? on cleaning Tempered glass on french doors

I have a new construction clean coming up. I have done dozens of them over the years. But this one has french doors that are $2500 each.
The builder asked me how i planned to get the stain off of the glass.
The glass had the plastic on top, but the stain remains along the edges.
I typically just use a blade along the edges and #0000 wool with a really wet solution.
About 5 years ago i had to buy a set of doors, but they were only $250. That is when i learned how easy it is to scratch tempered glass.

How can i get that stain off the glass with no chance of scratching the glass and without affecting the wood??

Thanks to all! This forum has been a real source of encouragement and good counsel!

Learn about fabricating debris. Use a Tempered and Heat Strengthend glass waiver, you can find a a copy on IWCA.org’s website. Educate yourself about fabricating debris, and then educate the builder. Don’t do the job if he doesn’t sign the waiver!

Once the waiver is signed, you can clean them as you stated. A new blade (no rust), steel wool and plenty of soapy water.

Out of curiosity, who is the temperor? It ‘should’ be stated on the tempering stamp in a corner of the glass.

When cleaning the stain of the glass, you’ll usually find that the stain is mostly around the wooden frames. I will use a smaller 1 inch (maybe it’s 1.5 inchs?) razor to remove most of the stain, and then use a regular 6 inch blade to catch everything in the middle and do one final pass.

The reason being is you’ll find that a 6 inch blade, with tons of stain on the glass, may be somewhat hard to control. The blade may mar or scratch the edge of the wooded frame. I’ve found a smaller blade to be easier to control when doing that kind of work. You will need to change the blade out often, I change it out about every two panes because they don’t hold an edge, but they’re cheap.

As Micah said you need to make sure you’ve got all the facts about FD. Get the waiver signed and realize that w/ tempered glass there is always a chance that FD is present. Thus the waiver is critical. If their is an Old Castle stamp you will almost certainly encounter FD. Guardian is known for quality however, I still don’t do the job w/out the waiver. The best site out there right now for info is www.stopscratchedglass.com check it out!

Quality tempered glass – without fabricating debris – is not easy to scratch.

Waiver or not, tempered glass with excessive fabricating debris will scratch if any type of razor/scraper is used.

Christopher was seeking a solution where there is “no chance of scratching the glass.

Good catch Larry. I guess I didn’t address that issue either. I don’t really have a solution for that request mainly because I don’t think wcers should try to be a hero. That’s what the builder is looking for. He or his subs have made the glass a mess w/ little or no thought of how to clean it. Now they want it cleaned and don’t want to here they may have also bought a defective product (tempered w/ FD). My suggestion still would be - don’t be a hero. If things don’t go well you’ll be the guy that gets blamed when all you were doing is saving them from their own mistakes. Get the waiver signed, educate them about FD, and get paid.

I definitely plan to print a copy of a waiver and get educated so that i can also educate those i work for. A buddy of mine that i trained this last year was spending a lot of time on the wc forums and first told me about FD. I have had two different business and have washed windows for 10 years in ignorance to why the tempered glass was prone to scratching. It just mystified me, i assumed it had something to do with the glass being tempered. Which in itself just didn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t tempered generally mean hardened?
Anyway for this particular job, i am pretty sure the builder is not going to want to take a chance at scratching the glass on the $2500 doors, waiver or not. Which i can really understand. It is a hassle and expense to get new doors if the glass gets scratched.
He obviously has experienced scratched glass before since he specifically asked how i planned to get the stain of off the glass. Is there a specific article, backed by evidence, that i can print off to share with builders?

If i am understanding correctly what i have read thus far ( i plan to read through all the threads related to FD), it seems like the most knowledgeable and experienced are seeking to put pressure on the glass manufacturing companies to lift up a higher standard of quality so that FD will no longer be an issue.
I am in agreement with that and want to take experienced advice.
But i still have a dilemna. This is a good job i am bidding on (and will most probably get) and the builder seems like a real reasonable guy, doing high end, and high quality custom homes. So when it comes to the final details like having the windows cleaned he also wants perfection. So he is asking me if there is a way that i can clean the french door glass without scratching them. Now that i know about fabricating debris, do i just explain the possible problem, ask him to sign a waiver, and tell him i am going to go at it and if they scratch it is his problem and the manufacturer’s problem.
Or do i sympathize within him and charge extra to remove the stain some other way? How, i am not sure.
Or i can just tell him to clean them himself.

And one last thing. How are the manufacturers at taking the blame and standing behind their product?

