So far unremovable filmy substance on glass not coming off

My wife had to clean my towels at a laundry mat a couple weeks ago. Shortly aftwerwards I cleaned a home with those same towels.

I’ve been back 3 times now to remove a film the towels left on every single pane inside and outside.

I first tried Oilflo, then Mineral Spirits, Acitone, dish soap, Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar.

Nothing has worked yet. There is still a fimly substance visible after squeeging that you can rub a knuckle through.

Several of the products that I’ve used are solvents and the Vinegar is an acid. What other sort of chemical compound might break this film down so that it can be removed?

Any help would be appreciated. The situation with the customer is becoming rather embarrassing:(

Eric - Are the streaks inside or out or both? Did she use any fabric softener with the towels?

try 0000 steel wool and a hard water stain remover. Usually cust through anything.

I’ve smeared windows because the customer sprayed tracks with WD40 but I never had a problem taking it off. You’re sure you did this eh? Hot water… tsp? or maybe cold water and scrape it off?

I had a similar incident with some windows where the homeowner had his yard and house treated for mosquitos.
Wash your rags and scrubbers a few times with no soap or very little.

Right, my wife didn’t use fabric softener but it was a public washer & dryer so who knows what was in the machine.

I went through the house yesterday with Amonia. They turned out beautiful but just like the other times after 12hrs or so the haze appeared. It is on the inside and outside.

This is a customer that I’ve cleaned for before and she is VERY particular so I know the glass was clean prior to this.

I’m going to try the hard water remover. That may be a good idea.

Do you think I should use Safe Restore?


Pumice Powder… it’s messy, but I bet it will get the haze off.

What is TSP?

I’m going here in a few to try Safe Restore. I should have results when the sun goes down this evening.

Tri Sodium Phosphate.

It’s a powder form soap… that’s what most window cleaners used when I started out.

You can get it at any hardware store (along with the pumice powder I recommended.)

I tried a heavy solution of dish soap and water and that didn’t work. Neither did straight Ammonium. That leads me to think that TSP won’t work either.

I’m excited to try the pumice powder next.

I just left the house. I tried an area with Safe Restore.

I actually tested out “Bar Keepers Friend” on my moms windows that have not been cleaned in 15 years. They were so water damaged that the entire window was milky looking. I was shocked at the result. I think it took off, I’m guessing, 80% the first time. Really good. After that I rinsed and then did my usual window cleaning and was happy with the result. In fact I have a window cleaning client that I am going to this week to clean the hardwater with that stuff, it really works and is under $2 at most lowes and hardware stores.

The nice lady didn’t look at the test pane last night to see whether the H2O remover I used had worked. I’m sure she’ll check this evening.

She emailed and said that the haze is still visible.

I would figure safe restore would take any film right off unless it’s something like tin etch haze. I had some kind of staining on reclaimed glass I used for my shed windows that nothing would take off; barkeepers friend, MDR, Safe Restore. I ended up buffing most of it out with cerium oxide, which was very time consuming.

Anyway, this sounds kind of odd, are you buffing the whole window with a wrag instead of just detailing the edges? I would think if you cleaned these windows before you wouldn’t have much buffing and would only need to detail the edges for the most part.

I’d do a test on an old storm window or a piece of glass. It sounds like something was up with your soap solution to have this occur on the inside and out as I’m relatively sure you don’t buff the whole pane with a wrag if you own a squeegee.

Who knows maybe that customer has some insanely hard water. I like to see a tds reading on that. I’ve been using glass gleam 4 as it also is a water softner. I hope you discover what the problem was somehow I doubt it was your wrags unless they smell of something like wax or fabric softner and again I doubt you would of used them if they did.

Yeah this is all very odd, I doubt that it was anything he actually did, maybe the lady had the frames painted or something. Even if he did clean his towels at a laundry mat, who the heck cleans all the glass, inside and out with towels? How do you do that? I thought you people just used them on the bottom sill. (I never use towels except as drop sheets)

It does remind me of that thread about mosquito spraying, I didn’t understand that one either. I’ve never dealt with windows like that. But I don’t really care that much either. If the window doesn’t come clean, too bad for the customer. I’m there to wash the dirt off not install new glass. I have walked away from several jobs after starting them because the glass was fubar’d or windows weren’t coming apart or even because there was too many obstacles or furniture in the way. I’m not there for a project and I’m not a boy scout looking to do good deeds.

The only things I’ve come across that relate to this are extreme hard water covering entire windows, that was obvious and I didn’t bother cleaning it. Someone sprayed cleaner with a hose on a window and let it dry. I was able to scrape that off fairly easily.

I just remembered something… one time I had hard water spots all over take apart windows in a patio in the country. Her sprinkler head got turned around anyway… she gave me a bottle of CLR? I think that’s what it’s called. That did the trick.

The lady is actually 1 of my best customers. I’ve maintained her glass since she built the house last summer. The glass was perfect until I cleaned it last time. I tend to wipe my dry towel over the glass as a final method to attempt to remove any unforseen water or streaks. This must be when whatever was on my towels was transferred to the glass.

So far none of the following has worked:
Mineral Spirits
Dish soap
Rubbing Alcohol
Ammonia (straight)
Safe Restore

They have all failed to remove the film. The glass looks awesome most of the day but when the sun is just right like when the sun is low the streaks are abundantly clear.

I am going to try using a powder such as baby powder, baking soda and 1 other powder kindly mentioned in this thread next as I think I’ve exhausted my other options.

I tried to duplicate the problem on 1 of my own windows. I dried a WC towel with a dryer sheet. I didn’t get any streaks.

My other intent is to wash a new towel with what could be the culprit which is a dust mop treatment called DM120 which I have already sprayed onto to my 1 window and again yielded no streaking. My thought on this is that it could be that the DM120 was altered by the heat inside the dryer. So I think I’ll bake a towel that has DM120 on it and then try to make streaks on my glass. Why would I do this? So that if this does make unremovable streaks then I can get on the phone with the manufacturer of DM120 and ask them how to remove their chemical from glass.

Thanks for all of your help. This truly is a puzzling problem. To make matters bad, although the lady is being very patient I know that she is very, very particular about her home and her windows so I need to get this fixed pronto.

Have you let her know how proactive you are being with this issue? Hopefully she’ll appreciate the fact that this is baffling not just you but some other colleagues.

I have Dan. I’ve been over there at every opportunity since and I’ve cleaned the house entirely 2x thinking what I had would work:(

The difficult problem is that you can only see the film at certain times of the day. I REALLY hope this doesn’t turn into an insurance claim.

I had an office center that decided to cover their buildings in this rubber-ish coating. (Including the windows)
You could scrape the rubber substance off, but were left with this hazy/cloudy window afterword.

We were doing chairwork with buffers hanging from the roof to buff it out with Pumice Powder (volcanic ash.)

Worst undertaking I’ve ever experienced, it took about 30 minutes per window (normally about 20 seconds.)
[INDENT]- Wet window

  • Scrape window
  • Rewet window
  • Buff window
  • Rewet window
  • Squeegee window
  • Check for hazy spots
  • Rewet window
  • Re squeegee window
  • etc…[/INDENT]

Long story, short… Pumice was the [U]only[/U] thing that worked, try it.