Great glass cleaner for a buck a gallon.

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Willie X, Aug 20, 2018.

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  1. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    OK, people love to get their clocks back all running good and all but I learned long ago that a clean dial glass might get even more praise from the average customer. Often they hadn't realised how nasty that glass had gotten!

    Recipe:
    • Fill a gallon jug 1/2 full of water.
    •Add - 2 cups 70% Isopropal alcohol - 1/2 cup household amonia - one teaspoon plain dishwashing detergent.
    • Shake the jug vigoursly and top up to one gallon with water.

    Spray on, let it set a few seconds and wipe off completely with newspaper. Willie X
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    Nov 13, 2011
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    dang it... basically what i've been using but without the dishwashing liquid... thanks!!
     
  3. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Just curious - will this solution harm the finish of a case or dial? I've seen it used for windows, but for that purpose, it seems that it's not likely to come into contact with shellac, silvered dials, etc. that might be more fragile. Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    It works very well on dirty cases but I'm recommending it for glass.

    For cleaning dials, I don't recommend anything other than a light dusting with a barber's brush. "Cleaning dials" will get you into big trouble, sooner or later.
    Willie X
     
    NEW65 likes this.
  5. PatH

    PatH National Program Chair
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    Thanks, Willie. I've heard a few too many horror stories of cases or dials being damaged by overspray or drips from the glass cleaning solution, so just wondered how aggressive this "recipe" might be.

    Pat
     
  6. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Sep 27, 2008
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    Good evening, all!

    A brilliant guy from my first chapter, #16, in Nashville, had gotten his start, as a high school kid, putting gold leaf lettering on boats and glass office doors. Heywood ("Smitty") Smith turned me on to cleaning and polishing glass with 0000 steel wool. Almost miraculous in its effect on hardened films, paint, etc. Never a single scratch.

    Best regards!

    Tim Orr
     
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  7. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    The formula given is a good general purpose cleaner but for years I have used only Sprayway. It was originally developed for cleaning lithographic film, glass photo frames in printing camera equipment, light tables and whatever. It sprays a hard set foam and does not run. I have used it to clean porcelain dials and others but never without testing. There is too much variation in how the numbering is put on dials to say anything is always safe. Will also do a great job on chrome and polished nickel. It used to be available only through camera supply and Commercial Printing suppliers but can now be bought at Home Depot.

    sprayway-glass-cleaners-sw195r-64_400_compressed.jpg
     
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  8. lpbp

    lpbp Registered User
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    Tim, this is the method I've been using for years, never problem.
     
  9. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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  10. Fitzclan

    Fitzclan Registered User

    Jul 20, 2014
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    I inadvertently wiped away the word "Tiffany" from a French made porcelain dial which was in gold leaf. I am very careful about what solvents etc. I use on dials now.
    Steel wool? Maybe on glass, but not on a dial.
     
  11. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    I shall try the steel wool, and thank you. Mostly I've been surreptitiously using up Natalie's bottle of Windex, which seems to do a good job when used with paper towels.

    I am righteously fearful of cleaning dials. Insofar as I can tell, nothing works. On occasion I'll be able to talk someone into applying a new paper dial over an old paper dial or hopelessly disintegrated painted metal. Be very careful of enamel dials, for while some of the inscription is indeed baked into the enamel, some retailers added their name in ink. I learned about this from (I think) Herr Shutterbug, who gained tragic experience thereof.

    M Kinsler
     
  12. Tim Orr

    Tim Orr National Membership Chair
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    Dials be dangerous! Glass, not so much.

    Have wrecked more dials than I care to list. Never ever believe that the ink on a paper dial will hold up to anything but the barber's brush Willie mentioned. And go easy with that!

    Tim
     
  13. bkerr

    bkerr Registered User
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    Good one for Tip and Tricks!
    I cleaned a dial (I own the clock) which has a open escapement and Roman numbers. It was just a bit dirty, I used water and a paper towel. Before I could catch it the numbers started to disappear. I assume it was done in water color. That was not a good day!
     
  14. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    The concentrations on this cleaner work out to be:
    91% Water
    8.7% Alcohol
    .13% Detergent
    .09% Ammonia
    Works good for all glass cleaning.
    Note, it works great in your auto windshield washer but there is not enough alcohol for wintertime use unless you live in Florida. Ha. Willie X
     
  15. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I suppose I ought to have a look at one of the art-restoration websites to see what they use to restore old documents. Those techniques ought to work on a paper dial.
     
  16. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i've been trying out the sprayway... it is pretty awesome, with one caveat. very directional, so you don't over spray on wood frames, cleans up really easily with no streaks. i got some after i saw the guy at my artisanal glass shop using it... said it's the only stuff he uses.

    the caveat is a slight perfume-y smell. it takes a few hours to fade away and with a dozen or more clocks in each room i'm a little concerned about doing them all at once. one amazon reviewer mentioned that they cleaned a window with sprayway and got an almost immediate ant attack. o_O

    just an fyi...
     
  17. John P

    John P Registered User
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    Sprayaway is the best. Spray a paper towel and clean the glass, then you have no overspray.
     
  18. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Single edge razor blade is good for crud around the edges, 0000 steel wool, finish with a little Windex or Glass Plus on a tissue.

    Willie, that looks like a pretty good brew, and a good price, but a gallon of glass cleaner. You must be planning to clean a lot of clocks.

    RC
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Willie's mix has alcohol. Ergo, be careful with it around shellac finishes.
     
  20. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
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    I like to use a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass after spraying and finish up with a paper towel if needed. The microfiber cloths can be washed and reused many times. I have cleaned the windows in my house a few times with a product similar to Windex this way. I buy a quart of cleaner similar to Windex at local discount stores for about a dollar and refill spray bottles from that. The microfiber cloths are not expensive, less than a dollar each and in bundles of 15 at Costco. The cloths are good for polishing watch cases.
     
  21. TEACLOCKS

    TEACLOCKS Registered User
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    This is great also, if you can find it.

    P1020142.JPG P1020144.JPG
     
  22. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    If you use paper towels, beware that many brands have a slight oil coating. You will have streaks forever, if you see words like "aloe" or "lemon scented".

    Newspaper isn't very absorbent but never streaks and my #1 pick for glass. One go at it and your done. It think that the lack of absorbency ads to the cleaning action. The solution stays in play a little longer.

    WIllie X
     

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