Cleaning Low E Glass Without Damaging It
As window cleaners, we are required to continually work with glass suppliers to ensure we are up to date with the latest glass technology. One type of glass which is becoming increasingly common in Sydney homes is Low E Glass.
It’s made the same as standard glass but has a thin metallic oxide film fused to one side of the (usually facing inside) and this can be an inexperienced window cleaners worst nightmare.
The glass was originally used in commercial office buildings due to it’s ability to increase energy efficiency (reduces heat loss) and is starting to become a popular choice for residential setting (especially new homes built in Sydney’s North Shore) due to it’s ability to reduce the amount of UV rays, heat and glare coming into the home when compared to standard glass.
The outside of Low E Glass can be cleaned like standard glass (eg. Squeegee) but the insides requires special care due to the metallic oxide coating –
DO NOT use the following things on the metallic oxide coating –
- Abrasive Cleaners
- Ammonia based products
- Powder based cleaners
- Alcohol based products
- Harsh Alkali or acid based cleaners (unless under special circumstances outlined below)
- Scrapers, Blades or Squeegees
- Metal based objects like scourers
Follow this process for to remove dust and fingerprints.
- Plain water
- Water with a little dish detergent (soapy water)
- 10:1 Water to Vinegar Solution
- Use a spray bottle filled with water and spray generous amount onto the glass from top to bottom removing dust and dirt particles
- Fill another spray bottle with soapy water (dish detergent and water) and spray down the glass with it
- The 10:1 water to vinegar solution can be used instead of the soapy water if you have stubborn stains
- Rinse with a generous amount of plain water
- Remove excess water with a lint free cloth – The trick to having streak free Low E Glass is to leave a thin film of moisture on the glass after cleaning leaving it to evaporate (ensure it’s just a thin film, no drips!)
Spot Cleaning for Stubborn Stains
The following products can be used safely on stains which can’t be removed after routine cleaning –
- Denatured Alcohol
- Mineral Turpentine
- Wet a corner of a lint free cloth with one of the above solvents
- Use the cloth and gently rub the stain out – Be cautious of any painted surfaces which could react negatively to the solvents
Removing Scratch / Stains from Metal
Never allow the low E coating to come into contact with metallic objects (blades, watches, rings, scourers etc) as it can leave behind deposits which show up on the glass as stains or scratches.
The following solution can be used to remove staining caused by contact with metal objects –
- 99:1 Water and hydrochoric acid (for safety, ensure you add acid to water and not the other way round)
- Wet lint free cloth with some of the acid solution
- Gently try to rub the stain out
Simpo cleaning works with builders and glass suppliers on a regular basis, in fact they hire us to clean all their windows during the post builders clean.