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Friday, November 16, 2018

Gaining the Competitive Edge with Diamond Products

Products that are based on microscopic and even nanoscopic diamond particles can easily give you a very strong edge over your competition!  The real key to accomplishing this is twofold.  First you must know precisely what diamond products to use for what purpose.  Second you must find a way to use this technology in your marketing.  The first is quite obvious.  Diamond can create serious problems if not used correctly, or simply be ineffective.  As for using this technology in your marketing efforts you will have to focus on the real benefits to your potential customers.  Also your existing customers because they will help you with publicity.  

Diamond particles have been used in colloidal suspensions, compounds, coated films, and loaded metals and ceramics.  Probably the most common type of product available that window cleaners are familiar with is the colloidal suspension.  There is a product out now called Diamond Magic which uses a liquid suspension of diamond particles.  If you look at the SDS for this product you might notice that the amount of diamond by weight compared to the total volume is rather small.  This is likely for two reasons.  First diamond powders are not inexpensive.  I remember twenty years ago paying fifty United States Dollars (USD) for about a tablespoonful!  Surprisingly the price is approximately the same today.  I know this blog goes into many countries worldwide so your supplier might charge different.  The bottom line here is if you are going to develop a glass restoration product based on a diamond powder you will have to multiply your total cost by a factor of 4.5 to 6 to get the end retail price in order to make a profit.  Second it is not necessary most times to use very much diamond to get a certain desired result.  In fact along this line of thinking water is one of the best ways to lubricate diamond products. So at times less is more.  I always say check your surface.  Checking in the direct sun is always best.  There are always variables involved here.  One of the most notable is that we are not working in a facility, nor are we working in a lab.  We are working with surfaces that are completely unknown.  When polishing a glass surface that has been covered with hard water spots or mineral deposits, you really have no clue exactly what there are made of.  You don't know what the size of the mineral crystal structure is either.  Also you don't know how the polishing product you are using is going to react with the deposits you are attempting to remove.  This is a great deal of unknown factors here.  So as my friend and glass restoration guru Marc Tanner puts it, every job is different!  We cannot take much advice from the lab techs because they do NOT work in the field with us.  We are the scientists.  We are the field techs.

Another type of diamond product are the compounds.  Now compounds are very thick blends of diamond powders and suspending agents.  These products use way more diamond powder.  Even as much as sixty percent.  They are very effective at cutting glass when using the correct technique.  Even polishing compounds will cut through glass very effectively.  Although it is rather easy to leave swirl marks that are visible only in the direct sun.  For some of the different reasons mentioned above.  I remember one time tackling a restoration job that had about 1,974 very small windows that were badly stained from a cleaning product based on sodium metasilicate and sodium carbonate.  I tried a small rotary machine with a hard felt pad and a great diamond compound;...but it left visible scratching.  It was very effective at clearing the stain, which no other polishing product would.  I even tried some of the very bad acid based products out there that I would never do a job with;...just as a test.  They also would not touch the stain.  The only way I could remove the stain and leave no scratches from the diamond compound, was to rub it out by hand using Bounty paper towels.  

Here is the most efficient way to use diamond compounds on large area glass plates.  You will need a rotary machine that remains flat on the glass at all times.  I have included a picture here of a wheel that I had built special.  You will notice the 3/8 shaft is tilted slightly to the left.  That is because there is a universal joint added to the inside which the shaft is connected to.  The holes in the wheel gives it lightweight.  It is made from mag/aluminum.  And the center cylinder allows for safety.  There is only a 12 degree variation in movement of the shaft.  Any hard felt pad can be glued to the bottom.

The easiest way to use such a tool is with a rotary drill motor.  First clean the window.  Then apply some clean soapy water to the window.  Next apply just three or four drops of diamond compound to the hard felt pad.  Now apply the pad to the window and pull the trigger.  It is always best to start out slow and gain speed.  I would first try removing the spots as slow as possible.  You can get a zero to three thousand rpm drill motor.  Or if you decide to get a much more powerful grinder which is much heavier you can also get a variable.  But will have to adapt the shaft to the grinder.  Whatever wheel you have built or purchase.

Here is an old video I made about five years ago showing how this concept actually works.  I made up what I call a slow release felt disk based on a cerium oxide.  Currently I am still working the bugs out of a microcrystalline silica slow release pad.  Such a pad would eliminate the need for continually applying drops.  But you would need a trigger to apply soapy water.  No matter whether you use compound drops or a slow release pad, there is the definite advantage of not needing to clean up a huge mess.  You will be able to minimize the amount of product you use.  And squeegee from time to time to check your work.  Here is the video.

Archer USA 4 in. #3000 Grit Wet Diamond Polishing Pad for StoneNow this is just the very beginning of this technology.  Check out this picture.  
This pad/wheel is used with pure water for polishing granite counter tops to a high shine.  It is essentially a plastic medium loaded with diamond or silicon carbide particles.  Over time it is worn down and is thrown away.  But is capable of doing many square feet.  One time I had a bank of windows that were seriously stained by hard water spots.  It was dark glass and so was the most difficult surface to restore.  None of the compounds I had would work.  Again not even the acids would work.  So I picked up a fifty dollar diamond disk and spun it with nothing but pure water.  In a single minute it knocked off the stains perfectly!  The only problem was it left very fine scratches all over the window.  These could have been removed with a cerium polishing compound.  But I was looking for a simple single step answer.  It is likely that any scratches of this type left on a granite top would not be easy to see.  But when working on glass anything jumps right out at you.  Especially in the direct sunlight.

