Cleaning Sea Salt


So I had a new residential today, in An east coast beach town. The property was sort of a condo, and the layout was weird, lots of slopes, so my ladder wasn’t able to reach a few windows properly. The windows I was able to clean were easy enough, but the problem was is the city’s tap water is extremely hard, and the tap water combined with mineral deposits on the panes were tough to clean using only dish soap and water.

I got the job from Thumbtack, hence me again not seeing the property before accepting, as jobs are low right now, so I took it while waiting on approval from another client

The clients were extremely happy, as I provided more then asked for on thumbtack, and tgey payed me extra, but I wasn’t able to complete what I set my mind to. I have a 16 foot ladder, but need at least 20. I had to sit on a sill to clean one of the exteriors, and I hate sitting 30 feet above the ground. I already found an extension ladder suitable to complete what I need to make them as happy as possible, and staying safe, but I don’t know what exactly to use to clean the remaining French panes efficiently.

The remaining Windows consist of multiple panes that can only be squeegeed horizontally with a 12 inch squeegee. The width of each french pane is about 9 to 10 inches, so I considered buying another 12 inch channel+rubber and chopping it short to complete each pane without issue.

The issue is the hard water leaving spots after squeegeeing, requiring excessive detailing.

I’m considering just using distilled water to complete the job, and thinking either vinegar or ammonia in a solution with the water.

What would you guys suggest for salty panes? The water from each squeegee pass was completely white in color, and it made it hard to leave the glass looking how I want.

And before asked, I willingly want to go back and complete what I promised, they were the nicest clients I have ever worked for, owners of an HOA for an entire neighborhood, so it’s completely worth pleasing them to clean the rest of the community, at double what I charged them. Its my first time seeing the water looking as it did while cleaning!


Honestly I don’t understand how there is any residue after you squeegee unless the spots are hard water deposits not made by you, than by a sprinkler. If this is the case you remove the deposits then clean the window.

I have cleaned windows before with very muddy water and there was no residue left behind.
if your rubber is old and worn you will have a film that will quickly dry but it will be visible.


I think it was due to the lack of control over the squeegee I had. The spots I’m talking about I couldn’t reach comfortably.

There were white stains that looked like water spots, but wouldn’t come off from agitation, or scraping.


Oxidation from the frames dripping white milky residue onto the glass?


Best to let the customer know that a sight-unseen quote means it may change upon actual inspection before starting the job.


I’d agree with this and add:
I’ve done frames like that, and no matter how hard you try, you end up getting the frames wet with a mop, then it drags that crap onto the glass (mop).
When you pull your squeegee, you have that white milky crap across the glass. You are only left with the option of buffing like a mad man with a scrim or like cloth. You can change the water on every window like that, but as soon as your mop gets it on it, your screwed.


If the windows haven’t been cleaned in a while ( years) the dirt starts to bake-in the glass and need steel wool to remove .


It also may take variety of choices to scrub it off with the steel wool or bronze wool and elbow grease. Bar Keepers Friend Ceramic Cleaner; Diamond Magic (sold here at WCR); Ettore Scrub Off.


Yeah, it was exactly that


If you walk up to white vinyl framed window and you run your finger along the frame and your finger gets the white chalky residue on it, here’s a tip…

Take a old huck towel and get it wet ring it out and add some ammonia to it and wipe the frame let it dry then wash the glass as normal it will eliminate all most all of the white residue from spread to the glass.

You don’t have to scrub hard at all, just enough pressure to take the white powder (oxidation) off.

Wear rubber gloves, the ammonia has a strong smell and the the white residue is a pain to get off your hands.

Hope this helps someone.

Waterfed cleaning WHAT AM I DOING WRONG!?

Nice, will do this tommorow, thanks so much.


One Restore


Great tip Steve. I’ll poke that away in the ol memory bank,


Just finished the job.

They tipped me an extra 50% after finishing.

The ammonia cleaned the frames like a hot knife through butter.

Only thing is I should’ve used a mask, that has some serious fumes.


I’m happy the tip helped you.


In the future if youre dealing with hard water or salt add lots of vinegar I work in coastal So. Cal and deal with salty glass and hard watwr on a daily. Vinegar is a natural water softener and will help break down all that salt.


Nice call, @clean
I am inland and don’t deal with salty water, BUT I know the issue of residue can be a beast sometimes. I’ve been finding at a few of the storefront locations I do that in the last winter or two there is a horrible issue with whatever the plow and “salt” crews are spewing all over the place in the name of public safety. The typical dishwashing liquid and water/windshield washer mix isn’t easily dissolving whatever they are getting on ‘my’ glass and frames. It’s extremely frustrating at times. Second applications or ever third sometimes usually do the trick.
@Windowmen I’ve found that a real wet towel or sponge on frenchies will eventually dissolve the not-too-tough marks and then you can go from there. Other than that, the products mentioned earlier would all be good.


Huge tip. Thanks!


Happy it helped.