My Lack Of Success With Aggresive Cleaning Methods (Hard Water, Masonry)

Because 80% of my work since I started my business has been recurring commercial-storefront and restaurants, I have not had to deal with as much of the difficult part of the job of window cleaning. In particular, I have had poor success with hard water removal in my past 7 years, so I’m starting this thread with lots of ?'s feel free to chime in on what you know about and skip what you don’t. My biggest frustration is that many people I ask for help are more concerned about liability, so that I can’t get a straight answer on an actual working process:

[B]1) CC550 -[/B] Was told by my former boss when working for him to use it (7 years ago) and turned some residential windows purple. The worst part is I had masonry on the window I assumed it would soften. It didn’t soften the masonry, Now there are normal spots in the glass where the cement was and the main window is purple.
~ I will never use this product again as I feel is too dangerous, but…
~ I still have this client in my business, the glass is still purple. Can I remove this purple tin etch hazing with my new JFlint machine?

[B]2) SafeRestore/OneRestore -[/B] I have confusion about how safe this is and how to use it, most videos show people slinging it around like it’s tap-water, which I don’t believe i’m ever going to do. I tried being careful and using a microfiber towel to apply it and it seemed to do more harm to the glass than when I sprayed it on, which I assume is why people say never to let the product dry on the glass. When I broke down and sprayed it on the next pane as I saw people on youtube do it, and let it dwell for only 30 seconds before cleaning it off, I found a bit of condensation between the panes near where I sprayed the product. I assume the product got behind the glass and ruined the seal (I had also sprayed the frames as they were had mineral deposits, too).
~ People always say not to let it dry. Why should you not let it dry? It seems like it would be more damaging wet/active.
~ If it’s so easy to ruin seals, why use it in the manner people do on the instructional videos you find on youtube?
~ Are my problems with this product a common occurrence?

[B]3) A1 Mineral Deposit Remover -[/B] Didn’t seem to do as good of a job as my steel wool and left a messier cleanup.
~ Can I use this with my Jflint, just so I don’t have to throw it out unused?

[B]4) Nano Ultra Stain Remover -[/B] Seemed to be the same product as A1 but with a different solvent in it, but I couldn’t use it in similar circumstances. A1 worked fine on my favorite sprinkler-soaked mirror-coated windows, but when I tested the Nano-Ultra in a small corner, it left a bit of a haze.
~ the hydrophilic coating didn’t work well-enough to justify applying it again.

[B]5) Steel Wool (0000) -[/B] Works the best for me, but takes forever

[B]6) Razor Blade 6" -[/B] Works good to get the grittiest mineral deposits, but I have to switch to 0000 steel wool to finish the job every time. You go thru a lot of blades, and I have one customer with mirror-coated glass that gets nailed by their sprinklers on the regular. The razor blade has left a scratch or two on some of the worst panes that required me to be aggressive.

[B]7) J-Flint System.[/B] Just bought this on Thursday, received in the mail today, I’ll be testing this machine this week to see if it will be my hard-water savior or not.

Despite all the whining above, here is what I do to moderate, but not spectacular success. Is this similar to what you do?

  1. Wash the window and squeegee
  2. Re-Wet window, scrape with fresh blade.
  3. Wet window again, scrape one more time.
  4. Polish any bits of mineral deposits left over with 0000 steel wool.

I’ve found dwell time to be the most important factor for chemical products. Doing it when it’s cooler or in the shade will help you loads. Razor blades come in different sizes - going smaller will help you for tougher residue. I don’t use steel wool anymore - too time consuming.

Have you tried using tape to mask the corners of the window so it doesn’t seep in and destroy the seal on glass? It’s an idea i’ve had, but haven’t tried.