Now there are thousands of different products out there.  If you look at the left column of this blog you will be able to pick out at least three or four companies that sell diamond products.  A couple specialize in just diamond products.  But how do you know which ones to buy, and how to use them?  That is what I have decided to focus on in my very latest newsletter called the Glass Smart Insider.  Still focused on the most innovative technology for the window cleaning industry.  There is so much out there.  So much to learn.  And so much to apply.  I am seriously looking for sponsors to help me with the time and expense of furthering this technology.  I am asking only ten USDollars per week for this very simple grassroots electronic newsletter.  It is a very pain letter I am sending out by email. Available as a subscription only.  But you can pay as we go.  No need to pay in advance.  You can pay once a week if you want.  I have set up a Pay Pal account if this is easier for you.  And will be exploring other means for those living in other Countries. But if you just want to send a check that is another way.  I just have not set up with credit/debit cards yet.

I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know those who have been reading this blog for the last several years.  I am almost at 100,000 views.  And am hoping it has already made a difference in your business.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 2018 Glass Smart Bulletin

The Destructive Power of Acids

Unfortunately most building owners, property maintenance managers, and even window cleaners are not aware of the destructive power of acids.  The general opinion is that windows cannot be harmed by acids.  That even when windows become seriously stained by hard water as is shown here in these two pictures, all that is required is a quick "acid wash".

Little do they know that chemicals such as hydrofluoric, sulfuric, and ammoniumbifluoride  have a detrimental effect on the window surface;...every single time!    

Acids and Dark Glass

Actually there are an assortment of acids and alkalies that react with glass surfaces. Hydrofluoric acid however is probably the most common.  This is the one which has been favored by the window cleaning industry for many years.  It has been added to so called professional glass restoration products.  Companies have even used it pure in much higher concentrations.  The destruction caused by this acid can be seen all over the world in every country.  Based on what I have personally seen in the field it has had the greatest effect on dark glass.  That is glass that is tinted with different metal oxides all the way through from the inner surface to the outer surface.  The full thickness in other words.  I believe that dark glass is most easily "dissolved" by hydrofluoric (HF) acid.  HF will "eat away" at the surface leaving behind clear impressions of hard water spots.  This causes a type of "orange peal" effect.  If used to remove long drips of a concrete sealant this results in a "banding" effect.  Any light scratches that might have been covered over and hidden by newly formed hard water spots are fully revealed and become magnified fifty times.  On occasions these are difficult to see unless the sun is shining directly on the glass.  So they become visible when the sun moves around to that side of the building or comes up the next day.  It is also possible that the surface could take on a patchy/cloudy etch.  Again this could be rather light or very intense depending on different conditions present at the time the acid was used.  One other effect I have not wrote about yet involves a change in both the chemistry and the physical properties in the glass surface.  When glass is exposed to HF it becomes very prone to scratching.  So glass that was previously very smooth and resistant to scratches now becomes very rough and easy to scratch.  Making it that much more difficult to maintain over the course of its life.

Acids and Clear Glass

All of the effects mentioned above also apply to clear glass.  Just not as intense in my opinion.  Although it is true that both hard and soft low e coatings are much more frequently used these days on the first surface of clear glass.  The trend also is for these coatings to be very transparent.  So it is very difficult to know they are even there.  You would have to test the surface with a device or some other way to determine if it had a coating. Companies have come up with coatings that are supposed to have photoreactive and even photovoltaic properties.  Any of these high tech coatings would be destroyed by the first time use of these different acids such as and especially HF.   I have include below a picture of the kind of damage that is caused by the use of HF on an old coating from PPG called Solar Cool Silver.  This coating was literally stripped off by HF and is now impossible to repair.  The windows on this building have been permanently destroyed.

This Bulletin is published in this blog for the general public.  Not that this information is necessarily known by all window cleaners.  Because it is unfortunately not.  The sad truth is that there are thousands of window cleaners that do not know and or simply do not accept this information.  The ability to make a quick buck coupled with the desire of the building owner to save thousands of dollars, has driven the widespread use of acid.  The cost of properly and correctly restoring a window can easily be ten times the cost of clearing it with an acid such as HF.  The risk of losing a window here and there or even all of the windows is seen as the price that must be paid to save all that money.  This is rather faulty reasoning however.  For if you must replace the windows because of acid use the stains will still return.  The old and or new windows must be sealed with the correct product and then the windows must be properly maintained.  The ultimate cost of window replacement could be very expensive.  Much more then having a proper restoration performed or certainly much more than a quick acid wash.  If you are looking for more information on this subject just send an email to

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Introducing Jared of Aztec Innovation

Everyone talks about developing products as if this was some kind of a ticket to the easy life.  But the reality is it is not as easy as we think.  It truly is another business system that has to be followed according to certain rules.  One of the greatest innovators and inventors we have had in our industry was Henry Unger.  And we have had many.  He told me once that he had over fifty patents.  He also told me the best way to do this was to work on only one product at a time.  To focus.  Of course there is so much more.  I have learned a great deal from people like him.  Listen to Jared talk about his process.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
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Monday, August 27, 2018

Stain Removal;...Dark Glass, Clear Glass, & Low E

If the stain has the same exact chemistry will it come off dark glass just as easy or hard as clear or low e coated?  Absolutely not.  How do I know this with such unwavering certainty?  Simply put because I have a building that has both dark glass and windows with a low e surface.  This building is covered with mineral deposits from the same exact water source.  So the stains are identical.  When trying to remove the stains by what I call the "hand test" using a simple compound based on a microcrystalline silica, I was able to easily remove the spots/stains from the low e pyrolytic surface, but not the dark tinted glass.  The stains on the dark glass would not budge at all by hand.  When using a machine it became possible to remove them but not without much effort.  From other testing on buildings that had both clear glass and dark glass I know that stains on dark glass are much more difficult to remove then stains on clear glass.  Although stains on low e coated windows are the easiest to remove of all.  So it goes in this order from the most difficult to remove to the least difficult to remove;...dark glass, clear glass, and low e coated glass.