I use this as a conversation starter (and ender sometimes) whenever I am getting a CCU job.


I make sure it’s easily accessible on my website so that it’s right out there in front where I don’t have to make any bones about it… Fabricating debris is not a question, it’s a fact. It’s not my problem, but if the customer would like me to take some measures at an additional cost, I am happy to oblige to make sure their defective glass is scratched as little as possible if it comes to that. I also put that out there before I clean the glass. A Mr. Clean eraser works pretty darn good for spots. Steel wool on a t-bar works too but only after the glass has had a pre-wash so you don’t grind in other debris. Seriously, I would have to price the cleaning for the alternative methods so high that it’s just going to be tough to be competitive. If you get the waiver signed up front and put it all on the table you’re protected and also being forthright enough that if it comes down to a strategy change mid job (or if the glass gets scratched and you can’t see it until the job is done when the light hits it right) you are in the clear and it’s still their problem. I would think that if it’s just the edges of the panes, your Mr. Clean Eraser might be effective and hopefully competitive enough. If the glass is pre-cleaned, I would think there would be as little of a chance of scratching as you can possibly get.

That is a good question. I think it varies, so it would be impossible to make a definitive blanket statement. I think the important thing to understand is that you know about the problem and you need to release yourself from the liability of having that ball in your court if it comes to it. It’s just not your problem. There is way too much glass for you to be cleaning to be taking care of the manufacturer’s quality control. Once you have the contractor educated, it’s something he will have to handle, that’s what he gets paid to do.

Thank you very much Kurt! I am going to check out the link you posted. And man , i just discovered the magic erasers. Wonderful tool!
Thanks for all the other input as well!

Does the plastic peal off? I’ve seen freachies that have a plastic film over then to protect the glass during construction. Tempered french windows are bad news in my opinion. Tell the contractor to buy new doors. It’s ok to walk away.

If you get the waiver signed the builder will either eat the cost or go after the supplier. On Dan Fields site he has a waiver for wcer to builder as well as one for the builder to the supplier. I’d print one of and give it to him along w/ other info you’ll find at Dan’s site www.stopscratchedglass.com
Dan has defended many wcers taken to court by builders and homeowners and has never lost when a waiver was signed.

Remember Christopher: even if the glass doesn’t scratch due to your utilizing an alternative method to a scraper during the initial clean, the risk of scratching defective glass during future cleanings where a scraper is utilized (by you or a different window cleaner) will always be present.

Hello Everyone

1.Mix a 50/50 solution of simple dish soap and water in a spray bottle.
2.Spray the tempered glass with the water and dish soap mixture. Allow the mixture to soak into the dirt on the glass for 10 seconds before wiping off with a soft sponge (do not use a Teflon scouring pad). Stubborn areas may need a second spray and a second wiping with a soft sponge.
3.Buff the glass with a soft cloth.
4.A squeegee can be used on large areas of tempered glass, but be sure to allow the water and dish soap mixture to soak into the grime on the glass for 10 to 20 seconds before using a squeegee. Start by scraping the squeegee over only a small area of the edge of a window first to see if the squeegee is scratching the glass.

How is the squeegee going to scratch the glass?

Don’t forget to get a waver signed.

Aah, another case of the painters not doing their job so you are left to save the day. I have used a dry 0000 steel wool pad on french doors with a great outcome. No solution, just dry. Finish up with your cleaning solution and a squeegee to get off all of the residue and loose particles left behind. I have also used plastic razor blades (found at autobody paint distributors). You have to be careful any way you approach the job. $2500 per door /set? I’d let the contractor figure that one out if it were me. Get a waiver signed.

Fabricating debris can easily lodge in a plastic scraper, causing that scraper to then scratch that pane and any other pane upon which it is later used.

Excellent point Larry. Plastic scrapers are the worst thing you could use.

What? :confused: Maybe he didn’t read the original post.

with any kind of glass, if it has debris, what the glass company told me was to clean it off with meythulated spirits thats what they do with all glass plain or tinted, I always take one of the labels home and research that particular glass before I continue any cleaning process but I let the builder know before-hand since hes aware of the strict cleaning specs and if I think its not worth the hassle and Ive stayed within the glass manufacturing specification then it has to be replaced. If i do use the meyths I soap it down and while still wet I softly scrape remaining debris wet the glass again and clean it off. Atleast it lessens the risk by a bigger margin if scraping the glass while its dry it works but the corking drips on the glass that is a heck of a mission I have not yet found a solution. Good luck on your tender for that big job!!