Dan asked: How do I clean tar off of a Milgard tinted picture window? During a remodel, some tar paper came in contact with the outside pane of a tinted picture window. Not a lot, but I can see it right smack in the middle of the glass. How do I remove it without scratching the glass?
If you’re seeing spots on your tinted windows, removing tar isn’t as easy as grabbing a blade to scrape it off. Such a move might damage the tint, and that can’t be easily fixed. Instead, get the view back with these simple steps.
You Will Need:
- Rubbing alcohol
- Soft cloths
- Ladder (if you can’t reach the spot easily from the ground)
- Safety glasses (especially if you’re looking up as you work)
- Protective gloves (optional)
- Window cleaner
Steps to Remove the Tar:
- Begin by positioning yourself so you can easily access the tar area. This process takes several minutes and standing in an awkward or difficult location will make the task more difficult.
- Rubbing alcohol can be harsh on the skin when exposed for extended periods of time. Wearing protective gloves will prevent any discomfort.
- Soak the cloth in the rubbing alcohol.
- Press the cloth over the tar. Hold it for a minute or two.
- Once the tar softens and becomes sticky, wipe gently toward the center of the spot. Don’t wipe from side to side or it will smear.
- Repeat with a clean section of towel as needed until the tar has come off.
- Once the window is clean, give a final swipe with a clean portion of cloth to remove any streaks left behind.
- An optional step is to clean the window with glass cleaner. (Why not? You’re already there.)
Additional Tips and Advice
- WD 40 is commonly used to remove tar from a variety of surfaces. However, it may remove the tint as well and is not recommended for this application.
- Do not use a razor blade or other sharp object to remove the tar. You may scratch the glass or, depending on the construction of the window, damage the tint.
- Do not use an abrasive cloth or scouring pad while cleaning. Again, you may scratch the glass or damage the tint.
- Do not use harsh chemicals on tinted windows.
- Try not to inhale the rubbing alcohol as you work, especially if you’re working on a ladder.
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