I have created my first beta SRC pad based on an optical microcrystalline silica.  I made it for light stains on clear and low e surfaces.  Not for dark tinted glass.  Even the "lightest" stains on dark glass can be exceptionally difficult to remove.  I am guessing this has something to do with the possibility that the surface of dark glass goes through a reaction with the water and literally breaks down in solution.  Through some rather simple testing I was able to prove that water spots are able to etch dark glass surfaces removing some of the glass.  This leaves a transparent/clear "imprint" of each spot on the surface.  Such an anomaly appears not to happen on clear glass or low e pyrolytic surfaces.  Although it has been conjectured that "pinholes" can form on low e pyrolytic coatings when an excessive amount of mineral deposits are allowed to develop on this type of window and remain for some time.  Either way stains should never be allowed to form on windows and remain.  Especially on windows with dark glass owing to the amount of excessive labor that is necessary to effectively remove them.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Avoid Lawsuits with Scratch Testing!

What scratches and when?
This is usually a total crap shoot.  A throw of the dice.  We might win or we might lose.  Did you know there is a way to dramatically increase the odds in our favor?  It involves a very simple test that almost no window cleaner has ever performed.  Let me explain.

Testing Conditions.

I have developed many very simple tests over the years that anyone can do.  This one involves the use of a one by one foot square mirror.  I choose mirror plate because it is very easy to get.  Also mirror shows up the slightest blemish.  At times I will take the "test plate" into a totally dark room and shine a flashlight at the surface at a 45 degree angle.  Then look straight down the beam of light.  This shows up every imperfection.

Tools, compounds, and machines.
So I take a brand new mirror and polish the entire surface with a cerium oxide (optical quality).  It should look perfectly fine without any imperfections.  The best way to do this is with a rectangular piece of soft felt glued to the based of a random oscillating buffer of about 10,000 opms.  That is oscillations per minute.  

Image result for rectangular random oscillating sander

You will know that you have set up the surface correctly because when you rinse it under the tap pure water it will sheet evenly over the entire plate.  It will be so hydrophylic (water loving) that it will appear to be dry.  Now squeegee off the water so it is dry.  You will notice that the surface is now quite rough if you pass a dry fingertip across it.
What surfaces are way easy to scratch?

Rough surfaces are extremely easy to scratch.  Items that would hardly ever scratch a smooth plate of glass will absolutely scratch a rough surface.  This test plate is great for testing metal wool, synthetic wool, and many other things.  While it is not absolutely fool proof, it will help out tremendously at revealing what items are very prone to scratching. 

Adding Glass Etchants to the Test.

Another additional feature of this test involves the use of hydrofluoric or sulfuric acid.  Sulfuric is easy to get from an auto parts store because it is battery acid.  So very dangerous.  Hydrofluoric can be obtained by purchasing so called glass restoration products based on a little over 1% HF.  One product called Crystal Clear 550 has this chemical.  Again it is a very dangerous chemical so be very careful  I have posted some very educational videos in this blog.  You can search the blog with the search bar.  When testing I will try to scratch and area.  Then treat only half that area with either acid.  HF works best.  Take the test plate into a very dark room and look at the area that was tested with a bright flashlight.  The acid will have magnified any blemishes 25 times over making them very visible.  You will also be able to compare all three surfaces.  The roughened surface untouched.  The roughened surface tested with the product in question.  Also the roughened surface tested with both the product in question and the acid applied afterward to magnify and blemishes.

Minimizing the Likelihood of a Lawsuit.
If you know what most likely is going to scratch and what most likely is not going to scratch you are most like going to be able to avert any lawsuits.  This is indeed our goal as many times we are faced with removing various things such as construction debris but do not want to do damage to the surface.  Especially if it is brand new glass.  Being an older house no one seems to care that much.  But brand new homes always come under the responsibility of whoever is the very first one to clean them.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Be a SRC Beta Tester !

I am looking for some assistance in developing a line of Slow Release Coated Pads.  Or SRC Pads.   They can be used with any commercial system out there. My Hard Water, Glass Renu;… anything! No more messy slurries and compounds. Save time, and money. Remove stains, convert glass to hydrophylic, activate glass surfaces to receive hydrophobic sealants, and use for low e coated glass. Below is a picture of a two inch pad. The base is hard felt with a crack and peal adhesive back. The top has been coated with a slow release formula. Which gradually releases the particles slowly as the hard polymer carrier softens and dissolves in pure water.  Not my imagination guys. I have done this. Will be working on videos soon. There will be an entire line of these pads. Email me with any questions.

There is no cost for anything I might send to you for testing.  I just need some people to do testing.  I need to start a product development/sales business for my old age.  But need to keep it very small, highly specialized, and very personal.