So far I’m having good luck with Sheer Glass. You can use a cloth, steel/bronze wool or machine polisher to appy it and buff it out.
Sheer Glass - Stain Removers - Soaps / Chemicals

basic technique:
[video]Another damaged window turned new - YouTube

Architectural building restoration (ABR) and a polisher be it foam or felt will take off the purple. I’ve done it. CC550, don’t use it, if one restore wont take it off neither will 550. Apply in shade or on cool glass, don’t let it dry, it will streak if you do. A1 works great with a polisher, Nano ok, the sealer I don’t use. Go hydrophilic on HW stains not hydrophobic. I’ve never used razor blades for HW stains, ineffective. I don’t use Flints system but it’ll work better than doing it by hand.

  1. SafeRestore/OneRestore - I have confusion about how safe this is and how to use it, most videos show people slinging it around like it’s tap-water, which I don’t believe i’m ever going to do. I tried being careful and using a microfiber towel to apply it and it seemed to do more harm to the glass than when I sprayed it on, which I assume is why people say never to let the product dry on the glass. When I broke down and sprayed it on the next pane as I saw people on youtube do it, and let it dwell for only 30 seconds before cleaning it off, I found a bit of condensation between the panes near where I sprayed the product. I assume the product got behind the glass and ruined the seal (I had also sprayed the frames as they were had mineral deposits, too).
    ~ People always say not to let it dry. Why should you not let it dry? It seems like it would be more damaging wet/active.
    ~ If it’s so easy to ruin seals, why use it in the manner people do on the instructional videos you find on youtube?
    ~ Are my problems with this product a common occurrence?

[SIZE=3]Been using Safe/One Restore for a number of years now.

Found that it works on most stains.

Use it on first cleans on the outside all the time with great results.

Builders cleans use it to break down cement or concrete off glass and frames.

Even cleaning scum off shower doors.

Found that when you using the right dilution, you can use it on many surfaces.IMO

Of cause everyone has there way of using Safe/ One Restore.

//youtu.be/BcnQovquAYo

[/SIZE]

Safe/one Restore is a good tool in the box. It will do most jobs safely. CC 550 is a big gun. It is a “last resort” type chemical. It is also very dangerous to handle and never, never, never, EVER use it without PPE. The fumes are toxic to breath and it will damage bone if handled without gloves…and I recommend Nitrile.

When you say the seal… you mean the rubber seal or silicon?
Nope, I’ll use a big cloth at the base for 550 (& bag it & throw it after), but I think the seals are more resilient than you think with your general mineral removers. Dilution rate & dwell time are big factors in removing deposits. Testing in inconspicuous areas also advised before going the whole hog. Condensation inside panes have nothing to do with mineral removers, don’t let anyone tell you different.

Nice blog to follow to know about window cleaning process. Folllow the link “http://pressurewashingmichigan.com/”->Pressure Cleaning Michigan.

Is One Restore harmful to seals on the windows? Skin?

Skin, absolutely. Not sure about seals. I haven’t had any issues. Maybe if you left it on there and didn’t wash it off.

John K Wyatt
All Washed Up Tulsa

I never leave any thing on too long even soap. (a little anal that way). What gloves do you use? Not really sure what to charge the guy either as of yet. 10 windows 3 x 8+ with 3 x 3 panel leaning in over top.

Never had an issue with the seals. I pre-wet stuff I don’t want it to come into direct contact with and rinse immediately

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I will have to pole the smaller panes because of the way they are positioned. Do you attach a white scrubber pad to the scrubber to apply? Never used the stuff before and need an easy app/easy clean off way to do it on a ladder.

I’d use the wash pad on the unger speed clean kit, it will hold more product.

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Don’t take my word for it, because I have yet to do HW restoration, but I think I might charge $30 per 3x8 and $15 for 3x3. $450 total. Ahh, make it an even $500!!

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I was thinking in the range of $30 each. Ladder, hard to reach top panes, extra sauce to get windows cleaned.

This^ I “like” the way its put.

Well, the guy is getting the place ready to sell so I don’t think he is looking to put a lot of $$$ into 10 window sets.