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Hands-On: Ionic Clean

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Washing your motorhome takes a lot of physical energy, especially if you have to contend with hard water.

Unless you can find a place where the sun doesn’t dry the surface before you get a chance to wipe it down, spotting can be an endless battle. That’s why professional detailers bring their own deionized water rather than chance the hardness of the water at the nearest faucet.

HomeRight, a company that markets a number of home and automotive maintenance products, has introduced the Ionic Clean, a portable device that deionizes the water using a special filter. According to the company, the process of removing minerals and impurities is achieved through a positive and negative ionic exchange process. Basically, this is a scientific way of saying it’s supposed to remove water spotting.

Ionic Clean consists of a relatively compact filtration unit contained in a serviceable plastic housing, connected to 20 feet of hose and ready for toting around the motorhome. Also included in the washing system is a telescoping brush pole capable of reaching up to 64 inches, a brush, all the necessary valves and fittings, plus a filter-life tester.

Using Ionic Clean is almost as simple as using an average garden hose. The first step involves assembling the telescoping pole with the brush and on/off water valve. From here it’s a matter of removing the factory-installed plug from the filter housing and replacing it with the quick-connect fitting. Then, just attach the pole and water hose and it’s ready to go. Once hooked up to the water source, simply choose the di, bypass or off via the selector knob. In order for the filter to do its job correctly, at least 10 seconds of flow should be allowed after choosing a setting.

Beyond these few steps, it is a good idea to periodically check the condition of the water using the included filter-life tester, validating the filter quality.

The Ionic Clean is an ideal filtration system for those who may be traveling from city to city and wish to keep up the good looks of their motorhome without worrying about water hardness.

It does a good job of eliminating water spotting but there’s a financial downside to having this convenience. The replaceable filter, which retails for $49, has a short lifespan when used with very hard water. For example, you’ll exhaust the filter’s ability to deionize water after 23 gallons are filtered or only 35 minutes if the water is exceptionally hard (400 ppm on the grain scale). Figure on about twice the gallonage and output time in areas with moderately hard water (200 ppm) although that still severely limits the life of the filter if you’re washing a big coach.

So you’ll have to use this system very judiciously, making sure to prewash and soap the motorhome using the system on bypass – leaving the deionized water for final rinsing.

The kit retails for $249, but I was able to find it online for $199. While it’s not the least expensive way to fight hard water and water spotting, it does improve the result of washing your motorhome.

HomeRight, 800-264-5442, www.homeright.com.

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