If you want to keep up on the Beta Testing of the SRC Pads and other technologies just type your address in the bar at the top right, "Follow by Email".  Each post will then come directly in your inbox.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Simplifying Stain Removal

Stain Removal can be a rather messy affair.  The best "one step" polishing compound or slurry is based on cerium oxide.  This is either a thick compound or a water slurry.  In either case it is very difficult to apply.  It is also very difficult to use without spraying compound all over the other windows, or the window frame.  Usually so much of it is used that when cleaning the window much of it will drip down onto the concrete or other sills or exterior facade.  This can discolor the exterior wall directly underneath each window.  

Another problem has to do with the expense of the compound.  Most people have chosen to use cerium oxide powder which has dramatically increased in cost over the last several years.  It becomes very expensive when it is over used.  You see in reality it doesn't take very much of this at all to clear most stains.  

Timing is another concern.  It takes a lot of time to keep on applying the compound/slurry to the glass as you are polishing.  Then if you use too much it can take a lot of time to clean up after.

With a slow release pad all of these problems are eliminated!  I can coat any pad that you are already using with a custom blended slow release plastic coating.  It goes on like a thick paint and then hardens to a solid coating.  Which coating can be loaded with any microcrystalline polishing powder.  So we can use an optical silica, zirconium dioxide, cerium oxide, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, or even diamond.  Or we can precisely blend any of these powders.  

To use a slow release pad you first must clean the window.  Then just apply a clean soapy water and begin polishing.  After about thirty seconds the hard plastic coating will begin to dissolve in the water releasing just the right amount of microcrystalline powder.  Once done all you need to do is soap up the window and squeegee it off.  Wiping up the bottom edge.  There will be very little residue to wipe.  Since you are using only a very little amount of powder and only have to apply water,  There is very little mess if any.  Also the expense is dramatically minimized.  Further the time to clear the window is likewise reduced.  All of this greatly simplifies the job.  It likewise reduces the total expense.

There is even the option of adding acrylic or walnut powders to the coating for working on coated glass.  It is necessary to test whatever coating you are working on to determine whether or not a custom slow release pad will cause scratches.  This could be a very practical way to remove residue such as concrete sealer/water proofing from low e coated glass.  There are water miscible solvents available that will soften concrete sealers, silicone, paint, and wood stain.  These will also dissolve the plastic coating of a slow release pad thereby releasing the acrylic or walnut shell powder to physically rub off the paint or whatever else which has already been softened. Then all you have to do is agitate with soapy water and squeegee it off.

I am now working on a series of videos to demonstrate exactly how each of these custom pads work.  Again it should be emphasized that any polishing pad can be coated with a slow release plastic.  So if you have a felt pad that has a crack and peal backing to stick on a wheel we can coat this.  Or if you have a soft pad that has a velcro backing we can also coat the front of this.  There are many different applications.

Here is an old video I made several years ago using a special wheel I created and a hard felt ring/pad with a slow release cerium oxide coating.  The wheel wobbles because it has a universal joint built in between the shaft and the polishing wheel.  This keeps it flat on the glass all the time which makes the system very easy to work with!  But.  Any wheel, machine, or stain removal system can be used.  All that needs to be done is to coat the pad.

If you are interested in exploring any of these ideas just send an email to

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Exposing Tech7

There has been much buzz over this rather simple looking tube.  Many are claiming that it has the ability to change water on a molecular level.  Actually changing the hydrogen bonding of water or the cohesive properties of the molecules and thereby changing the memory of water which is controlled by the identity of the micro-clusters.  They claim that it can change the electrical conductivity of water and even change the surface tension like detergents do.  Some believe that it uses cavitation to increase the cleaning power of water.  Beyond these claims is the belief that it will extend the life of DI resin in a water fed purification tank.  They go so far as to declare that high TDS water run through the Tech 7 tube  will not spot glass so that DI/RO systems are not needed when working with a water fed pole.  Just use tap water.  Some say too that water run through a Tech 7 tube will run off glass faster than normal leaving very few spots.  Are all these claims true, or are they just the productions of a wild imagination?

What exactly is a Tech 7 tube?
Lets start by asking what is inside of the tube?  It is lined by another tube of copper which is covered with little nubs or indentations.  Four lines of many of these little indents go from one end to the other.  The outer tube is made of a hard plastic.  Anyone can see this.  To take the pictures below I shined an LED flashlight up the tube.  You can just make out the little nubs as they reflect the light.  The theory is that these nubs affect water by creating a vortex and reacting electrically.  Also that the plastic outer tube somehow improves this effect by insulating the copper.  So there are no chemicals or detergents used.  All you need is the tube to make Tech 7 water.

What REALLY matters 
The bottom line here is it really doesn't matter how it works.  What matters most is does it work.  I am sure many of you thought I was going to debate all of these claims which I listed at the beginning of this post.  But not!  If we can first prove beyond any doubt that the Tech 7 does indeed work, and show very plainly exactly what it does do;...then we can theorize after how it does it.  So lets get to the testing.

