How to look after self-cleaning glass
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What is self-cleaning glass?
Self-cleaning glass has an extremely thin coating of titanium dioxide added to it. This is a material that makes chemical reactions occur when subjected to ultraviolet (UV) light and water.
This is the 2 stage cleaning process of self-cleaning glass – photocatalytic (light activated) and hydrophilic (water activated).
When UV light hits the titanium coating it promotes a chemical reaction that, in effect, cuts up organic matter and dirt into tiny pieces making it easier to be washed away in the next stage.
When rain hits the glass it spreads out evenly across the surface and wipes down the glass rather like a squeegee.
Pros and Cons of Self-Cleaning Glass
In theory it reduces maintenance costs as owners shouldn’t have to pay for a professional window cleaner. It also looks very nice and comes in a variety of thickness sizes and tints. It can also have an additional inner coating for heat reflection and energy savings.
Self-cleaning windows are considerably more expensive, typically around 20% more than conventional glass.
The cleaning process is an ongoing one that takes place slowly over time. Consequently windows are never as crystal clear and gleaming the way they are after a professional clean.
Both UV light and rain are required on a regular basis and a lack of either hinders the cleaning effectiveness. If windows are in shaded areas for example the process will be seriously affected without constant exposure to sunlight.
Equally, rain is also necessary to wash the dirt away and dry periods stop the self-cleaning glass from working. In such circumstances the windows need to be hosed down with a garden hose to activate the hydrophilic stage. However, this also runs the risk of leaving abrasive hard water deposits on the glass from tap water.
Therefore, a professional window cleaner with pure water cleaning technology is the safest bet to effectively clean the windows without scratching the glass.
Please see our other blog posts for additional advice on cleaning windows and other cleaning services.