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Window Hard Water Stains: The Cost of Removal

by Jul 9,2023

If your windows have been exposed to hard water, you might notice they’re difficult to keep clean. Hard water stains on windows typically look like:

● Hazy or cloudy glass
● Chalky white dust on the window
● White specks or a mold-like appearance

Typically, hard water stains are difficult to clean and may require special cleaning agents to remove. These cleaning agents tend to be more caustic than traditional detergents, and as a result, they can damage the glass if they’re not properly used. That’s why we recommend using a professional window cleaning service for stain removal. Professional cleaners will ensure the stain is properly treated, that the stains won’t come back, and that the delicate window glass isn’t damaged.

Wondering if the stains on your windows can be removed? Keep reading to learn the most common types of window stains, if and how they are removed, and the costs of removing hard water stains from windows.

Common Types of Window Stains

There are three common types of window stains, and in all cases, these stains can be treated. However, some types of stains are more costly to treat than others. The most common window stains include:

● Hard Water Stains – Hard water is one of the most common types of glass stain. They are caused when windows are exposed to water with high mineral content, from hoses, sprinklers, etc. These generally appear as mineral deposits on the glass that can be cloudy white or grayish spots.

● Oxidation – Glass oxidation is caused when metal components like a screen or metal frame corrode. The chemical process then leaves a brownish or dark gray dust on the window, which is difficult to remove. Typically, a lightly abrasive cleaner can help to remove oxidation stains.

● Chemical damage – Using the wrong chemicals to clean windows can result in damage, called etching. Etching results in tiny scratches on the window that will make the glass appear to be hazy. Typically, these windows will need to be treated with a sealer or filler to restore to glass.

How to Remove Hard Water and Other Stains from Windows

Removing hard water stains on windows can be a time-intensive process. Typically, how difficult it is to remove stains results from how long the stain has been untreated, and the level of staining that is present. A large stain or a stain that’s been neglected will typically require more intensive methods to remove.

There are two main ways to remove hard water stains from windows:

1. Chemical Cleaning
There are window cleaning products formulated to remove hard water stains. These chemicals are typically more aggressive and may include an abrasive element to cut through the grime. However, use caution when cleaning with chemicals. Historic windows or stained glass have special cleaning needs, while overuse of these chemicals can result in etching.

2. Glass Polishing
This method is more common with chemical damage and etching. Glass polishing works by filling in the tiny scratches caused by etching. This is an intensive process that requires first cleaning the window, and then using a buffer and specially formulated polish to polish the window.
Ultimately, the best stain removal method will be dependent on the type of stain, the condition of your windows, and how long the windows have gone without a professional cleaning.

Is Stain Removal More Expensive?

Stain removal isn’t included in our standard window cleaning estimates, and in general, hard water stain removal is a more laborious, cost-intensive process.

Ultimately, we make estimates for stain removal on a case-by-case basis, and the estimates are generally based on a few factors including:

● Number of windows affected
● Type of stain
● Time estimated to remove the stains

Bottom line, when removing stains from windows, it’s best to work with a professional. There are harsh chemicals available that will cut through these stains. However, they can cause irreversible damage if not carefully used.

Have hard water stains on your windows? Contact Clean and Clear today for a free estimate for your window cleaning project!

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