Why do we need to seal glass surfaces after removing water spots?

I am starting up an online magazine called The Glass Smart Insider that will be totally focused on product development for nonroutine window cleaning. The Glass Smart blog will be linked at the bottom and still available. Been writing that for five years now with over a hundred posts and hundreds of links and videos along with the Glass Smart Youtube Channel that I just started about six months ago.

But. I am working on the first issue of the Insider now and need some help. Would you guys be able to write an article for me? Please respond to the question above. Why do we need to seal glass surfaces after removing water spots?

I am going to compile the major points of your comments.

Also I am looking for writers. If interested please respond by email.

Thanx so very much.


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Henry, I want to know the answer to that question as well. Honestly, I have NEVER “sealed” a glass surface after restoration. Not once. Some of the buildings that I’ve done I’m still doing after over 10 years of working on them after restoration and they are still good to go. They look as good as it did when I was finished restoring them.

This may be off topic for your post Henry but it’s kinda relevant I think.

First, how do you really “seal” the glass?
Because if its a liquid, I find it hard to believe that it just stays on as some kind of film that does not come off on the next cleaning.

Is it some kind of light epoxy or something? I get the concept of it, filling in damaged pores right? Unless the damage was significant, simply removing the cause, restoration and regular cleaning would do the same thing right?

In the case of significant damage, its still going to be visible after the restoration, slightly…but if its visible, why seal it and not recommend replacement if its more than say 4 or 5 panels?

i don’t get it either, seems to me the glass itself would be more durable than any sealer. also seems like sealer would just be an opportunity for floating debris to settle permanently while sealer drying. you never spray paint in the open.

Depends on whether or not the glass was etched and if it was chemically cleaned or resurfaced by polishing, if chemically cleaned then the etching is still there and will eventually get stained again, if resurfaced then it’s back to normal glass and you’re holding it at bay with regular cleaning but you have to remember the reason the glass got stained is still present usually so it’s only a matter of time before you or someone else stops the regular maintenance and it will be back

The nano coating or sealer are nano particles that chemically bond to the glass, it’s too small to have anything stick to it whilst drying, the carrier agent is denatured alcohol or ethanol which evaporates off, doesn’t matter if anything sticks to that, now there is a nano layer of protection on the glass that the original staining won’t stain again so if it’s not maintained on a regular basis it can still be cleaned off with out restoration, it’s a must do after any restoration work


First let me say that you guys are professional window cleaners. And your experience is undeniable. I would like to know more of the details of your contracts Thor. This would make for a great article in the Insider. In my research and experience I have discovered that there are two things that happen when glass is polished with a cerium slurry or cleared with hydrofluoric acid. It becomes very rough and is much easier to scratch. It also becomes much easier to stain, and the mineral deposits bond much more than before. Without getting into any chemistry or physics. We could even guess why this is the case but would still be guessing. Nonetheless experience has shown me this is true. I will be doing some more experiments and demonstrate them on the GS Youtube Channel. Sealants do form a barrier to scratches and mineral deposits. Even paint and concrete. This too I will show you. If glass is not sealed and maintained frequently enough it obviously is possible to keep it looking good. This depends not only on the frequency of cleaning but also on the nature of the mineral deposits. Some because of their nature/chemistry can really bond. Others will come off rather easy. This is why details matter in any situation. Each building can be different from the other. I will continue this. Lets continue this discussion and I will use it in the Insider. Would any of you like to help me write it?


I’m following you with regards to the process; that once the glass is corroded or pitted, which is what holds the “staining”…once that surface is cleaned by the acid that it should be sealed to keep that same surface from holding contaminates again.

What I don’t really get (mainly because I’ve been duped before, for example: screen magic) is HOW the bonding takes place. Thats why I asked if it was some kind of epoxy or something-because it would actually be the ideal surface to put some kind of epoxy on because it would stick better…you gotta rough sand glass to stick on your rearview mirror onto your windshield right? I would think the same principal applies?

I just wanted to hear it explained with clear evidence to make it fact is all. Please don’t think I’m trying to be a jerk, I’m not. I’ll be first to clearly admit, you’re smarter than I am by a long shot.

I do understand things when explained tho. Now as I grow older tho, I try to follow along in that same process as its explained and see if my math adds up to the same answer you got. That’s all. I hope that makes sense.

