When is it best to use steel wool?

What sort of things on the glass are best removed with steel wool?

Can steel wool scratch glass?


i use the four 0000 steel wool. they sell it in most window cleaning supply shops. and or your hardware store. its like a pillow and it never scratches the glass. unless you get a tiny rock stuck in it and your smashing to the glass, so change it often. i could go through 1-2 pieces per residential house. sometimes ill steel wool every window on a job if the glass is just way dirty. i charge a little more and the quality is great.

Rusty (iron oxide) steel wool can scratch glass.

Why not just use a 6" scraper?

I use bronze wool (to eliminate the rust issue) to buff out drips or runs as a touch up measure. I also use it for light hard water spots if I don’t have a white pad on me. For general debris removal I use my scraper.

Never use your scraper on tempered glass. It scratches pretty easy. Steel wool will remove things from tempered w/o scratching.

Hey Jesse,
You’re right using a 6 inch razor on tempered and heat strengthend glass is risky business these days. I find myself using my wool pad more and more and the 6 inch razor less and less. I prefer wool over steel wool pads even though they don’t scrub as well as steel because the bronze doesn’t rust and the pads last longer than steel wool. As a side note I think the bronze wool pads do outscrub a [B]white scrub pad[/B]. They cost more than steel wool but that’s ok because of the advantages. On small cut ups I’ll use my pad to wet and scrub the window. I like to carry a wet pad for scrubbing and a dry one for touch up.

Its not the scraper scratching the glass is the broken bits of fabricating debris that scratch the glass. You could also break one of the glass fines off with your steel wool and scratch the glass.

Yes this is true. But the level of risk is different. There is a very slight possibility that steel wool could dislodge FD but a razor WILL dislodge the debris. When we say the debris scratched the glass and not the razor isn’t that a matter of semantics? I use light pressure when I wool tempered and heat strengthened glass to minimize the risk.

No, Mike, and it’s an important distinction.

You still use customer education and a waiver, yes?

Quality tempered glass without fabricating debris does not scratch. Period.

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+1, unfortunately as I was taught, Old tempered glass is more likely to be quality tempered than anything manufactured this decade, but educating customers especially Building Contractors about how they are being sold an inferior product is the only way quality control will ever improve. The same way I notify my customers of every failed seal I find, most of the homes up here have warranties on the windows, so the installers love me and the manufacturers hate me;)

Thanks to llaczko bringing up the rust factor, I have eliminated steel wool from the arsenal, Bronze or Blade only! The customers also appreciate it when they ask what I’m using and I inform them why we use the bronze instead of the common hardware store steel, we have their best interest in mind.

This is definitely true. The only way to find out if the glass is not a quality product, because it has fabricating debris on it, is to use a razor and see if any of the windows get scratched. If they get scratched then you know for sure that the quality is poor and the manufacturer screwed up. :eek:

I use a scratched glass waiver even if I leave the razor in the truck. Thanks to my friend Nick Long’s suggestion. If the windows are really messed up with paint overspray and I really need a razor to get’m clean I ask the home owner to call the [B]clowns[/B] that got paint all over her tempered glass windows and let them solve her problem. I make sure to let her know that solvent cleaners and razors are both very risky tools to be using on tempered glass because sometimes you win and sometimes you loose with both of those methods. If she’s lucky they’ll be able to get the paint off without causing any damage to the windows. Even with a waiver signed I just don’t have the time or the energy to be spending a day going to court with a very angry customer. :cool:

Is the steel/bronze wool good for sticker glue?..or bring out the Goo-Gone for that??

In most cases yes.

It works well on light oxidation too. Sometimes I use it with MDR or Unger RubOut.

One important point here guys - the tempered can have FD on it and you won’t be able to tell. Sometimes you hear it sometimes you don’t. Ge the waiver signed every time. I did a job yesterday that where the tempering stamp on most of them said Old Castle (absolute garbage) and on some of the panes i could tell there was FD. (Of course the waiver and customer education had already been taken care of.) The large sliding patio doors were Guardian and I had no issues w/ them at all.
These windows had shotgun fungus and silicone on them so the only option was a razor (especially since the customer had specifically mentioned how important clean glass was to him).
Get the waiver and educate the customer. Anything else is playing Russian roulette w/ your business.

Correct, Tony – you can’t prove fabricating debris is [B]not[/B] present.

Window cleaners are not paid to check for it, nor do window cleaners want the liability associated with an inspection.

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Hey guys,[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]My post was meant to be funny, tongue in cheek.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]You’ll never know if a razor will damage a window until AFTER you have scratched the glass. In other words there is no method available for window cleaners to SAFELY check for FD. Using a razor on tempered glass is kinda like walking through a mine field maybe you’ll be lucky maybe you won’t. I’d say it is very risky business to scrape tempered and heat strengthened glass with a razor. [B]I know the glass is defective and it’s their entire fault for making glass covered with invisible fabricating debris on it. [/B]But whose fault is it when the windows get scratched because a window cleaner used a razor on tempered glass that the manufacturer said not to use a razor on? Maybe it’s the homeowners fault for buying crappy glass. Ya that’s it! Let’s blame the homeowner.[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]I saw a GANA bulletin that said extra fine steel wool was OK to use. [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=1]They also mentioned the use of a small razor. [/SIZE][/FONT][/COLOR]

I feel your frustration Mike but let’s remember it’s the temperers fault not ours. By getting the waiver signed we stay out of the liability loop. We can give customers the info they need to go after the people that sold them the crap in the first place.
It’s of interest that GANA says no razors but then says a 1" razor is OK. Kind of double talk don’t you think? Get the waiver and educate the homeowner about their potential problem.

Who got silicone on the windows?

Steel and bronze wool take shotgun fungus off glass. I think it works on silicone too. It works on light paint overspray as well.