0

A glass patio door has persistent haze, fog or streaks which have resisted all my attempts at removing them. They appear only on the stationary or fixed half of a sliding glass patio door, which rubs against a sliding rubber seal. They've been on the door ever since I can remember, about ten years ago when I bought the place. I replaced the rubber seal just once during that time, which didn't change the appearance of the streaks.

Things that have failed to remove the streaks:

  • regular window cleaner
  • soap water and dish scrubber
  • hand sanitizer spray (80% ethanol)
  • acetone nail polish remover
  • vinegar
  • abrasive steel wool dish scrubber

The streaks are NOT caused by:

  • condensation between the double panes of glass
  • stains or smudges the outdoor side of the glass

The next option I’ve considered is an orbital sander with fine grit sandpaper, or an angle grinder with a polishing disc. Before trying these intense methods, I want to ask here if something gentler might work. Of course, the last option is to simply replace the window, but I want to avoid that if possible. My budget is about $800, which is the replacement cost.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can offer.

Edit: added pictures

stationary right side has streaks

closeup of haze

7
  • 5
    Are you sure it is not on the inside panes? The stuff you have used so far should clean. If good old vinegar and newspaper does not do it, it is probably inside the panes. If it is on the side you can do/wash, I can only think of a few nasty acids or sandpaper that might leave those streaks.
    – crip659
    Sep 1, 2022 at 0:15
  • automotive windshield washer fluid works very well ... the summer formula is best because it removes greasy bugs
    – jsotola
    Sep 1, 2022 at 0:19
  • are they horizontal, vertical, diagonal or in any direction.
    – Traveler
    Sep 1, 2022 at 2:47
  • 1
    Lacquer thinner dissolves a bunch of stuff.
    – RetiredATC
    Sep 1, 2022 at 3:35
  • Pictures would really help. low-e membrane failure (if you have that) can look a lot like dirty streaks and very different from condensation caused by seal failure.
    – Olivier
    Sep 1, 2022 at 13:42

1 Answer 1

3

They appear only on the stationary or fixed half of a sliding glass patio door, which rubs against a sliding rubber seal.

It sounds to me like the rubber seal is rubbing against the glass. If this is the case, it might be that you've got rubber from the seal on your glass and it probably wouldn't come off with any of the normal glass cleaning methods you've tried.

The steel wool, however, should have been abrasive enough to have scrubbed rubber off. Since it didn't, you might consider scraping at the streaks with a razor blade. If something has gotten really stuck to the glass, this should lift it.

If this doesn't work, it really sounds like there's something on the inside of the glass (assuming it's a double-pane panel). If that's the case, something in the double-pane seal has broken, and the only true fix is going to be replacement.

The next option I’ve considered is an orbital sander with fine grit sandpaper, or an angle grinder with a polishing disc

There is no grit of sandpaper that's going to be fine enough on your RO sander to not completely scratch up the glass and give you an opaque window. Of course, a nice, even scratching would give you privacy glass and would hide any streaks or fogging, but this probably isn't what you're after.

Your angle grinder with a polishing disk is more like what you're after, though angle grinders usually spin much too fast (on the order of 10,000+ RPM) for polishing. Generally, you'd want a polisher (which is, essentially an angle grinder) because it'll spin much more slowly (2-5,000 RPM). You'd also want to load up the disk with a fine polishing compound designed for glass or ceramic, or possibly even jeweler's rouge. I've heard of people using toothpaste as a polishing compound. It's got the added bonus of leaving your room with a minty fresh smell!

TL;DR: The sad news it that's you're probably looking at a replacement because it's probably between the panes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.