Cleaning glass with a razor blade?

My wife cleans our glass shower stall with a razor blade. I googled and found that it can scratch the glass.

I can’t find an answer to two questions…

  1. Do the scratches hurt the glass, or is it just a matter of not looking as good?
  2. Since she done this repeatedly, perhaps all manufacturing debris is gone, and continuing to do it won’t hurt. Is that right?


BTW, I didn’t realize until now that window glass was tempered. How long has that been? Would the glass in my 10 year old Andersen windows be tempered?

Never heard of “cleaning” glass using a scraper.

That’s nuts


The scratch itself will not hurt the glass. I am a glazier and I install glass showers daily.

I have read about people saying you can’t use a razor blade on tempered glass…that blows my mind. We use them daily. Tempered or not tempered. If the blade is in good condition and held at a proper angle, it is perfectly safe and nothing will be scratched(keeping it wet is always good).

Integrity is still intact. Tempered glass can get chipd (shells) in it and it is still fine. We even sand it down at times(with in limitation. It can pop if you take too much off)

So your a glazier who just flat out ignores GANA care instructions.
Scratches on tempered glass from a poor quality surface are REAL even with a brand new blade with correct angle, you will not know the surface is of poor quality until you use a scraper and it scratches.


Obviously they are real but it doesn’t happen unless you are holding the blade wrong.
I have worked for 3 glass companies…thats a lot of people who “ignore” care instructions. We wouldn’t do it, if it isn’t safe. We have used them on curtain wall panels and residential panels.

I have installed ±3000 glass showers and have gone through thousands of razor blades. Quality and consistency has always been #1.

Experience tells me and every one at these 3 places, that yes you can use a blade and yes, if it scratches or chips, the glass integrity will be fine.

Hear that guys everyone is doing it wrong, FD and poor surfaces is a lie the last 15 years of scratch issues its all on the window cleaners who don’t know how to use a blade…

You might wanna use the search function and see how many posts their are about scratched tempered glass, or better yet google it the glass industry as a whole are aware of it and have changed their care instructions to tempered glass back in 2015. So now we have the International Window Cleaners Association and the Glass Association of North America advice is incorrect and we should listen to @GlassMD instead.

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Is it fair to say, that it may or may not scratch the glass, but it do any damage beyond appearances?

In my experience, there has never been a piece blow or cause any issue due to a scratch. Like I was saying, we even sand edges down after it’s been tempered. And yes this is all based off of my 12 years of raxor blading glass. I may not be “technically correct” and i may not be right but its how we do things around here…every single glazier i have met in this area. But Like @Steve076 suggests—dont listen to me.

@Steve076 if you weren’t such a smart ass, and scared to use a tool, i would be more than happy to teach you.

I’ve noticed even in old threads that the razor vs don’t razor issue always seems to get heated quickly.

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Either you feel comfortable using one or you dont.

So I’m a smart ass for contradicting what you were saying, when your advise literally contradicts EVERYTHING that has ever been posted about fabrication debris.

I’m not scared to use a scraper, I don’t need to be taught as I have been cleaning windows as a commercial window cleaner for 20years and have used blades on at least a million panes of glass and am quite aware of how to use a blade and when to use and not use a blade.

I may be in the minority here… but I use razors on tempered glass all the time and never have any issues (knock on wood).

It’s a gentle glide at a low (?) angle. I’ve seen some window cleaners hold the razor at almost a 45 degree angle on dry glass and go to town - they end up scratching it. It’s like they don’t have any common sense or don’t care, I dunno… I know when I do it ,it’s like making love to glass… I’m very careful and considerate, very tender and loving and the glass rewards me with a bright shiny smile. :blush:

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Seeing as how I install shower stalls, like the question is about and I have the experience with that, I think I’ll go with it’s fine that his wife used a blade. Considering i use them daily.

Now, wether you “should” or “shouldn’t” is a different question. Yes it can scratch the glass, but will it? Most likely not.

If you feel that is stupid than don’t do it. But seriously…i have worked with 20-40 different glaziers and we all use it.

And these showers aren’t cheap. Don’t you think the companies I work for would be broke from all the customer complaints? Scratches on glass from other pieces of glass occur way more than a raxor blade scratch. That rarely ever happens. Maybe when we cut a gasket and use the corner of the blade and dig.

Sounds like more than a lot of experience. There must be a variable we are not aware of. Perhaps you always deal with glass that does not have fabricated debris on it? I doubt this is the case. Some companies like Anderson do an excellent job and their glass is not prone to scratching Perhaps a lighter touch is the answer? Classic blading performed by old school window cleaners is fast and AGGRESSIVE.

Wouldn’t it be great if “technique” is the answer.


Fabricated debris is real. Here’s an oldie but goody.


Now I guess your a new window cleaner? How bout this. Go ahead and blade every piece of glass you come in contact with for the next month. Report back your results.

Does soap and water prevent scratches?


Most glass doesn’t have fabricated debris on it. I bet he’ll be fine if it’s only a month. It’s my understanding that you can be “lucky” for years.

You can also be unlucky. After you test the glass and determine that it’s safe to clean this type of window with a razor you go to work on the glass. Every thing is fine until you get to the twentieth piece that was made on a different day. Surprise Surprise :open_mouth:


Do banged up razors scratch glass?

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He could get lucky. I could get run over by a bus today too.