Window Stains

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Jeff

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Washing and waxing our Tradewinds this week has reminded me of an annoying issue we have had since buying the coach last year. At some point the Tradewinds (With double pane tinted side windows) sat in acid rain or has had something used to wash it that left water spot stains on the whole coach. While color restorer fixed the gel-coat I have tried several products on the windows with varying results.

Windex, ammonia, and stain removers did nada.

Tile cleaner (acid) removed some of the stain but I have been hesitant to use a heavy application. A very fime finishing polish helped a little also but did not completely remove the spots.

Anyone had to deal with this and found a solution?

Thanks,
 

Karl

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Jeff,

As Carl said, vinegar should remove mineral deposits. Try a littlle with a pad of very fine steel wool of 000 grade or finer. It won't scratch the glass, but don't use it on the gel-coat;-it will dull it. If it doesn't work on the glass, chances are that the glass was etched by whatever got on it. The only solution then is to polish it out with a cotton buff and jeweler's rouge. That'll work for the glass, but someone else will have to advise you about the gel-coat. Good luck :)
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Jeff

I have heard that Bon Ami will clean hard water spots off...but I have never tried it.

Terry
At Clark Fork, ID
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Since none of the standard glass cleaners worked, it sounds as though there has been some etching of the glass.  If the vinegar doesn't do the trick, try  an automotive or boat polish on it, the heavy duty type intended for old or oxidized finishes.  They contain polishing agents but won't harm glass (or gel coat either).  Automotive Rubbing compounds (laquer polish) can also be safely used on glass.
 

Jeff

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An update on the windows.

After trying vinegar, ammonia, three window cleaners, and tile cleaner with absolutely no success I went to a NAPA store to see what they had to offer. One of the parts people had worked for an auto glass company and offered the following solution:

Coat window with no-drip ammonia based cleaner for 10-15 minutes (foam or no-drip Windex). Carefully scrape window with a commercial sized razor blade/scraper. Polish window with an oscillating buffer and swirl remover compound. It works!

One caution. I nicked a razor blade after about four windows when I struck the edge of the window frame and scratched the window. Jewelers rouge took that out and I had no other problems.

I think this was some type of residue from soap and was a buildup on the window that you can hear when you scrape the window.

Windows look great now and are coated with Protect All.
 

Tom

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Jeff, I almost suggested the razor blade & Windex trick, but assumed your "stains" were the result of etching. I learned the trick from a glazier who put in some custom mirrors at the house. He made a point of telling me to only move the razor blade in one direction i.e. don't scrape back and forth.

I've used this same trick on gel coated fiberglass when the captain swears that the stationary dock jumped out in front of the boat and left those rubber marks.

BTW I usually don't wait 15 minutes - I use the blade almost immediately after application of the Windex, and I don't worry about it being non-drip; The regular Windex spray works fine - it's just acting as a lubricant. Also haven't had to use a buffer afterwards, although it probably depends on the amount of buildup and how long it's been there.

Sorry I didn't pipe up sooner.
 

Jeff

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Jeff, I almost suggested the razor blade & Windex trick, but assumed your "stains" were the result of etching. I learned the trick from a glazier who put in some custom mirrors at the house. He made a point of telling me to only move the razor blade in one direction i.e. don't scrape back and forth.

Tom:

It wouldn't be real if I learned the easy way! ???
 
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