Instructables

What will take sediment and water stain off of windows?

I have a couple of windows at work, that have this cloudy appearance on them.  When they are still somewhat wet, just after I clean them, they look good until it drys.  The haze and or cloudy appearance is still there.  I'm guessing it's from the sprinklers and or whatever is in the water and baking in the sun for twenty years.  Does anyone know how I can get this window clean and clear to see through again?

Hey forget all the solutions below...They may or may not work. First, make sure you don't have a manufactures coating on the exterior of the glass. If you don't, then try "Bar Keepers Friend". I used it with a bit of muscle and it came out beautiful. I tried CLR, white vinagar all kinds of window cleaners and nothing!! Then I tried Bar Keepers and wouldn't you know it it worked out perfect. You can get Bar keepers in Walmart. It is a little known secret in commercial kitchens.

onrust2 years ago
If you happen to get them clean, use some spray car wax on them regularly, to prevent it from happening again.
rickharris3 years ago
You have 3 possibilities:
1. the glass has a film of greasy dirt on it that has been deposited by the rain over the years and is hard to shift.
2. the glass has a film of hard salts (generally magnesium carbonates and a mix of sulphates.) from your local water supply left behind when the water used to wash them or the sprinkler system has dried off.
3. The glass has been etched by caustic rain or other products used to try to clean them.

For 1. Try a grease remover along with a mild abrasive such as chalk powder. Toothpaste on a discrete area may be worth a try.

for 2. Try the vinegar or a bathroom cleanser that advertises it will remove lime scale.

for 3. You may not be able to do much here as the glass needs to be polished and that may be a much bigger job than you want to take on.

seandogue3 years ago
I've had mixed luck with old glass. Sometimes it can be removed by using a combination of manually scraping using fresh razor blades and then carefully scrubbing with various cleaners like windex and ammonia, or using a bio-degreaser (like the sort of thing you would pour into a sewage bed), alcohol, etc. Sometimes it just doesn't get any better and I suspect that it means that things have been left on their long enough for various elements to diffuse into the surface and/or cause secondary chemical etching.

Furthermore, some of the cloudiness may be simple mechanical damage (scratches and pitting) to the window surface from dust and other grit that have hit the window surface due to the wind or been ground against it during past cleaning. I don't know of any way to polish that off.
Vyger3 years ago
A solution of the chemical TSP (trisodiumphosphate) will clean most film off glass. It used to be available from any hardware store. I don't know if that has changed. TSP in very strong solution will etch glass so mix it according to the directions.
Try white vinegar.