Installing laminated windows is one of the many ways to make your home safe, secure and energy efficient. Since 2016, all uPVC windows in the UK have to be fitted with laminated glass. Knowing how to properly care for them will prolong their life and keep your home protected for years to come.

So, if you want to:

  • learn how to maintain your windows;
  • enjoy a nice scratch-free view;
  • keep your home secure.

This guide is for you!

Table of Contents:

What is Laminated Glass?

Before we tackle the cleaning process, let’s explore what makes laminated glass different from regular glass. In essence, they are one and the same. The main distinction is that laminated glass consists of two sheets of regular or tempered glass bound by an interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or Ethylene and Vinyl Acetate copolymer (EVA).

The glass layering makes the window panes thicker and thus, shock-resistant. Moreover, the vinyl interlayer holds the glass shards together in case of breakage, so they do not hurt anyone standing near them. As an added bonus, if the window pane is only slightly damaged, it can easily be fixed with a special clear resin. This is why it is used anywhere where safety and security is a primary concern: shop windows, windscreens, partition walls, shower screens and security glass.

Another reason for laminated glass windows to be often used in construction, is their ability to withstand severe weather conditions and keep your home warm at the same time.

To find out if your windows are fitted with laminated glass, check the window corners for the printed Kitemark code BS EN 14449.

How to Clean Laminated Glass Windows?

Since laminated window panes are usually made from regular glass, people often think that they are cleaned as such. However, laminated glass is easy to colour and modify, even if there is supplementary reflective or Low-E (low emissivity).

Glass manufacturers advise against the use of sharp metallic objects because they can leave thin layers of metal, which form discoloured stains on the glass. If the laminated panes on your windows are made from toughened glass, you have to keep in mind that there may be small imperfections caused by melded glass particles during the manufacturing process. Using a razor blade to clean your window panes may dislodge this glass “pickup” and cause permanent irreparable damage.

So, despite their reputation for being scratchproof and shatterproof, you have to proceed with great care when washing your laminated glass windows.

Materials and Tools to Avoid

To prevent any damage during the cleaning process, you need to refrain from using abrasive and corrosive materials:

  • Scourers and scouring pads
  • Wire wool
  • Razor blades
  • Metal scrapers
  • Cleaning solutions containing Hydrofluoric (HF) or Phosphoric acid (H3PO4)

  • Powder-based detergents, including baking powder
  • Cream cleaners, such as Cif and Jif
  • Methylated spirits
  • Nail varnish
  • Bleach

Hydrofluoric (HF) or Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) are both corrosive to glass. As HF is the only acid that completely disintegrates glass, it is usually kept in plastic bottles.

tip

If you’re not certain whether the detergents you have are suitable, check the manufacturer’s manual.

Equipment You Will Need

Now that you know what not to use, here are the necessary items to clean laminated glass windows:

  • Water
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Bucket
  • Empty spray bottle
  • Squeegee
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Extendable pole
  • Microfibre or lint-free cloths
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Hydrochloric Acid (HCl) (optional)

Step-by-step Guide

  1. Mix 1 part white vinegar to 10 parts water in a bucket to make the cleaning solution.
  2. Pour the detergent in an empty spray bottle.
  3. Attach the non-abrasive sponge and the squeegee head to the extendable pole.
  4. Dip the sponge attachment in the cleaning solution and scrub the window frames.
  5. Soak the laminated panes with the window cleaning mixture using the sponge. However, if you have opted to wash with a more acidic cleaning solution, do not allow the detergent to stay in contact with the window frames and sills for too long, because it can damage the insulation seals.
  6. Wipe the dirt and the excess solution with the squeegee attachment. Don’t forget to clean the squeegee with a lint-free cloth or you risk leaving streaks on the window glass.
  7. Polish the windows with a microfibre cloth until they are almost dry.
tip

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you can substitute it with lemon juice or a few drops of essential oil. Alternatively, you can use Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), but consult with the manufacturer prior to applying it to your windows.

Related: How to Clean uPVC Window Frames and Sills

Further Ways to Maintain Laminated Glass Windows

There are a few additional rules you need to follow to ensure your windows will serve you for longer:

  • Do not store items or materials near or in contact with the laminated panes. Otherwise, this may create a heat trap causing general damage or thermal breakage.
  • Do not expose the window glass to extreme temperature changes, such as using very hot water on cold glass or vice versa. This also causes thermal damage.
  • Do not use wire wool, razor blades or metal scrapers. They scratch the glass surface and leave irreparable damage.
tip

If you need to remove any persistent stains, paint chips or etched marks, check if your manufacturer allows the use of graffiti solvents.

Hire a Professional

If you are not sure whether your windows are fitted with laminated glass, it’s better to turn to a professional. Fantastic Services offers professional window cleaning, which guarantees chemical-free service and streak-free results. The technicians are fully-trained and regularly subject to quality control checks, ensuring everything is done according to the highest standards. Put your mind at ease by leaving the arduous work to the Fantastic specialists!

Learn what else can the window cleaning team do for you by visiting our main website.

Learn more

Takeaways

  • Ensure your windows are fitted with laminated glass before you proceed with the cleaning.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for any precautionary measures that need to be taken.
  • Do not use any abrasive tools and detergents, including those, which contain Hydrofluoric or Phosphoric acid.
  • Do not allow strong acidic detergents to spill to other parts of the window, other than the laminated window panes.
  • Avoid subjecting the laminated window panes to rapid and extreme temperature changes.

***

We hope you’ve found this guide on how to clean laminated glass windows helpful. Share your experience in maintaining safety glass or ask your questions in the comment section below!

Image source: Deposit Photos / alezandro

  • Last update: September 13, 2019

Posted in Cleaning Guides, Window Cleaning Tips

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