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    Run's Avatar
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    Default Acid-based hard water removers- long term glass damage?

    Finance-iT
    I read recently on a window washer's website that acid free removal of hard water is the best way to get the minerals off of glass because acid will have long term affects to the glass. This is his selling point. He says that most window washers use an acid-based hard water spot remover that damages glass, but is very quick. They thus choose speed over value.

    Is there any good basis for this claim.

    He says that half the pros out there do it intentionally, while the other half is ignorant. I'm sure he didn't take a poll...

    As someone who has done acid-based hard water spot removal for years and has seen nothing but great affects on glass, I see this as an untruth. Perhaps he has been misinformed. Chemical manufacturers would not be allowed to brand and sell their products like they do if their product damages glass with proper use, glass being the surface it is intended for. At the very least, their product would be called out by many users, lawsuits would occur, and products would be taken off shelves or reformulated.

    Of course, these statements of his aren't necessarily malicious. It is likely just ignorance that has allowed it.

    Perhaps he had a bad experience in which he misused a product. Perhaps there is a bad product out there that I haven't used. Of course, making a sweeping generalization based on one product, or worse, based on the misuse of a product is like saying that a baseball bat can't hit a thrown baseball effectively after the bat was pushed like a pool stick toward the ball.

    Note that he didn't expound upon what the damaging affects were or how he received his information.

    His stated method of choice involves spraying pure water on the window, then buffing a rubbing compound. He say's it takes up to ten times as long to do than the acid way, but because he keeps the "interest of the customers" first, he is willing to do this. He also states that his method helps prevent future hard water spotting.

    I am not necessarily against other methods, and I know other wc guys buff our spots. I just wanna get some feedback on this guy's claims.
    Last edited by Run; 01-25-2012 at 10:10 AM.

  2. optimumaintenance's Avatar
    optimumaintenance is online now Gold Squeegee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run View Post
    I read recently on a window washer's website that acid free removal of hard water is the best way to get the minerals off of glass because acid will have long term affects to the glass. This is his selling point. He says that most window washers use an acid-based hard water spot remover that damages glass, but is very quick. They thus choose speed over value.

    Is there any good basis for this claim.

    He says that half the pros out there do it intentionally, while the other half is ignorant. I'm sure he didn't take a poll...

    As someone who has done acid-based hard water spot removal for years and has seen nothing but great affects on glass, I see this as an untruth. Perhaps he has been misinformed. Chemical manufacturers would not be allowed to brand and sell their products like they do if their product damages glass with proper use, glass being the surface it is intended for. At the very least, their product would be called out by many users, lawsuits would occur, and products would be taken off shelves or reformulated.

    Of course, these statements of his aren't necessarily malicious. It is likely just ignorance that has allowed it.

    Perhaps he had a bad experience in which he misused a product. Perhaps there is a bad product out there that I haven't used. Of course, making a sweeping generalization based on one product, or worse, based on the misuse of a product is like saying that a baseball bat can't hit a thrown baseball effectively after the bat was pushed like a pool stick toward the ball.

    Note that he didn't expound upon what the damaging affects were or how he received his information.

    His stated method of choice involves spraying pure water on the window, then buffing a rubbing compound. He say's it takes up to ten times as long to do than the acid way, but because he keeps the "interest of the customers" first, he is willing to do this. He also states that his method helps prevent future hard water spotting.

    I am not necessarily against other methods, and I know other wc guys buff our spots. I just wanna get some feedback on this guy's claims.
    You have my curiosity up about this guys website. I think its his way of trying to separate himself from the pack.

    I have used acid and non-acid products when removing hard water build up and it does not make a difference and no long term damage if done correctly. The customer wants the build up gone and its gone when I leave and thats what every customer wants. That window cleaner just wants to make his customer feel better about his products and manner of cleaning glass.

    If that works for him great but I doubt a customer will choose him based solely that he massages the glass for an extra 10 minutes

  3. Jared's Avatar
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    We may use one of multiple methods based on several factors. Our observations have been when using CC550 to do any scraping work on the glass before using the CC550 as you can see the effects of scraping on some glass after the acid is used. I don't know if others have made this observation. With that said, CC550 is a good product and we use it when it is a good match to the need.
    I prefer the buffing paste to address hard water stains where that method is appropriate. It does an excellent job without being aggressive. I think it is often faster than CC550 because it doesn't 'weep' on the edges and often requires very little rubbing. If it was 10 times longer I wouldn't use it! Sounds to me like he's making a weak sales pitch.
    Jared
    Ph. 888-601-4257
    Bethany Associates Inc.
    N.E. area manager for Bethany Associates: http://www.bethanyassociates.com. These thoughts are my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of Bethany Associates.

  4. Streakless Windows's Avatar
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    Lies, all lies! ha ha, at least it sounds like lies from my experience. Good job calling him out Aaron. Now post who it is so we can all make fun of them. Just joking. I hope it's actually ignorance on this other wc'ers part. But it sounds like he's really trying to make his potential customers believe it, so he looks better. If in fact there is some scientific fact to this guy's claims I retract my jokes, but not my experience. It is what it is.
    Shawn White, President
    Streakless Windows Inc.
    Company website: Tucson Window Cleaning
    Social website: www.Facebook.com/TucsonWindowCleaning
    Tucson, Arizona
    (520) 808-6635

  5. Run's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for your comments!

    Interesting thing about that scraper/cc550 thing. I've never used the product, but I will see if that happens with my remover.

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    If you use a hydrofluoric acid on the tin side of glass it can etch it. Any acid can weaken or damage the IG seal of a window which can eventually cause a blown seal.
    Tony Evans
    A New View Window Cleaning
    http://anewviewia.com/
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  7. Run's Avatar
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    Good points, but both would be misuse of acid.

    IG seal isn't glass damage.

    Tin side etching is a reach if that is his basis for the argument. That will almost never happen.

    The window cleaner didn't claim that it CAN damage glass, but that it WILL. Not in those words...

    Tin side etching is immediate. He claimed that the damage is not know by many window cleaners cuz it is not immediate.

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    Playing devils advocate - once the seal is blown it eventually damages the inside glass surface. It's called corrosion. Acids are very likely to damage the IG seal and you won't realize it for a while. If he says glass and means window it's a case of semantics. Again not siding w/ this guy just saying he might be using the wrong words to convey his thoughts.
    Tony Evans
    A New View Window Cleaning
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    I doubt a potential customer is going to take the time to read his long explanation.
    JMO
    Jeremiah Gibson
    Advantage Window Cleaning
    Salina, KS since 2001
    785-825-0383

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    Finance-iT
    Nice. You almost had me But misuse is the important factor. He didn't say anything about misuse, just use. And that that use would necessitate a bad result.

    He is saying that using acid is inherently bad and window cleaners that use it do not care enough about their customers. If that sentiment is based on IG seal breaks, that's a little more than an exaggeration.

    But like another poster said, it's unlikely to take any money out of pockets, just interesting...

 

 
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