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How To Clean Low E (Emissivity) Glass


We recently completed an end of build clean at a beautiful new retirement estate in Newcastle (picture - right) that had installed low e glass. As you can see there is a lot of glass there, and unfortunately the builders had not treated the glass with respect and had a lot of paint and concrete residue on the coating of the glass. Here I'll show you how to best clean low e or low emissivity glass without causing further damage.

Sometimes, the damage is irreparable and irreversible, but here's how to bring it up the best you can!

Firstly, remove all watches and jewellery as metal will cause the fragile coating to scratch. Do not use razor blades or paint scrapers on the internal coating, but you can treat the external of the windows as normal glass. The windows will usually have a sticker on it similar to the picture here.

When working on the coating side, firstly use a window washer or mop wand to remove any dust residue, this allows you to see more clearly the areas that require attention.

Next do the paint removal, use a soft microfibre cloth and mineral turpentine to remove paint. Again, don't use a scraper. Just hold the turps on the paint drips until it begins to soften - this can take a while and is one of the reasons why I double my cleaning bill when dealing with these windows as they take so long to clean properly. The turps will begin to lift the paint, and you must just continually rub the paint until it eventually disappears.

Next you may need to remove concrete residue. If you do, you will need chemical resistant gloves, a bucket, and hydrochloric acid.

Always READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!!!!!! You will have to add the acid to the water, NEVER add water to acid. Use around one part acid to 10 parts water.

Using a soft cloth, ensuring to not allow the acid to drip down the glass as you can cause damage to carpets and flooring, use the solution to remove the concrete residue.

As you can see from the picture on the right, those dark scratches are from the builders not taking care with the glass and causing these scratches. If you use the hydrochloric acid solution on these scratches it should make them less noticable, or may allow them to disappear completely.

You may also find sticker residue on the glass. Acetone is the best for this, and can be used on the coated side, the non coated side, and the frames to remove all sticker residue from low e or low emissivity glass.

Once you've removed the paint, sticker and concrete residue from the low emissivity glass, you can clean them as usual using a window washer and squeegee. Just use a mild dishsoap solution with a splash of vinegar. Be careful when using the squeegee that no metal parts of the squeegee touch the coating and that it's just the rubber part that touches the glass.

Acetone, hydrochloric acid, chemical resistant gloves and mineral turpentine can all be found in your local hardware store such as Bunnings. If you have any further queries about the cleaning of low e or low emissivity glass, or are looking for an end of build cleaner, give us a call on 0243277053, or email us info@mrsmop.com.au.

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