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Can you change glass from hydrophobic to hydrophilic?

  1. Oct 2, 2011 #1
    Hi, I run a window cleaning business and a free window cleaning magazine.

    As you will probably know window cleaners tend to use the properties of pure water and a water fed pole system in order to clean glass.

    Technique is important to a perfect finish so hydrophilic glass is our friend since water sheets down the glass and aids a perfect clean as you are able to rinse well.

    Hyrophobic glass is our enemy, because water beads on the glass and a perfcet clean and rinse off is difficult. Infact some window cleaners result to squeegeeing the water of to prevent 'spotting'.

    I wanted to know if there was any truth into an experiment carried out by a window cleaning company in Ohio.

    By accident they discovered that they were able to change how the glass surface works, changing it from hydrophobic to hydrophilic by simply rubbing over the glass with a bronze wool cloth.

    Is the bronze wool adding any scientific advantage or could this process be replicated with any cloth since hydrophobic is usually oils etc on the glass??
  2. jcsd
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