I have lead around my windows and after a new lead installation there has been a stain there for over a year. I have tried window cleaner and multi-surface cleaner but no success.

I had an 'easy clean' treatment applied to the windows when I bought them and wonder if the fix to remove this stain then will also affect the treatment.

  • 1
    I have never heard of lead used in window installation, even before it was phased out of the construction industry. Are theses single glazed windows, insulated glass, or stained glass laminated? Or maybe even something else? Lead is used to MAKE/ASSENBLE stained glass, not install.
    – Jack
    Mar 14, 2014 at 12:42
  • Lead was used to make the glass roof water tight ie Where the glad joined the wall
    – user10269
    Mar 14, 2014 at 21:26
  • Perhaps this is chemically bonded to the glass but have you tried a razor blade scraper? It won't hurt the glass as long as you keep it flat. When I paint windows, I never worry about getting paint on glass. It scrapes right off. I don't think this is something that peels but in general, you can score in the corner of the glass to prevent that. Just be careful that you don't let the blade stray into the frame.
    – JimmyJames
    Aug 16, 2017 at 15:06
  • The white stuff? Could easily be lead oxide. "PbO is representative of lead's +2 oxidation state. It is soluble in nitric and acetic acids" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compounds_of_lead I'd go with the vinegar. You might need to dampen a paper towel with it, and let it sit on the stain for a while. 5% is not real strong, and I don't think us peasants can buy glacial acetic acid anymore. Oct 2, 2019 at 2:05
  • Brasso! Just did it after reading above for Silvo (guessing basically the same) and worked great.
    – Rich
    Jun 7, 2020 at 19:39

7 Answers 7


Had hazy marks from lead flashing on conservatory roof. I thought I'd try 'Silvo' which is non-abrasive and used for cleaning fine silver. Success!! The marks came off a treat with really minimal rubbing with a soft cloth moistened with the product. Crystal clear glass after

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Oct 1, 2019 at 18:56

An ideal cleaning solution that shouldn't impact a treatment to the surface should have a neutral pH level. Unfortunately a mild solution will not have an impact on lead.

After prolonged weathering you will end up with lead sulphite, lead sulphate, and lead carbonate which are highly insoluble.

A cleaner containing phosphoric acid (some oven cleaners) should make the lead water-soluble to be cleaned off.


We are using big wipes scrub and clean wipes don’t know what’s in them but it works. I’ve also just found another r link and they say treat the lead with pagination oil and this will stop it happening again.


I normally wouldnt answer a question in my following way, but I do not want to take credit for it.

My conservatory glass roof has lead staining from the lead flashing immediately above. I have tried many cleaning products and managed to remove some of it with Ciff kitchen cleaner.

A friend then suggested Cillit Bang. I couldn't believe after leaving it on the stain for just 5 minutes the stains just disappeared. I can't promise it doesn't also remove the self-cleaning layer on my glass but to see the stain disappear is amazing.

I am truly impressed but anyone trying this product should proceed carefully and maybe try it on an area that doesn't show. For me it is a final answer to this problem but you must use it in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and wear appropriate protective eye wear and gloves.

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As with the previous response - I would not normally get engaged with this sort of dialogue, however seems this is a tricky one to solve.

My streaks were not as bad being the result of only a few years.

I googled and found the cillit bang solution, I could not find the exact product tried the white one, another bathroom cleaner and epic fail.

I also found a thread where someone recommended Hob Brite - so off I popped to Poundland and sourced some.

Applied with a damp cloth, left for 10 mins - cleaned off with hose and mop, major improvements a few little white marks ( probably down to my ineptitude in application )...... if I did it again I am sure it would be completely clear, but even now it is more than good enough.

So Try Hob Brite


I'd use fine wire wool. It's slightly abrasive, should remove the deposits but shouldn't touch the glass.


I have 20 metres of north west lights - they hadn’t been cleaned for 16 years as quite inaccessible (and supposedly self cleaning windows. I tried Cillit Bang and other suggestions with no joy, Silvo got some of it off but the streaks still visible. Just attacked them with Star Drops The Pink Stuff ( paste) the windows look like new! Even the petrol effect runs which I thought would never come off have gone. I had to use lots of elbow grease mind you! Now all I can see is the very poor job I did of cleaning the insides !!!!

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