Glass Cleaning
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jaegerhund



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Glass Cleaning Reply with quote

Hello to everyone as this is my first post here. The amount of good information is amazing and I've learned a great deal already. I'm currently restoring the single hung windows in my parents home ----- I would say I have a fairly good knowledge of this as I've done this with their bedroom windows, totally disassembling the windows and rebuilding them, including the muntins. But I always worry about the type of cleaner I use --- on the glass before priming, on bare wood , on painted surfaces, etc --as they might discourage good paint adhesion. What is the recommended concoction ----water with bleach and soap or what?

Thanks ,

Justin Fournet
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 786
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey justin, welcome to the site and GOOD for you that you have chosen to restore your parents windows!

i use denatured alcohol from a spray bottle...the putty leaves a significant oily messy on the glass...i typically use a new razor to carefully clean close to the edge of the unprimed skinned over putty...after i apply a coat of fast dry oil based primer (i often use zinsser cover stain) and let it dry, i use another new razor and do a careful scrape of the whole pane...i spray a folded piece of paper towel with denatured alcohol so that it is soaked but not dripping...wipe down the pane being careful not to bump and distort the putty then wipe dry with a clean paper towel...

after each top coat of acrylic paint, i clean with a homemade solution of mostly water, a couple of drops of detergent, an ounce or so each of vinegar and isopropyl rubbing alcohol--nothing too precise...your paint should overlap onto the glass 1/16" to 1/8" and this simple solution will not adversely affect the line...stay away from ammoniated products and you should be just fine...water based paint does not like denatured alcohol..

good luck!
...jade
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jaegerhund



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Jade. This is all very good info. I'm glad you've mentioned ammonia based products as I've use them in the past and upon reflection think it might have caused adhesion problems. This site has been a gold mine of info and I do appreciate all that has been contributed.

Thanks again Jade.


Justin
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2961
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At my shop we wet-wash the glass before it goes into the sash, and don't do any wet washing of the glass during or after glazing and painting. Right after running the putty we "polish" the glass to clean it, with no subsequent cleaning at all. Here's how it goes:



9?. Clean glass, both sides, wet-wash method.

9c. Glaze. ...Apply and tool glazing putty to form bevel to form water-tight seal. "Polish" outside of glass with whiting in a dry paint brush to clean oil from the putty off of glass and to "dust up" the surface of the putty. Tool putty off of interior joints to form water-tight seal at joint between the glass and the wood. "Polish" inside of glass with whiting. Set sash aside in correct vertical position to avoid settling of glass and distortion of beveled putty. Allow putty to cure for several days or a few weeks if possible.

"Polishing" the glass and dusting the putty with whiting in a dry brush right after glazing is a far more effective way to clean the glass, helps the putty to begin skinning over, and takes 1/4 to 1/10 the time it takes to "wet wash" the sash after the paint has dried. This method of cleaning prevents paint peeling problems at the putty/glass line.

9d. Paint. Apply primer to putty bevels and interior seals.



To see how this cleaning fits into the overall sash glazing and painting procedure see:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2466

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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jaegerhund



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 29
Location: Louisiana

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you John --- I've ordered some whiting powder and I will give it a go.

So it seems that as for as wet-wash concoctions are concerned, ammonia based products can cause a problem as well as using denatured alcohol on water based paints.

Justin
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2961
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little ammonia in the cleaning solution does help clean the glass. I have ammonia in my cleaning solution, but I only use wet-wash method on the glass before it goes in the sash, and never after glazing or painting.
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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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Harold Pomeroy



Joined: 26 Apr 2006
Posts: 25
Location: Chesham Station, NH

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's wrong with Windex? Clients use ammonia based window cleaner. Is this a problem when the paint is set up, or is it just when the paint is fresh? I'm not arguing for ammonia, I would like to know more about this problem.
Thank you

Harold
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2961
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Harold !

Nothing is "wrong" with Windex for a wet wash method. I would use Windex only for washing a pane of glass before setting it in the sash, and for cleaning glass after the sash paint has cured for several months. Windex contains water, detergents, surfacents, ammonia, and the Secret Ingredient that makes it the most powerful glass cleaner in the world. Wouldn't we all like to know what the Secret Ingredient is? Well, forget that, it's a proprietary Secret that is closely guarded by the Windex corporation glass-cleaning moguls.

They charge a lot for that secret ($3.00/qt.) compared to making your own glass cleaner.

To one quart of warm water, add:

1 or 2 drops of ordinary household dish washing detergent (acts as grease & oil solubilizer)
Stir in, cover and shake vigorously. If a "head" of suds forms that is too much detergent. Dilute or start over. Cut back the amount of detergent until only 1/4 of the perimeter of the surface of the water has bubbles.