Testing Tech 7 water for surface tension
The first test involves measuring the surface tension of water.  Surface tension is caused by hydrogen bonding of individual water molecules and is otherwise known as cohesion.  This is science.  There are some very simple ways to see the surface tension of water.  One is to count the number of water drops that can be put on top of a penny before the surface tension breaks and the accumulated water rolls off the coin.  To do this test you must be very careful and hold the eye dropper straight up.  Watch the size of the drops so they are exactly the same size.  I was able to get as many as 33 drops on a penny before the surface tension broke.  I then added a few drops of detergent to my large cup of test water.  It became very apparent that the soap seriously changed the surface tension of the water.  I was only able to get about 14 to 18 drops on the penny before the tension broke and the water rolled.  Here is a short video of the experiment I am talking about.

Some say you can get up to 44 drops of water on a penny.  I say that depends on the size of the drops coming from the eye dropper.  The key to performing this test correctly is to use the same eye dropper for all of the fluids/mixtures you are testing.  To test the Tech 7 to see if it changes the surface tension of water just hook up the Tech 7 tube to your water source.  Collect some water in a clean cup.  Now collect some water from the same exact water source in a second cup.  Then start counting.  How many drops of Tech 7 can you put on a penny before it rolls off ?  Now using the same penny and the same eye dropper see how many drops of plain water you can put on the penny before the water rolls.  Remember to use water from the same source.  I did this experiment.  The results I got were not definitive.  I was not convinced that the Tech 7 had changed the surface tension of water.  My advice to you is do the test for yourself and see what you discover.

Testing Tech 7 Water for Spotting
Does Tech 7 water cause less spotting from minerals?  This is really important because it would mean window cleaners could as our friend Jack Sedore puts it, "tap spot free".  Here is how to find out.  Find a source of high TDS water.  Check it with your meter so you know what it is.  It might be 65, 125, 225, 325, or even higher.  For the test it would be good to know what the silica content is.  This requires another type of meter.  Here is one that costs about fifty bux.  Also here is the link for where to go to buy it.

Silica High Range Checker® HC front view - HI770

Now put some of this water in a clean cup.  Next hook up your Tech 7 tube to the same water source and run some into another clean cup.  Next take a perfectly clean mirror plate and lie it down flat on a table in the hot sun.  Put several drops of your Tech 7 water on one side, then put about the same number of drops of the other water which I call the control on the other side.  Let all of the drops on both sides completely dry.  Now compare the spots that were left.  If the TDS or silica content of the water was high enough you should definitely get some spotting.  Also if the Tech 7 tube has changed the minerals in some way it should be possible to see this.  Some how.  When you do this you might want to also see how easy it is to wipe off the spots once dry with a dry towel.  If the spots left by the Tech 7 water are easier to wipe off that would also tell us there is a difference.   

Testing Tech 7 Water for Electrical Conductivity
Once again take some water from a tap.  Rate the TDS and the silica content.  Put some straight from the tap into a clean cup.  Then run some through a Tech 7 tube.  Put that in a second cup.  Now use an ohm meter and check the resistance and or the conductivity.  These are opposites of the same thing.  One is the inverse of the other.  You can get a small battery powered meter from an electrical supply house.  By the way your TDS meter for your water fed pole is nothing but an electrical ohm meter.  Pure/distilled water does not conduct electricity.  But water that has minerals/silicates in it does conduct electricity.  This is a very simple test.  Just look at the numbers.  They should be different for the Tech 7 water.  If you want to be absolutely sure just test a different source of water with a much higher or lower mineral content.  A much higher or lower TDS rating.  I am very curious about water that has a very low TDS reading but a rather high silica level.  If the Tech 7 does in fact change the conductivity/resistance of  hard water, is it more effective at changing silica water?  This might be difficult to test using an ohm meter because silica does not promote conductance of electricity.

I am quite sure that we can come up with other tests for the Tech 7.  I just want to emphasize it is absolutely necessary to use a "control".  Make sure you do a side by side test.  Also be as precise as possible.  It is critical to the reliability of the results.

Looking straight down a Tech 7 tube
Look for the light reflecting off the little "nubs".  There are four perfectly straight rows of them from one end of the tube to the other.  The inside of the tube is made of copper.  The outside of a hard plastic.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cleaning Windows with Silphos A-100

Silphos A-100 is a silicone based superwetting anionic detergent.  Dawn is an ordinary carbon based detergent blend based on two different anionic surfactants;...sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laurel sulfate.  It also has not more than one percent sodium hydroxide (lye).  Anionics are typically used in glass cleaning formulas because they carry a negative charge.  Glass surfaces also have a negative charge.  So an anionic cleaning solution tends to be repelled by glass and will not leave as much of a film as even a nonionic detergent such as an LAE or what is also known as a linear alcohol ethoxylate.  

Silphos A-100 just like Dawn then does not leave hardly any film.  It also is a fantastic superwetter.  Which means that you only need to put a teaspoon in two gallons of water to get adequate glide and suds.  In contrast you would have to use way more Dawn to get the same results.  Of course Dawn is also way easier to get.  Just go to the local supermarket and buy a small bottle.  Over in the UK there are other products that are based on a very similar chemistry.  Other parts of the world the same I am sure.  But Silphos A-100 which is made and sold by  is only available in a five gallon pail or a fifty five gallon drum.  The cost runs around 85 to 90 dollars per gallon.  When you consider how incredibly little you would actually use in a bucket the total expense is very little.

After researching the four different surfactant families (which are the anionics, amphoterics, nonionics, and cationics) I discovered that Dawn was based on two anionics.  Then I learned the basic reason why the anionics are likely so effective at cleaning glass.  They also yield the most suds.  Of course I did test out the other families and did determine that they leave a totally unacceptable film.  Dawn really was the best.  This is what tempted me to look for a silicone (silicon based) anionic detergent.  I wanted to see if I would get "similar" results to Dawn.  

