Abrasion for abrasives

It’s probably my German genes driving me in the relentless pursuit of perfection again, but here’s my gripe with abrasives:

Steel wool - very good at removing stuff, but breaks down fast, the dust is annoying, and so is the rust (which can scratch glass).

Bronze wool - good but not great at removing stuff, breaks down fast (it turns into a tiny clump just as quickly as steel wool), the dust is annoying but slightly less than steel wool, but no rust.

Synthetic steel wool, i.e. white scrub pad - so-so at removing stuff, lasts long, no dust, no rust.

Razor - superb at removing stuff (is it just me or do windows look more like new when you scrape them?), but risk of scratching glass, cutting seals.

I guess, like with soap, it’s all about compromises, and yet i want the perfect solution. Has anyone found it?

Right now i wet the window, scrub with white pad, squeegee, remove anything that remained with bronze wool (or scrim if it’s minor). Since I’m already scrubbing once, i don’t want there to be specs left after, except occasionally. And i hate how much time and elbow grease the bronze wool requires since it’s not as abrasive as steel wool.

What are you guys’ thoughts on all this?

(Oh and i don’t want this to turn into an argument about scratching glass with razors as in other threads. I’ve made the executive decision to only razor when absolutely necessary, but not every window.)

Despite it’s flaws I like steel wool the best.
I also have some blue 3m pads which work better than white pads.


I just bought a case of those after seeing @Infinity using them. As dumb as it sounds, I’ve been scared to use them lol

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We use the same process and detail the edges if need be. If more work is needed we adjust the process.

Remember our "B’ work is a customers “A+” work. Customers look through the glass, we look at the glass.


Just do it! lol

I would rate the blue pads somewhere between bronze wool and the white pads, but closer to the bronze wool on that scale.

I use the blue pads on 99% of the non-maintenance cleans I do. I use my razor for anything the blue pads can’t remove. I’ll break out the bronze wool for any time there’s junk on tempered glass that won’t come off with the scrub pads.

I don’t even keep steel wool in the vehicle anymore- it would always rust before I ever got around to using it.


So the bluepad is non-scratch guaranteed? I thought it grind a little.
I see the good thing also that you can cover so much more in a faster time with a pad than a piece of steel wool.
I’m just so freaking nervous to scratch the glass. People with new windows can be like hawks behind you and accuse for anything.


Get some cheap mirrors at the local dollar/bargain store (make sure it’s really glass) and test it out for yourself. Mirrors will show scratches much more than just regular window glass.

I have no reservations with the blue pads on glass. Except I won’t use it on plexiglass/lexan or near wood frames with sensitive paint. Tint and other aftermarket coatings would be good to stay away from, as well.


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Well said.

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For some reason, it seems like the steel wool bought in rolls from window supply companies (wcr, abc, etc.) last longer before rusting than stuff purchased from home depot. Those are nice because you can tear it off in any size. If I’ll only need it on a few windows, I can rip off a small piece. If I’m going to be cleaning a lot of glass with it, it can be ripped into very large pieces (2-3x the size of a piece out of a bag from home depot). Goes much faster

they’re all more tools in the toolbox, perfect for one thing, not so good at another

white pads are a waste of time in my opinion, love the blue pads

but, plenty of situations its gotta be steel wool (00 is way better and faster than 0000 )

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I thought steel wool had to be 0000 or it will scratch.

In 20 years of full time window cleaning I have never had an issue with 000 wool but some guys claim it can scratch. I’ve never seen it and 000 cuts through the grime better. Anything higher than 000 will scratch.

Even #0000 steel wool can scratch glass.

With something lodged in it a microfiber towel can scratch glass. How do you figure?

Ive experienced it first hand with new #0000 steel wool in my own hand, fine micro scratchs seen in direct sun light.
I still use steel wool, just more cautious now.


Im not saying your wrong as not to be disrespectful, but I would have to wager that either the scratches were there before but you didn’t see them until after you clean it or there was something lodged in the wool. Respectfully I have never seen it even with 000 wool.

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I believe the rust can cause scratches too.

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In this case I know for sure they were not there before the incident. But it was a simple fix. :wink:

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I figured a quick reply was coming. Lol



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