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Old 06-12-2008, 09:35 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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How to clean this film off my windshield?

A couple of years ago I put an ounce of Simple Green in my windshield fluid to help clean any traces of oil and reducing smearing. It worked fine, although it has a funny smell, so I quit using it. Last winter, I tried the same thing with a product called Oil Eater. However, it started to leave this white film on my windshield at the edges, wherever the wipers don't go.

I quit using it, but the white stuff won't come off. I have tried soap & water, Windex, acetone, and vinegar.

I read the back of the bottle and it said "Not recommended for use on glass "

Any ideas? Steel wool?
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:47 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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You sure it's a film and not an area of actually etched glass? Do NOT use steel wool; that will score the glass and potentially lead to cracking. I'd try one of those razor blade scrapers that painters use to scrape overpainting off of windows. If that doesn't do anything, there's a good bet your glass is etched.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:48 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Oh good no, don't use steel wool. It will ruin your windshield instantly. I would recommend single razor blades like those found in boxes at hardware stores for not much money. They can take almost anything off of glass pretty easily. I can't estimate how long it will take but a rather small piece of glass like a windshield shouldn't take very long.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:28 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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I had what I think was etching on some drinking glasses and it came off by adding a little vinegar to the dishwasher.

This could be etching but I'm not completely sure how to recognize it. I've got toolkit-quality razor blades, I'll try that.
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  #5  
Old 06-12-2008, 10:43 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas
I had what I think was etching on some drinking glasses and it came off by adding a little vinegar to the dishwasher.
If it came off with vinegar, it wasn't etching--more likely mineral deposits. Etching is physical damage to the glass surface; it's irreversible except by grinding and polishing.
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  #6  
Old 06-12-2008, 11:10 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Look at the MSDS , I notice that it contains sodium metasilicate. Under certain conditions, this will form glass. I'm guessing that is what has happened here. Worse yet, this glass could easily be bonded directly to your windsheild. It certainly would explain the "do not use on glass" warning. Anything that dissolves glass will dissolve this film except it will also dissolve your windsheild. That is my guess anyway.
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  #7  
Old 06-12-2008, 11:17 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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I am not sure how it works in Virginia but, in Massachusetts, comprehensive auto insurance pays for auto glass replacement 100% with no deductible. We have used that 4 times as recently as 4 months ago. We have tons of mobile auto glass replacement companies that will meet you at home, work, or anywhere else and replace the entire thing within 30 minutes at no cost to you. I doubt they care what condition your existing windshield is in but I once took a hammer and gave a nice tap to make sure I was eligible. If it works the same way in Virginia, just have the whole thing replaced. It is very quick and painless from a mobile truck.
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:01 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmNPrickly
Look at the MSDS , I notice that it contains sodium metasilicate. Under certain conditions, this will form glass. I'm guessing that is what has happened here. Worse yet, this glass could easily be bonded directly to your windsheild. It certainly would explain the "do not use on glass" warning. Anything that dissolves glass will dissolve this film except it will also dissolve your windsheild. That is my guess anyway.
That's interesting because sodium metasilicates are a common component of carwash soaps. My guess is that it's due to the fact that the soap in question doesn't dwell on the surface of the car for long and gets rinsed away, while the OP has had constant contact with that solution for quite awhile.
I honestly would try a wheel cleaner with hydroflouric acid in it if a razor doesn't work.
HF is quite dangerous, and you may not be able to obtain it at your local Auto Zone, but the stuff is an amazing cleaner. If you can get some, wear gloves and glasses, apply liberally and remove it ASAP. HF will also etch glass if allowed to settle on the surface for a length of time.

It's also possible that some other type of low Ph wheel cleaner would work that doesn't contain HF, but uses phosphoric aciid instead.

Last edited by FoieGrasIsEvil; 06-13-2008 at 12:02 AM..
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Old 06-13-2008, 12:07 AM
Fubaya Fubaya is offline
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Steel wool won't hurt the glass at all, it's what most detail shops use. Just don't use brillo pad type steel wool, get something finer. There are numerous things to try but without seeing what the damage looks like, I really don't know where to start. I would personally take it to a detail or body shop and ask their advice.
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  #10  
Old 06-13-2008, 01:47 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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I wrote to the customer service email on the product, and got the following reply:
Quote:
Hi,

I bought a gallon of Oil Eater at Costco, and put about an ounce in my windshield cleaner to help dissolve road oil. Later I read on the back that it's not recommended for glass. It has left a white film on the edges of the windshield where the wipers don't touch. I have tried Windex, acetone, vinegar, but they seem to have no effect.

Can you suggest how to clean the glass?

CookingWithGas
---------------------
Dear Mr. Gas,

It appears that you may have etched the surface of your windshield. We suggest that you take your vehicle to a Windshield repair/replacement facility and seek their expertise. We are sorry for your misfortune.

Please donít hesitate to use our product as recommended to clean oil, grease and dirt from a multitude of surfaces.

Sincerely,

Customer Service
Kafko International
As it happens I am having some body work done next week so I'll ask about it then.
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