Vinyl Window Spots

Customer called me today about a job we completed 5 days ago. Her vinyl porch windows are spotted. I’m 100% positive I rinsed them well enough, because I made it such a point to rinse them really well, and quickly. From looking at the pictures, can you tell if this is a hard water stain issue or damage to the vinyl windows due to the house wash mix? Unfortunately, the windows cannot be cleaned without being taken out: The screens are permanent so the windows have to be taken out from the inside to be cleaned. Any thoughts before I have to hire someone to come out and clean these windows?

rinsing isn’t your problem, letting it dry on there is. See the vertical streaks it’s left behind, that indicates it’s dried on there while solution was working.

When screens are left on, I really rinse well because most of the time the screen has dirt on it and you don’t want that to transfer to the window and don’t let SH dry on there. Not hard water buildup, I would respray or clean the windows with pure water or traditional squeegeeing.

Might want to find out your local TDS as well, I can rinse here till COVID is over and still get spots.

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And do what when you find out? Lol

I tell them windows should be cleaned after a house wash.

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Look at it this way. Rather than rinsing the heck out of a window thinking it’s the soap causing the spots, now you know the TDS is 230 like here in Louisville, and now it’s time saved by informing the customer a window cleaning is probably necessary after the wash.

Good luck explaining to a customer anything TDS related, they wouldn’t have a clue what your talking about, that’s OUR industry’s lingo not general public knowledge. Not many would want to sink a couple hundred bucks into window cleaning after you’ve left. Not where I’m from anyway, ide get laughed off the property around here.

Since I’ve rethought my mix, also feom some advice, Ive had good clean, or cleaner windows after a housewash. Im ok so far.

Window spotting/streaking is almost always technique/mix related. Good to see you’ve found your sweet spot that works. This stuff is all trial and error.

I have plenty of customers who choose to add on exterior window cleaning following a house wash. It’s an easy upsell and makes some quick extra $

Whatever you do, the sooner the better. Those vinyl “windows” won’t stand any agitation so its better to get it off asap.

I’ve had success getting dried house wash mix off just by re-soaping with the same mix, let it work without drying and rinse thoroughly. Also using less soap makes it easier to get the windows clean.

I rinsed them down with the 12v really well, and used some windshield wiper fluid, which may or may not have helped. I know experimenting can get you in trouble, but in this case the streaks and spots were eliminated in an extraordinary way. I couldn’t be more relieved.

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I hate to tell you this but you probably ruined those panes. I’ve cleaned a lot of them over the years and they are very delicate. The manufacturers recommend never using anything corrosive or harsh such as bleach on them.

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@Steve if that is the case, how do you guard against something like that happening? I wouldn’t know how to tell that certain windows are “delicate”.

Touch it, you can’t mistake vinyl and glass.

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If they were ruined there was no visual representation afterwards. I will say that I’ll be watchful from here on and not underestimate these type of windows again. I’d avoid even washing the gutters and soffit above them with anything more than mild soap.

They are almost always on a screened in porch. They can be removed or covered before washing the house.

Edit: Let me rephrase that. They are only used on screened porches or sunrooms. They don’t meet building code to be the windows in a residential structure.

Yeah that’s probably just where you are. People here are understanding enough of ‘hard water’ and I make sure to tell them I will rinse as much as I can but a window cleaning would be necessary to get everything off.