I actually did.  I have a rather large store route.  And I have a couple of stores that are rather problematic.  Meaning if any window will streak it would be those stores.  So I use them for testing.  It was summer time, rather hot, and the glass was dark.  I discovered as long as I used plenty of water there was no streaking with Silphos A-100.  But if the water dried too quickly streaking indeed became a problem.  Dawn on the other hand did not cause this problem.  The bottom line here is under extreme conditions when the glass is too hot Silphos A-100 will streak but with litle to no film.  Dawn will actually do this too but hardly ever.  

Many years ago window cleaners used to use TSP (trisodium phosphate).  Which creates fantastic glide.  No suds.  Although it does cause bleed out from the edges of the window.  Especially on humid days.  And will cause some streaking in the hot sun which leaves white lines.  These can be annoying but do wipe right off dry.  TSP also leaves no film.  So no film but some streaking.  Very interesting.  Very similar to Silphos A-100.  Little to no film but streaking under extreme hot sunny conditions.

The ultimate bottom line of course is we should use what we want to use.  Whatever works best for us.  I have experimented with SO many different commercial and pure detergents over the years.  I mean so many.  Then finally it has come down to Dawn.  Sometimes with a little clear ammonia for extra glide.  I like the lemon scented ammonia. 

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

Glass Smart Consulting

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Double or Triple Your Profits as a Window Inspector

Think about it friends; much valuable information do you give away for free when you clean someones windows?  I do it myself all the time.  Most people for example have no clue what "negative deflection" is.  They have no clue that the argon gas in units made by Anderson and other window manufacturers can gradually leak out over the years causing the two plates of the insulating glass unit to become concave.  Further that in time if the glass is scratched and the barometric pressure is just right;...these windows can implode.  It sounds just like a gun.  I had a good friend that experienced this while he was cleaning windows on a residential.  Customers also don't know how easy it is for us to check this condition.  When you do that for each window you clean and write it down, it becomes an inspection service.  Which the customer should rightfully pay for.

Another inspection service would be to determine exactly what the coefficient of friction is for the surface of each window you clean.  As the Glass Committee through the Penn State Materials Lab has proven, the "roughness" of glass surfaces determines how easy they can be scratched.  Either through the natural weathering process of the first surface of monolythic or double plate glass, or restoration through polishing, or the use of acids that invisibly etch, once the surface becomes rough it will scratch with incredible ease.

Then yet another inspection service is to check the integrity of the insulating unit for water vapor or as we call it, "seal failure".  Once the air tight seal loses it's integrity humidity enters.  Usually this is invisible especially when it first begins.  But as time goes on it gradually becomes visible as a foggy appearance shows up between the two plates.  Which becomes worse and worse as time continues to pass.  What most people do not know however is that when the fog first begins to develop it cannot be seen if the window is dirty.  Scratches too by the way are usually invisible if the window is dirty.  The best way to inspect for seal failure is to first clean the window and then apply cold to a small area of the IG Unit.  The fog will form in between for everyone to see.  There is another effect called gassing which occurs straight from the factory.  It shows up as an even haze.  Usually it is easy to see when compared to the window next to it.  But only in the direct sun light and when the windows are perfectly clean.  Fingerprints can be detected between the plates of an IG Unit also.  But are usually dismissed or invisible if the window is dirty.  When marketing your window cleaning/inspection services through real estate agents that distribute your newsletters directly to their buyers, the best thing to do is explain to the buyer that they should never buy a home with dirty windows.  No one should.  Rather they should have the windows of their prospective home professionally cleaned, and professionally inspected at the same time.

These are only a few different inspection services that a window cleaning company can offer.  There are many others.  Further did you know that there is a company that manufactures and sells high tech electronic devices for doing nothing but window inspections?

         gc3200 FP featured     ts1470 fp featured    RD1680 FP featured    C2IR fp featured

If you are interested in getting into this service please email me directly and we can talk about it.  I am just beginning myself and am more than willing to discuss it further.  If you charge ten bux to clean a window, you should also be charging another ten bux to perform a battery of inspections on that same window.  Your prices for inspections should be based on the specific inspection done on each window.  So lets say you charge three bux per IG Unit to test for seal failure and there are fifty windows or units.  That comes to 150 bux.  A professional inspection of all the windows in a home or business could actually cost up to two times the cost of having the windows cleaned.  So your profits could realistically be tripled.  In less time then it takes to clean the windows!

Remember the slogan, "Never Buy a Home With Dirty Windows!".

Written by Henry Grover Jr.
For more information email me at

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Contractors;....Stop Installing Defective Glass!

Are you a General Contractor?  Do you think that all windows are created equal?  Unfortunately this is not the case.  The first thing you must know is that depending on the design of the building windows can become stained within a matter of several months.  Such stains will not come off with a simple scrub and squeegee.  But require a much more aggressive and high tech solution.  Also you certainly would never want to allow a so called "professional" window cleaning company to use an acid to remove these stains if they have already formed.  Acids can strip off low e glass coats, magnify light scratches, and etch glass.  They are also bad for the environment and a serious health hazard.

