Tinted Windows/ Got Lucky..I Guess


Just did resi that had tinted storms and glass panels/ windows for living room bay. Lady uses/ used Windex in garden hose with well water to clean exteriors for years. Enter…me. All windows have water droplet marks. I attacked the back windows, showed them water marks, and decided to try and remove. Long story short, with much elbow grease, CLR, BKF, Blue Pot Scrubbers, got stains off 5 bay windows. The edges, not so much, but a big improvement. Well…I had originally attacked these windows with bronze wool, which did nothing on water stains. Bringing this up because windows being tinted, I could have gotten into trouble. Thankfully, the tint seems to be on inside of double panes. I don’t have pics, but noticed as I worked gold and purple appeared as I worked the glass, then everything evaporated and glass looked fine. They sparkle like new diamonds, tint is still in tact. Guess I got lucky…this time. Have searched how to clean tinted windows, seems like everything leans to window tint film. So I know I got lucky, but are tinted house windows usually tinted on inner surfaces? What product will cut this stuff quickly on tinted windows? Thanks for help in advance.


Something doesn’t sound right. Window tint is plastic, scrubbing with abrasives on tint will leave scratches where it won’t on glass lubricated with your cleaning solution. Some glass comes tinted from the factory within the glass, but “window tinting” (plastic sheet) is a delicate coating.


You likely ran into tinted glass, not glass tint. If it were a film, even the blue scrubber would have ruined it.

When I recently toured an IG manufacture, I was fortunate enough to see how the IG’s are made. From cutting the glass, formation of the IG units, even tempering and making the decorative muttons that go between the glass (all hand made).

Yes, some glass is factory tinted (colored glass).


Is hard water stain removal part of your regular service?

I would inform the customer after I had competed the job that these problems would need to be tackled in the next clean if they wished for a “Clear” window and inform them of a price to remove those stains. I would never just clean them as part of a regular clean. if you had of messed up the tint without informing the customer of the extra steps you were taking to clean the glass it would seem worse than informing the customer and they can direct you how to proceed.

Window tint in most areas is on the internal surface of he glass, however some companies of late have been pushing an external tint… no idea why sound dumb to me, but hey these guys make a buck.


Whew! Think that is the case here. Informed customer that companies usually charge extra for this. Down the road I will have pictures of all this, but it was a stunning bay of windows in the premiere living room, consisting of 5 panels. Was going for perfect clean on these. The rest of the house still has the water marks. I would estimate about a week to remove from the rest of the windows. Did not want to seem stupid here and was cautious as I approached and worked these. Wherein the bronze pads did not affect tint, pursued to see if I could readily get ahead of water staining. I used what I had to see if it would even phase it. Learned a bit and was surprised that/when stains disappeared and gave way to clean, smooth glass. Customer, while very wealthy squawked at paying just to have windows cleaned. No way they’ll spend 2k to restore windows. Will see if I even want to keep them. They were easy to please and windows look beautiful…except for the water staining, which is only seen nose to glass. Thanks Pros.


…I have a building with that…bad idea. They are on ground floor going close to dirt so they get trashed when it rains. I do the best I can with a hogs hair brush but that’s it, nothing abrasive can be used. Bad idea.


Clean windows with hard water deposits attached to the glass is the best they can hope for then. A free demo window to show what they can look like, but the others are charged just as if you are getting an oil change, then also want spark plugs as well. :wink:


Yes Sir. I agree, that’s why I was a nice guy and did the 5, so they could see the difference, and…oh what a difference. This is the 747K property I talked about earlier. They are loaded, but cringe at the thought of a pro doing their windows, because she used Windex and a garden hose on the outsides for years. Anywho, job is done and money in the bank. The windows look beautiful. They just have water spots on them. :open_mouth:


There’s all types of tinted glass,body tinted glass is tinted right throughout the glass and you can clean as normal with abrassives etc,surface tinted glass is coated on one side,you can usually tell these apart as it will be very reflective on one side and will feel “rough” to the touch,also you can use your finger nail and push against glass and if it is surface coated you will get a reflection that meets up with your finger nail as if they were both touching,you don’t want to use any abbrassives on these at all,if the reflection has a gap between the fingernails,this isn’t the coated side


If it is an after market tint or surface coating applied to the exterior glass, there are no product that can remove hard water stains aftermarket tint or surface coating from it safely EVERY time.

@LoveGlass search threads about hard water stains removal with a mikita polisher and warrior pads or yellow pads. It’s way easier on the body but still bits.
There is also Glassrenue (< I think that’s how you spell its close enough) kit in the store here or Jflint restoration kits check them out…happy shopping!


Thanks so much Pros. The learning curve continues. Did indeed research removal products yesterday. Am going to house today for follow up and pictures by permission. Pretty sure tint is on inside. Used bronze wool and no scratches or swirls.