were now beginning to bake onto the expensive body – brilliant.
Obviously I needed to try and capture this mess for all to see but at the same time I didn’t want to let it sit in the sun for too long so quickly grabbed the camera for a few handheld shots to show the extent of the spotting, which the owner confirmed was far worse than it had ever been under his watch.
Now I’m not entirely sure what went wrong here but I reckon I may well have managed to fully exhaust the filter in a single sitting. Either that or this area is as hard as nails and only a 0ppm filter would have been enough to give a true spotless finish.
It was all quite frustrating really as I’d initially wanted to use a 0ppm one for the sake of accuracy and to avoid anything like this happening but had to settle for a 30ppm which obviously ended up costing me both time and money in the long run.
In hindsight a TDS meter probably would have helped to clarify or even avoid the situation (as well as make the video a little more interesting for you) but as I’d already forked out sixty quid on the filter to feature for one video only I wasn’t in a hurry to hand over another sixty for one of those I’d probably never use again either.
So after plenty of cursing and kicking around of buckets then I had to summon the energy start over and give the piping hot SVR one last wash to hopefully remove the fresh water spotting and as I’m sure you’ll appreciate I just couldn’t face filming it all again. I was also suitably peeved at this point that I didn’t even bother with the filter and just washed as I know how; with water, from the tap, which thankfully seemed to work.
Breathing a big sigh of relief then I proceeded to grab some final after shots to show the improvement. Of course there were still a few light spots present here and there but it was impossible for me to tell if they were from today’s fiasco or from previous unfiltered washes. Being a relatively new and well maintained car though I was confident these would lift off with ease if the owner ever wanted to go down that route.
Here in the UK at least, for the domestic car cleaner these particular Aqua Gleam filters are really the only option if you want pure water for washing. When they work, or more accurately when used sensibly they can save you time and potentially some spots if that’s what you’re after, however if you genuinely enjoy the car cleaning process then cutting out a large part of it also does away with some of the enjoyment as drying a slick, well maintained car can be an incredibly satisfying experience in my opinion and provided it’s done properly, technically shouldn’t inflict any damage.
I’d say if you’re thinking of investing in a filter like this for spotless rinsing, regardless of where you live then opt for a 0ppm version if you can find one as it’s better to be safe than sorry. Yes, they tend to be a little bit more expensive and generally don’t last as long but if you go for a less pure type and it still spots then you’ve wasted all your money as opposed to just the few extra quid spent on the more expensive model.
Despite the earlier water spotting fail the SVR still scrubbed up well with a normal hard water wash and its metallic blue paintwork and contrasting gloss black plastics were now nicely glowing in the late afternoon sun. The aim of this video remember was to find out whether or not I’d need to towel dry the car and I certainly discovered the answer to that so I suppose in that respect, it could be considered a success.