Windows are likely to have defective glass surfaces these days.  I mean they usually are very prone to scratching.  Right from the beginning it is necessary to know exactly what you are dealing with.  Razor blades and even so called safe abrasives can easily scratch this defective surface.  Which can cause tremendous damage climbing into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if there are hundreds of windows in the building.

Another problem has to do with low e glass.  Exactly where is the coating, is it there at all, and what is the condition even on brand new glass?  Quite frequently windows will be rated as low e but not have a low e coating.  There are ways to check every window to determine if there are any coatings missing that should be there.  Also where they might be.  Sometimes coatings that should be protected between the two plates of an IG unit are actually exposed.

Negative deflection is a serious problem causing windows to implode with a loud bang.  Very loud.  This happens because the gas between the two plates of an IG Unit out gases but nothing comes back in.  So the plates are sucked in towards the center.  This is known as negative deflection.  There is a very simple test that will show up this problem.  Most times windows are stored for a matter of six months or more before they are installed.  At the time of installation windows are usually NEVER properly inspected for all of these things mentioned above and so much more.  The very best thing to do is to have a professional glass/window consultant/inspector on every new building from beginning to end.  In other words from the day the windows are first purchased and put into storage until the day they are installed and the building is turned over to the owner.  Windows actually pass about seven different hands before the construction is complete.  During this time virtually anything can happen.  And the last thing any contractor wants is to have to wait even a couple of weeks for a replacement window because of some defection or damage.  Such could cost way too much if the deadline is not met in a timely fashion.

I have worked for contractors, window cleaning companies, real estate agents, insurance companies, and even lawyers on these issues.  And can help you too.  Just send me an email and we can talk about any and all special projects that you might have going on right now.  I also have references available on request.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Advanced Stain Removal

I am currently working on a system for stain removal that will be the most advanced stain removal system to date.  It will NOT be a commercial system for several reasons.  Take for example my Wobble Wheel.  This will likely never be commercialized for the following reasons.  First, since I have made the design public knowledge several years ago it cannot be patented for production and profit.  It also is not something that can be kept a secret since it is not a formula such as a window cleaning soap.  Another feature of this system will be the slow release polishing pads.  Which might be commercialized at a later time.  But only if I keep the "production method" a secret.  Such that the product will be proprietary.  This makes it valuable.  The other features of the system will be possible for anyone to duplicate so they will likely not be commercialized.

Here is the advanced stain removal system.  It is based on a variable speed grinder that does between 0 and 3,000 rpms.  High amps for good torque.  A Wobble Wheel based on a universal joint shaft or a gimbal.  To keep the polishing pad completely flat at all times.  Next a water feed for the polishing or grinding process.  Also the slow release polishing pads that are based on a water activated plastic pad loaded with different superabrasive powders.  Also an rpm counter for reading the speed of the polishing wheel.  This will tell the worker when he hits the cutting rate.  When this speed is matched the wheel will grab just a little.  Which will slow down the pad.  This is the speed you will need to operate at since it will much more efficiently cut through the stain.  Another feature will be a laser surface temperature gauge.  This is very important because it is necessary to keep the glass around 140 degrees of less.  Heat and friction are what drive the cutting/polishing process.  But you will NOT want to allow the glass to become too hot because it will shatter.  Heat alone is all that is necessary to break glass.  It will be necessary to have a continuous readout from the temperature meter and a continuous readout from the rpm counter.  Both of these devices will allow you to control the polishing process so that the stain removal is done most efficiently.

There will be a lot of variables about this system that will make it very practical.  I am currently using a tool shop to retrofit a new grinding machine with the features described here.  As for the slow release pads these will be quite variable.  Some will be capable of use as grinding pads.  Others will be possible to use as grinding pads.  It will be possible to develop some based on diamond.  As some people have had success with diamond based slurries/products such as "Diamond Magic".  Many have also had very good success with cerium oxide and optical grade microcrystalline silica compounds.  The preferred grinding superabrasive is silicon carbide.  This is the basis for the pads from 3M and other companies that the glass restoration professionals have been using around the US.  It is also the essential abrasive used in the Glass Renu pads/products.  At lease according to their patent.  Nonetheless we don't know exactly which silicon carbide they have used.  These pads are proprietary because these ingredients are secret.  If the secret were to get out anyone could duplicate them.  I have been told by Marc Tanner that the SiC chosen is very important.  It must quickly grind through the stain.  But it must also in so doing leave the most smooth white surface.  One that can be very quickly removed/cleared with the highest optical grade cerium oxide.  Which by the way is definitely not cheap.

I am hoping you find this information helpful.  Any of these features are interchangeable.  Also any can be used along with any preexisting system.  More will be written as I continue to develop the system.  I will be developing it over the next month at the latest because I am currently working with a couple of different companies in the capacity of a traveling consultant.

Written by Henry Grover Jr.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Chemicals and Compositional Abrasive Materials for Coated Glass

Low E Glass is usually coated with extremely thin layers of different metallic compounds.   These can be only 40 angstroms deep.  Which is very thin.  Any damage whether mechanical or chemical can be permanent!  In other words once a coated surface has been damaged there is very little chance of bringing it back to like new condition.

