Water Spot Removal

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22,684
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CA
The exterior windows of our house contain heavy water spots (see before/after photos). Automotive wheel cleaning acid (5-10% hydrofluoric acid) worked perfectly to remove the spots but I am interested a less expensive solution. To be honest, I was quite blown away by how quickly and effectively wheel acid worked.

Someone suggested a bronze wool pad. Others suggested using the “Bio-Clean Hard Water Stain Remover.” What do you use?
 

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The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
22,684
Location
CA
I haven't had to do this on my home exterior windows but for cars I use 3D Eraser Gel and then CarPro CeriGlass with Rayon pads.
I use 3D eraser for my cars but it is even more pricey than wheel acid. Was hoping for a lower cost solution considering the size and number of windows.
 
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1,300
Location
USA
I'd use Stoners water spot remover before wheel cleaner. Some windows have uv coatings and high acidity can damage them.
 
Messages
2,101
Location
Appleton, WI
Hydrofluoric acid? :eek:

Thats probably the most toxic and dangerous chemical outside of something like a nerve agent.

I wouldn’t get near it.

If you've ever used a self-service car wash, you were actually breathing in the fumes. Depending on how diluted their machine makes the mixture, you may notice the smell.
The ones that really dilute it down for cost savings are the washes that never get the dirt off of your car.
 
Messages
785
Location
NJ, USA
If you've ever used a self-service car wash, you were actually breathing in the fumes. Depending on how diluted their machine makes the mixture, you may notice the smell.
The ones that really dilute it down for cost savings are the washes that never get the dirt off of your car.
I'd keep well away from those places: A review of hydrofluoric acid and its use in the car wash industry

HF is one of the most dangerous commonly used materials to human health. The stuff is a nightmare of toxicology.

The professional carwash industry generally decries HF, but some operators still insist on using it, especially to clean wheels. HF is insidiously dangerous, since it doesn't cause skin burns that you can feel as other acids do. Instead, it seeps through tissue, eats into bones and turns the calcium into calcium fluoride. It may take hours before the burn victim realizes it.
 

The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
22,684
Location
CA
I'd keep well away from those places: A review of hydrofluoric acid and its use in the car wash industry

HF is one of the most dangerous commonly used materials to human health. The stuff is a nightmare of toxicology.
What's more toxic?

Ammonium Biflouride + sulfuric acid or HF + phosphoric acid?

I contacted the local chemical supplier and he mentioned that there is a different wheel acid product he could sell me that is Ammonium Biflouride + Sulfuric Acid and would be cheaper and more effective for water spot removal.
 
Messages
785
Location
NJ, USA
What's more toxic?

Ammonium Biflouride + sulfuric acid or HF + phosphoric acid?

I contacted the local chemical supplier and he mentioned that there is a different wheel acid product he could sell me that is Ammonium Biflouride + Sulfuric Acid and would be cheaper and more effective for water spot removal.
I guess the biflouride is safer....technically 🤷‍♂️, but it is still awful.

IDLH limits for HF is like 30 ppm and for the bifluoride is 250 PPM.

If it's handled safely and properly, these are non-issues. These things are just inherently dangerous to handle and I think a lot of people aren't really aware of that.
 
Messages
1,783
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Hydrofluoric acid? :eek:

Thats probably the most toxic and dangerous chemical outside of something like a nerve agent.

I wouldn’t get near it.
I wouldn't go near it either.

If you get hydrofluoric acid on your skin it hurts like anything and your skin turns dead white. In the emergency room we used to inject (yes inject) a calcium solution into the burn. The normal skin colour would return.
 
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