What on earth is this stuff?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat & Introductions' started by hedge, Jan 19, 2011.

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  1. hedge

    hedge Guest

    Hi all

    I'm not a professional window cleaner (though I used to be a general cleaner). I'm just cleaning up this place I've just moved into.

    Windows haven't been cleaned since the 20th century... satisfying getting all that dirt off.

    There's this impossible stuff spattered over the top of some of the windows. In spatters, as if someone was being careless with a paint brush. Look dark, but seems to actually be clear (dark colour is dirt/paint covering it). I've tried white spirit, paint thinners, a cellulose lacquer thinner, with a sharp paint-removal tool - nothing will shift it. Even weirder, the stuff seems to have eaten into the window in places (I thought even acid couldn't do that...). Or was this some amateur's idea of filling in small cracks/scratches (and how did they happen anyway?)

    Does anyone have any idea what this might be? Glue? And how I'd get it off?

    thanks



    hedge
     
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  2. nearlyclean

    Supplier

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    It could be brick acid that really burns into the glass,you can get glass restorers or try 0000 grade wire wool thats some suggest but try it first on a bit that wont be seen,apart from that I haven't clue
     
  3. hedge

    hedge Guest

    Thanks for your suggestion! I think you're on the money about it being acid. I didn't know until now that hydrochloric acid was used for cleaning brickwork.

    But the hydrochloric doesn't eat glass - the building is sandstone (Glasgow), and I've found references to stonework being cleaned with the even more corrosive hydrofluoric, which eats just about anything, including glass. This would explain why the "marks" look as though they're part of the glass itself.

    At least I know no solvent is going to handle it (apart from hydrofluoric acid, which I don't want to even go near). I might try the wire wool on a small bit.

    cheers



    hedge
     
  4. nearlyclean

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    I had to clean a house that had been damage so the insurance assessor could see the damage,the owner was sueing the builder for damage,repointed the house and then washed done with acid and didn't bother covering the windows I think it was 600 pound for 7 windows,he came and did a test piece with a buffer
    MAKE SURE YOU WET THE WIRE WOOL AND WINDOW and I think they use silvo cream brasso to buff it up
     
  5. Gav

    Gav Grand Master
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    Yes although I have not come across this yet many do say brick acid which seems to fit your description.
     
  6. hedge

    hedge Guest

    Amazing what people get away with! And cleaners clean up... I worked mostly in bars/restaurants, where the most mind-bending things were what people get up to (and leave behind!) in the Ladies' toilets...

    I'll give the wire wool a go. Sounds like a lot of hard labour, but I'll get round to it...
     
  7. Broadfoot

    Broadfoot Guest

    Sounds like acid to me too, although it could be some sort of waterproofer, either way a kingsize pain in the ass to remove, good luck;)
     
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