Rain-X on house windows: A test

Hi all. Some of you may have heard me mention that my brother works for a WC who likes to sell jobs by bragging that his solution contains Rain-X and other magic chemicals (GG3, eye of newt) to keep their windows cleaner than anyone else.

I personally roll my eyes every time I hear this, since I have picked up some of his jobs after him and the windows in his wake don’t seem to be any different than any other windows I clean, except for being extremely hydrophobic and slick to the touch with a detail cloth.

The time has come, however, for a legitimate test of solutions side-by-side. I’ve acquired a bottle of the “magic sauce” to compare with other cleaning chems. I’ll be keeping notes and taking pictures as the days and weeks go by so stay tuned!

Here are some links for perusal on the chemical composition of Rain-X and a highly subjective test by another homeowner who used it to clean her home windows


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Interesting. What will you be using for your baseline soap?

well good luck with that sir.
my wfp windows stay cleaner longer, my customers see it, i see it when i return for the fall cleaning and they’re still looking clean.
i do sometimes use 3m glass cleaner inside which leaves a residue. however the residue is designed to left on to make subsequent cleanings easier unlike soap which is supposed to be rinsed off. so far i like the minimal and very easy detailing but cannot tell if there is any long term effect.

if your test is successful would you offer it as an add on?

interesting that she gives wrong instructions:
A lot of people have been asking in the comments for more details on the actual cleaning process. This product is a 2-in-1 cleaner and repellent. There is no need to clean the window before using this product. This product and some paper towels is literally all you need. Spray the Rain-X on the window then wipe off with a towel . Done.
whereas rain x says:
Apply in conditions 40 degrees or above
Apply to a small folded, dry cloth
Wipe onto clean and dry exterior glass using a firm, circular motion
Allow product to dry; a haze may appear
Reapply to ensure complete and uniform coverage
Remove final haze with a dry cloth

i think your brothers main advantage is that eye of newt.

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I think I’m going to do a 4-way comparison with regular GG3 as the control.

So the test will include:
1.) “Magic Sauce” (GG3 + Rain-X + pixie dust)
2.) GG3 mixed at the recommended ratio
3.) Rain-X 2-in-1 cleaner (using a paper towel as espoused in the second link)
4.) Ecover

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curios why gg3 not gg4 which contains a polymetric water soften and more detergent?

I use that stuff for the low windows and glass table in my living room cause my mutt is a slobber monster and it makes subsequent cleanings easier. The 3M cleaner has Scotchgard, an oliphobic (repels oil) chemical, whereas Rain-X is a hydrophobic coating.

It seems to work best after about 5 or 6 repeated cleanings. The dog drool and boogers now wipe off very easily, even with a dry towel.

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You mean why I’m not using it as a control or why Professor X doesn’t use it in his mix?

no i meant why gg3 as opposed gg4, but i figured out it must your salute to the president elect as it is orange (the new official clour of the usa)

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Hard to say. I guess it will depend on how much of a difference is apparent.

I just finished cleaning 3 window sets with the different chemicals, and here is a chart of their locations so I can track my results.

Pink=Magic Sauce
Orange=Glass Gleam 3
Yellow=Rain-X 2-in-1

I used sets on the front and back of the house, and made sure to get one pane at each height level for each compound. I also cleaned windows on a door leading from house to patio.

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I had tried out that rainx windshield washer solution in my truck and it would leave a nasty residue where the wipers didnt touch the windshield and it left very visible streaks going across the paint too.

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Initial Impressions:

I’m pretty sure all of us have used Glass Gleam and/or dish soap, and are well aware of what to expect in their use. As for the solutions containing Rain-X, they lose out in a big way when it comes to ease of use.

The magic sauce is very cloudy, and leaves milky white streaks if a spot is missed. It does get the glass just as clean as anything else, but it was difficult to fan, even with a standard squeegee, since the slip is minimal.

The Rain-X 2-in-1 with a paper towel cleans glass about as well as windex; that is to say, extremely not amazing by our standards. Used with a paper towel to clean exterior windows it just made a miserable impression from start to finish. After numerous passes and a lot of elbow grease to eliminate all the smears and smudges (which, to its credit, it eventually DID do) there was still a considerable amount of lint from the paper towels left on the surface, and the surface just did not have that discernable “pop” that glass gets when it is cleaned with a squeegee and mop. I feel like the testimony lady from the linked site must have been a shill, or else she was just embarrassingly ignorant of what a window can look like when cleaned professionally.


ages ago I tried rain x on one and one of those wash n wax car soaps on another window

they filmed up faster over time, and of course were hydrophobic and a mess to deal with down the line

soap only is a wonderful thing! (or wfp)

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