1/4 cup white vinegar (grease & oil cutter)

1 teaspoon of denatured alcohol (surfacent & drier)
Do not add alcohol if the sash are painted with "latex" (water-borne acrylic resin) paint. Do not use "rubbing" alcohol. More alcohol will help the glass dry a little quicker, especially on humid days, up to 3 or 4 teaspoons, but less is better.

1/2 pinch of table salt (only if you have "hard water")
"Grind" the grains of salt between a teaspoon and a tablespoon to reduce it to a powder, then add, mix well. If you happen to have laundry fabric softener (of the non-precipitating type that contains phosphates, use it, but don't bother with a special search for this material, just use salt)

There are different kinds of soiling on glass, so variations may be necessary. If this recipe does not give satisfactory results, add 1 teaspoon of household non-sudzing ammonia. (acts as grease & oil "cutter"), or substitute the ammonia for the vinegar.

That's it. Total cost: $0.03, plus it takes less time to make it than it does to buy glass cleaner at the store.

Of course, any glass cleaner you make yourself cannot possibly be as good as The Windex, which has the Secret Ingredient that makes IT the most powerful window cleaner in the world. It's that Secret Ingredient that does it. WOW, that Windex is sssooooooooo powerful. Would you like to know what that secret ingredient is? I'll tell you, but first you have to do two things. You have to promise to be careful with this stuff--it's that powerful. Second, you have to mix up a batch of your own glass cleaner, and compare it, side-by-side, with Windex. OK, done that? Stop, I mean you really have to do it. Alright, alright, ready? Here's the Secret Ingredient: dye. Yep, that's right, it's just that blueish green color that makes you think Windex works so well. But wait, you too can make Powerful window cleaner. Just add the tiniest amount of green food color and an itsy-bitsy amount of old fashioned laundry bluing, and KaaaaaBluuuueeeeee, POWERFUL window cleaner. Of course, you have to "activate" the Power by using a clear spray bottle. If you can't see the blue in the bottle, there is no Power. Once it's empty, that Windex bottle is ideal. Come to think if it, that sexy-curvy shape of the bottle is what ignites the Power. (for safety's sake be sure to label the bottle, "Caution, this stuff is POWERFUL." OK, now I'm serious, really to do remove the Windex label and re-label the bottle with the intended use and the ingredients and a poison warning.)

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


Last edited by johnleeke on Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:32 am; edited 9 times in total
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kirkwood



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 78
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh ohhhh John!
You better watch out, the Johnson and Johnson secret service is going to be coming after you.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2961
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, don't tell anyone where you heard the Secret!

If you do, I'll have to come and through bricks through all your windows. But, don't worry, I'll use soma them antique bricks.

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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kirkwood



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 78
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir, you are a gentleman. At least you have the decency to use antique bricks. But only go for the front windows, I haven't gotten to those yet.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More on "Polishing":

The putty oil on the glass is dry brushed off with whiting immediately after tooling the putty. The oil is "fresh", not hardened, and the whiting absorbs the oil, then with a light scrubbing action on the glass with the brush, the brush whisks away the whiting/oil, some it it sticks to the line of fresh putty, the rest just flies away into the air--presto, clean glass. The whiting that sticks to the fresh putty begins to "dry out" the surface of the putty and seems to kick off skinning over. On a six-light sash this step takes no more than 2 minutes. No further cleaning is needed at all. The glass is absolutely clean and remains clean through painting (if you use the "paint to the line" method) and sash installation. (assuming you don't let a barrel of monkeys loose in the shop. We're careful to not touch the glass during handling and installation, not hard because we have to be careful of the soft putty anyway.) Actually, this method is known as "polishing" and it leaves the surface of the glass in a state that seems to be a bit resistant to soiling. The window glazers have been using polishing since medieval times working on the stained glass windows in the cathedrals.

I demonstrated polishing after glazing at the Boston workshop last year, but I don't think I have any video on the internet to refer you to. I'll be sure to include it in the next video or live conference on glazing.

>> prior to delivery of the restored sash, the glass has been cleaned a minimum of three times...<<

I clean the glass only twice. Once before setting the pane in the sash with wet wash, and once right after glazing with whiting polishing. That's it, just twice. After installation, if there is dust on the glass, a quick swipe with a soft dry paint brush whisks it away, 1 minute tops, not usually needed. I always recommend the building manager not wash the windows for at least six months after glazing, to let the paint and glazing cure well.

This winter I've analyzed a couple more cases down south and out west of paint peeling at the putty/glass joint just weeks or months after glazing and painting. In both case we arrived at wet chemical cleaning residue during or right after glazing as the cause. In one case it was striking clear this was the cause because some of the sash did not get cleaned and they did not have peeling paint.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the main discussion on glass cleaning:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9121

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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