Very powerful acids and alkalies should never be used on coated glass.  Even certain organic solvents can be dangerous.  However solvents are usually the safer chemical.  Razor blades and crude abrasives should never be used.  So when coated glass is covered with very thick hard water deposits it could be easily beyond repair.  Very heavy mineral deposits usually require at least a two step process for restoration.  The first step involves grinding.  The second involves polishing.  Glass is easy to grind.  Since it is so thick.  A quarter of an inch thick.  But coatings are measured in billionths of an inch!  Although it is quite possible to develop various polishing techniques that use nano-particle slurrys.  There are also plastic particles of different micron sizes.  These have different hardness and shapes.  So they can be blunt or "sharp".  Whether or not these so called compositional abrasives are capable of doing harm to a coated surface depends on testing.  You would actually have to buy a sample of the coated glass in question and try to damage it.  The same with any "compo-blade" whether that be plastic or carbon based.  And on that note I will leave off.  Because as some of you know one of the hardest materials in the world is based on pure carbon, that being diamond.  Also pencils use graphite which is very soft two dimensional carbon.  Further carbon black particles used in squeegee rubber is even softer.  So we can see from this that carbon based compounds can be extremely hard or very soft depending on how the carbon atoms are arranged.  Alternative particles and or alternative razor blades can be very interesting ideas.

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Sunday, May 6, 2018

Stop Scratching Coated Windows Now !!!

Here is some interesting and VERY important information.  I have just started to write a three part series of articles on Glass Coatings for the American Window Cleaner as a member of the IWCA Glass Committee.  They are being published under the running theme "From the Lab to the Field".  The very first thing that should be addressed by you the window cleaner regarding low e glass coatings is that they can very easily be missed.  Most times you just don't know they are there!  Especially when the windows are covered with either dirt or mineral deposits.  So the very first step should be to clear a test spot and determine whether or not the surface is glass or metal.  Is there a low e coating or not.  Then if there is you should not use anything at all that could scratch.  That can be most any type of abrasive.  Because abrasives that would otherwise not scratch glass surfaces at all could easily scratch a glass coating.  There are so many different coatings out there that they are becoming very difficult to identify.  The AWC articles will address this issue.  Razor blades should never be used on glass coatings.  It is a rather sad revelation also that many window cleaners end up revealing damage to coatings that was done by previous window cleaners.  This also can cost you either a lawsuit or simply a great deal of aggravation.  For this reason it is important to do your best in educating any potential or existing customers.  This is another reason why I am writing these articles/posts.  So you can take this information directly to your customers on your phone or tablet and show it to them.

There are time bombs right now all over the world just begging to be discovered by unaware window cleaners in the form of hidden low e coatings.  Take a real close look at this picture! 

Can you see the black haze on the pyrolytic reflective low e coating?  It shows quite plainly the damage that was done likely by hydrofluoric acid.  There are times when this type of glass coating can be damaged but not show.  Then when HF or a mild abrasive is used a second time to remove stains that have formed again the reflective coating is quickly stripped off. So you wouldn't have a clue before any "visible" damage was done.  This is why it is critically important to first determine if the window has a low e coating and then have it in a legal waiver/disclosure. 

Here  is another very interesting problem that could result in a very expensive lawsuit.  You might use a rather crude abrasive hard water stain remover compound on a reflective hardcoat that did what you thought was a great job.  No scratches could be seen.  All the stains were removed.  If used on plain glass it would not cause any damage.  But glass coatings are another animal altogether.  Once you are done and get paid two years go by.  The hard water spots reform.  Especially because you might have decided not to seal.  It becomes necessary to remove the stains again.  The decision maker however decides to save money and have a quick acid wash done.  The demonstration shows no damage to the glass.  Just a bright clean window at one fifth the cost.  So it is done.  Still looks great from the outside.  Even on a bright sunny day.  BUT.  When the windows are viewed from the inside looking out there are zillions of scratches all over every window!  Now after two years later you get a call.  After all.  It appears that you left the scratches.  And you did.  You didn't use the acid which magnified those scratches fifty times over making them highly visible from the inside looking out.  No you didn't do that.  But try to explain all of this to someone that has no clue what actually happened.  It won't be any easier in court.  Further at best, even if you could explain it, you would likely end up sharing the financial responsibility with the other window cleaner that acid washed the building.

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Written by Henry Grover Jr.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

My AWC, WCM, and EClean Articles;...Help Make Them Interactive!

I started writing for the AWC, WCM, and the EClean about a year ago.  All of the articles that are being published in all of these magazines are of the highest quality.  They are just totally fantastic!  The writers are very good.  So I am very honored to have been invited to write for all three of these mags.  The article I have just written for the AWC recently is on Glass Coatings.  It is yet to be published.  At least at the time of this writing.  Reader beware.  This is going to be a very in depth three part series that will leave you with your mouth hanging open.  I will not hold anything back!  For example.  Check out this picture.  It shows a first surface reflective pyrolytic coating that was likely destroyed by hydrofluoric acid.  The actual visible damage might not have been done initially.  Then later it became the burden of an unwitting window cleaner.  These land mines are all over the world!  Want to know more?

Further I am going to change the style of my writing somewhat.  In a way that I think should be very interesting to everyone.  I want to invite all of you in.  Tell me stories.  Good and bad.  I want to know your experiences.  I want to know what you think.  So I will be telling everyone ahead of time about what my articles will be about so you can contribute.  I will let you know through this blog, which is referenced on Robinsons Solutions blog.  Also the WCR Forum.  And the Glass Smart Facebook Group.  Please, please, please send me pictures.  The owners of these magazines love pictures.  If any are used we can give each an attribution.  I can also post your pictures on the Glass Smart Product Review blog, and the Glass Smart Facebook Group.  So come join the noise.

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