Scratches on windows


Generally speaking if challenged most if not all waivers would not save you from being liable if you use non approved methods to clean the window without informing the customer that you are doing such.

The customer is trusting you as a professional to clean the glass without causing damage.

This gets brought up at least once a month, still there are professionals who continue to do things they way they have always done it, believing that they know what they are doing and these new care instructions do not apply to them.

If you use non approved methods and damage occurs, its highley likely you will be found liable.


Looks like fabricating debris damage to me. I see this in a lot of commercial glass some residential. Our waiver explains why we use razors and they can opt not to use razors but anything we can’t get off is the way it will look. We educate them for sure on the whole procedure. Big manufacturer window stickers won’t come off with chemical only. Also, we have in the waiver about previous damage, I look for scratches and make note of that. In 25 years we’ve never had a problem, customer sees we are being as through as we can.


I doubt your waiver will hold uo. With how severe these scratches are who wouldnt demand replacement. Most dont draft one properly.

To know how strong your waiver is depends on how and who drafted it. Does it include the known risks and recommendations for properly removing debris from windows.

Likely, with the recent decision of GANA and IWCA your waiver is worthless.

I absolutly would know If my technique caused this by the motions I use dailey to clean. I dont understand why you aren’t sure if you caused the damage. The scratches do conform to a wide blade scraper.

This is a case where you performed the work, if an employee did there would be room for question.


I quit using a wide blade scraper a few years ago because I would notice an occasional scratch as I was working. THAT IS WHEN TO STOP.
I now only use a 1 inch razor for particular spots and try to swap out blades often. If lots of paint or stucco I let Titan Oil-Flo to dwell for a few moments than easily remove.


All our employees carry a 6" scraper daily.

Simply educate on how and when to use it.


I learned my lesson a while ago which ones I can use a blade, and those I cant because I’ve made the mistake before. I rarely use a razor unless I know the one I’m working on won’t scratch. Otherwise I softly use wool doing my best and let them know to call their painter/contractor about the paint overspray. Hey, I’m a cleaner, not a window replacer.


Just admit you scratched them, like are you insinuating that the customer is trying to take you for a ride to replace his brand new windows for different brand new windows?

Btw, I didn’t read any of the replies, I will later on my break.


I don’t see how an unger scraper could scratch that deeply though. I’ve only had a couple instances with my Triumph but it didn’t gouge anywhere near that bad.


That’s the thing, what is suspected of happening in these instances is: the blade dislodges the ‘glass fine’ (small particle of glass fused to the surface) and that ‘glass fine’ is carried up the window by the blade the more you scrape the more ‘fines’ dislodge and are also carried up the glass with your blade. Since the ‘glass fine’ is the same as the surface when the 1 is dragged against the other damage is caused.

The glass industry is aware of this and thus states do not do this as the outcome that has occurred is likley to occur.

This is the reason not to use blades on tempered glass, furthermore if you do use a blade on a tempered pane that contains ‘glass fines’ and you go to non tempered glass without thoughly ensuring there are no 'glass fines" present on the blade the ‘glass fines’ can also cause damage to any glass surface.

If you must use a blade, use a 1" blade and spot clean the paint or other stuck on debris with miniumal movement 1-3mm stroke (if you could call that little movement a stroke).


Also toughened glass scratches from when it’s going through the toughening process the glass is undergoing molecular changes due to being heated and then it’s super cooled which freezes that molecular change leaving the glass no longer as flat as glass that is not toughened, do when you run a scraper blade over an uneven surface you start scratching it


Thats bad glass get Dan Fields to help you!
Please read all of this!
Call Dan before you do anything or talk to any one else!


I have recently discovered that you can buy plastic razor blades.

Triumph Plastic 6" razor slide blades

Plastic pocket razors

More and more window cleaning companies are running into itchy glass in my area. I have discovered that two other companies have recently sworn off metal razor blades because of having to pay large sums to home owners for scratching windows.

So, my question is, do you think these plastic razor blades might do the trick? Has anyone tried them? Do you think they would pull the tiny glass fines across the glass and scratch windows like metal razors do?

Any actual experience with these plastic razors would be very helpful!


It would be interesting to experiment with glass you know has or will scratch with a stainless razor and do a side-by-side comparison with the plastic razor. ( Triumph Stainless vs The Plastic version )
I had no idea Triumph had that product. I have never seen it carried by any suppliers I have used.


Theyre garbage. I ordered 2 dozen a few years ago, and they were in the trash a week later.


It is the method that needs to be changed rather than the type of blade. from blanket strokes to spot removal reduce the size of the blade to reduce the footprint of the potential damage, the problem with this is it is far more time consuming.

The basic technique would be to clean the glass as normal with either a WFP or traditionally, give them a quick clean, then inspect the glass and then spot remove any stuck on debris with the use of chemicals for each specific type of debris to loosen the bonds then a plastic scraper might be useful, however you should still limit the strokes as these are the source of scratches. Adapting as a solo operation would be much easier than adapting with employees as everyone has to be re trained.

The other option is to avoid construction cleans, and have on your quotes that the price does not include the removal of construction debris. I had a guy the other week, I said all done and he was like “ok lets have a walk around” I was a little shocked as 99% of people don’t do that. Then he starts going what about this picking at a paint spot on a window with his fingernail, I pointed out the quote where it states and he agreed.


All construction cleaning is high risk anymore!


I highly disagree, just need to know what to watch for and process to use.

Commercial is where we see the most issues of scratched glass. Nearly every case was cleaners error.

Being aware to visually inspect before, during and after.

You just need to be aware that glass can be of different quality and to use methods which are appropriate.

We find the issues befor we start and educate the customer.


@anon46335951 nailed it, not rocket science here…at least with residential. Before I do any larger pane scraping I’ll test a corner and feel/listen for the telltale ‘hiss’ of fines. Once I hear that, scraper stays in the pocket.

I use the end if my scrubber to get the more stubborn spots off but notify the customer I did the best I could, and educate them on tempered glass. Most are really appreciative I’m knowledgeable enough to protect their glass.


I agree with avoiding construction cleans as many painters (paint) or window installers (silicone) out here don’t mask windows because their many excuses. And most homeowners believe them. Ultimately it falls on “well the window guy will “clean” it off easily”. Well, if it’s a glass that I know will scratch (and yes doing this WC work long enough, I can tell), I basically let the homeowner know the situation. I also randomly have those knit-picking customers of “let’s do a walk around”.


Holy crap, that window looks terrible. That is some of the worst scratches I have ever come across. I hope it all works out for you OP, I just don’t see how someone can do that if not intentionally (Maybe even the owner!) Especially if you did not see it while cleaning, which 99 percent of cleaners would. (You have to remember, we have “trained” eyes on this whether we admit it or not!) That is tough, which makes me wonder why even have a scratch waiver if you can still be held liable. I don’t know, it would take a lot to do that to glass! I see that a lot on commercial glass, very rarely on residential.

What blades are you guys using? I have a 6 inch Triumph angled Stainless steel on me always— those damn mulch spores are killing me, smalls!!! I like the stainless steel, they aren’t as fragile as carbon and don’t rust for weeks. I clean the window as normal to see what’s left behind-- I just soap the hell out of any glass I scrape, one pass and never “back and forth”. Never on dry areas, ALWAYS heavily lubricated.

Anyway, hope it all works out for you man. That doesn’t seem like it will be fun to deal with. Good thing to have insurance in case the shit hits the fan.