That aside, it was mentioned that there is a chemical bond between the nano something and the glass. Now, this is what I’m talking about.

I did a little homework and found this. Proof that it is possible to bond nanoparticles to glass-there is a photo of the bond (clear evidence). So the guy who spoke of the bond-until I did that homework, my first thought was “do-do”. I was wrong.

The guy who got the patent for the process, a scientist that works for Corning Inc., describes the process of the bonding that I just don’t see how a bottle of “sealer” is going to immitate because unless I read it wrong (very possible) the process includes heating to form the bond. (Look at “e” section from the following pasted excerpt)

13 . A method of forming the structure of claim 1, comprising:

a) providing a support element;

b) forming a nanoparticulate layer on said support element;

c) forming a binder comprising silicon dioxide and an alkali silicate, borate, or phosphate on said support element;

d) forming a capping layer; and

e) heating said support element comprising said nanoparticulate layer, said binder, and optionally, said capping layer, to a temperature that allows said binder to form a glass.

Glass makers usually bond their coatings while the glass is hot still right? Fuses it together. I know I’m half retarded here so be patient with me please.

Anything is possible I suppose. But as stated earlier, as long as the reason the glass was trashed in the first place is removed what would make it necessary to add the sealant? How much would a sealant (if it really is a sealant again not trying to be a jerk) cost? What would the price be for the client, and how would I compete against the person NOT using the sealant when its not really needed?

Agreed. I know this to be true…

We have to get on the phone together. I would really like it if you could write for the Insider. The sealants that you have referenced here that Corning has have been created for small glass like lenses, mirrors, and cell phone glass. The technology does however demonstrate that it is rather easy using chemistry to achieve nano coatings on glass. This same technology cannot be applied to window glass because it is many thousands of square feet and it is outside and sometimes thirty stories up. That is why products like Nanovations NG1010 from Australia were developed. Have you tried this product?

It is quite easy to chemically bond different molecules to glass. And glass surfaces become very rough when polished with a cerium of 3 microns or an HF at only 1.5 percent. I have done an experiment that you can do too showing how easy it is to scratch such a surface. It should also be possible to show how an “artificial” water spot will stick to this kind of surface. Using a light solution of sodiummetasilicate.

Again we should work together on this stuff and publish in the Insider.


I charge $50 per square meter to apply NG1010 on the wet side of shower glass, and I charge $65m2 when going both sides of the glass for pool fence glass and out door balcony’s. My last pool fence I did was 14 panels and I charged $1280 and took 3 hours to apply, that’s an hourly rate of $400 product used was half a litre (product is $250 a litre delivered)so it’s a real money earner doing it, I can get it done quicker but it was my only job of the day so I was in no rush, I could get it done in 2 hours when working quickly so hourly rate goes up to around $600.im always looking to work more efficiently to speed the process up without rushing.

have been doing lots of tests with NG1010 lately, first was how well it helps to repel sunscreen on pool fence glass as a lot of resorts complain about the mess it leaves, my results are when freshly applied to glass the sunscreen comes off no better than the untreated glass and when dried it comes off slightly better than untreated glass, not worth advertising about though, have been testing it on auto glass too, works ok and is easy to clean but the glass fogs up quite badly with any humidity and when ever it rains the water spots dry on to the glass more so than untreated glass how ever removing them is far easier

All in all it’s well worth getting into, earns me way more money than window cleaning ever will, you can treat showers, bathroom mirrors, pool fence glass, outdoor balcony glass, glass water features and glass that may come into contact with bore water or sprinklers, only effective on glass that comes into contact with water, also need to make sure you prep the glass properly otherwise your in for a lot of re calls

Hi Oz,

Fantastic reply! We could create an article with that. Need to talk with you too!


My number is (619)779-5858.

So then application is all that is needed? No heat? The application is permanent right?

