Window Cleaning Methods For Different Glass Types

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When cleaning windows it is important to take into consideration the particular type of glass used before choosing the specific cleaning method, tools, and cleaning materials that will accomplish the task successfully without damaging the surface. In addition to general cleaning methods for glass, there are specific recommendations when dealing with specialized glass that requires different cleaning solutions and methods. Where specialized glass is used in a home it is best to leave to professional window cleaners who have the knowledge, experience, and equipment needed for the cleaning of these windows.

Hand Cleaning for Specialist Glass

Single-glazed coated glass like KlymetShield is specialist glass that requires extra care when cleaning. The non-coated surface can be cleaned by using the above recommendations, but the coated side cleans differently. The recommended glass cleaner is Windex Colourless Multi-surface Cleaner or a homemade solution of one part of vinegar to ten parts of water. Ammonia or alcohol-based solutions are not recommended for use on specialist glass. Never use any harsh tools like blades or abrasive materials such as steel wool or scouring pads to remove stubborn stains from a coated surface.

DecorSafe™, ColorSmart™, ThermoColour™

These specialized glass products have coated/painted surfaces which are very robust and durable. They require care whilst cleaning to avoid damage to the coated surface. A few drops of methylated spirits sparingly applied with a clean, damp, lint-free cloth will clean the coated surface and remove all streaks. Do not attempt to clean coated surfaces in direct sunlight or when it’s very hot as the solution will dry prematurely, leaving stains and streaks.

Uncoated Annealed, Laminated, Heat Treated, and Textured glass.

Toughened or heat strengthened glass needs special attention.  Often these types of glass will have ‘pick-up’ printed on the opposite side of the surface that contains the standards compliance logo. This pick-up is hardly detectable to the human eye, but it is most important not to disturb any pickup that may be present when cleaning the surface. The use of harsh equipment like blades or scalpels will smear these micro deposits across the surface of the heat-treated glass and permanently damage the surface. Use a glass cleaning solution like Windex or a vinegar-based solution with a clean, lint-free cloth. Rinse the cloth regularly to remove any grit and gently wipe the glass with a soft dry cloth to prevent streaking. Do not use any solution that contains phosphoric acid or hydrofluoric acid as it will permanently damage the surface of this type of glass. Do not allow any strong cleaning solutions to touch the edges of laminated glass.

Professional window cleaners use equipment consistent with the type of glass being cleaned. These methods should never be used by the inexperienced as the wrong method could potentially leave permanent scratches. Any type of glass can be damaged by improper cleaning methods. As a rule, avoid any sharp, hard, or rough objects contacting the surface of the glass. Always ensure that all tools like squeegees and cloths are in good condition to prevent scratching the glass. If in doubt, call an expert out.