No heat required, there’s a spray on glass prep which you spray on and buff in with a microfibre cloth and then spray the product on and gently wipe into the glass making sure of full coverage and buff excess off till it’s crystal clear and that’s it, no heat required , it’s not 100% permanent it will depending on where you use it last around 5-10 on warranty 10 years outside and 5 inside

Hi Thor,

There is a chemical bond that forms when a quality sealer is applied. Such as the NG1010. This happens at room temp. Chemical bonds with glass are really not that difficult. Glass surfaces are actually very reactive owing to the free oxygen atoms there. I am going to get some help with the chemistry of glass surfaces from at least a couple of chemists for an article in my new mag coming in April. Along with this however is the fact that if these pores are “blocked” by pollution/hydrocarbon molecules the sealant cannot bond effectively. So cleaning is needed. This can be done with a superabrasive polish. Or I am told even a nano cleaner. I do know when putting one paint on top of another we get a better stick when we really rough up the first surface. Maybe this works the same. Further if we are applying an atomic scale sealant we would have more surface area to apply it too if we were to polish first. Just writing as I think.

At this point if anyone would like to submit anything for my mag please send it to my gmail. Otherwise write it here and we will discuss it on this forum.


One more thing. Thanxs so much Thor for what you have included here about the science of sealants!
There is a ton of info out there on glass sealants and the chemistry used. Siltec from Toronto has SO much info. Also Gelest down in PA that was started by a nerd out of college named Barry Arkles back in the 70s. They have pages of chemical info on sealing glass surfaces. But I really really (like Shrek says) have to emphasize again. This kind of stuff is not for us my good friends. This is a technology used on very small area glass surfaces measured in square inches. We are working with hundreds and even tens of thousands of square feet! Forty floors up in bad weather in the hot sun or cold wind. NOT lab conditions. So if we come across a product like NG 1010, and it seems to be a winner;…jump on it with both feet like Oz and make the big bux.


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Hey Henry, Its cool to see your zeal for all things windows. I definitely have enjoyed learning tidbits of knowledge over the years from you.

My short answer would be it makes cleaning & removing deposits easier for our next cleaning and ideally not require any further restoration work in the future.

Thought I’d put that there so i can spare the wordiness of the following explanation if not desired…

Here was my basic reasoning on sealants vs not when I decided on buying, testing, & using them. If you get into car care it can be fairly straightforward to understand the benefits of sealants & wax use vs not even without understanding why it works. After compounding and polishing a severely oxidized Honda Accord that had a single stage paint applied, without a sealant/wax it oxidized worse within a year (headlights are another topic…) Yes, glass is a different material and im certainly no chemist but from testing products and seeing how surfaces react when using acid or polish chemicals etc. I believe in the benefits of the technology. There is something to be said though about frequency of cleaning & location, such as interior surfaces that don’t see the sun and different weather conditions, & sealants being less important. Since im usually cleaning exterior windows 4x, 2x, or once per year, then sealing them after restoration in my opinion is important & more beneficial than not.

I get on the forum every now and then to see if i can learn anything new and I appreciate the info on Nanovations NG1010. I haven’t requested a sample yet but I need to try it out. Ive posted before my go-to for the past 5+ years has been Mr. Hard Water Sealer. Are there better more durable sealants? Sure. Are they as easy to apply? Many have a 3rd or 4th step with long curing times, whereas MHW is a 2 step with 3-5 min curing. I appreciate Oz’s comment about proper prep and I have had experience with both restoration then sealing and no restoration before application of sealant. Also starting out with chemicals to remove hard water i had used no sealant and noticed the results of worse & deeper staining later. I had searched for a few years with many tested products to arrive at my current working setup. I am mainlyin the west part of Oklahoma so with not much rain, lots of sprinkler use, & good sunshine & heat ive had plenty of exposure to hard water so far. But we have been in PA now 6 yrs & in this eastern area I haven’t encountered much. So area makes a difference.

Anyway, I usually don’t reply much on here but this topic is one i benefited learning from and it helped shape my current business model and sealing process which is slightly different from Jeff’s at Mr. Hard Water. Time to apply, cost of sealant, how long it will last, and how much we can charge for it are all points of consideration. Thanks for bringing it up Henry and Ill have to look up your instructions for getting the sample of NG1010. Recently I had tried out the new nano sealer from Unelko who makes Invisible Glass but still decided to stick with MWH. Anyone who wants info can just msg me. :+1:

Thanks so much for that post on this forum! I am collecting writers for my mag right now. Would love to have you onboard if you are interested. My focus is going to be short meaty educationals. If you would like to help please reply to my gmail at henrygroverjr@gmail.com Thanks so much!