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Does Self-Cleaning Glass Work?

Does Self-Cleaning Glass Work?

November 29th, 2016 by PPC Pete

People often ask us: “Does Pilkington self-cleaning glass work?” to which our honest answer is “it works, but it does not keep your glass clean”.

With technology constantly improving, one of the newest innovations to be found on the market is a product by the company Pilkington called ‘self-cleaning glass’. Originally announced back in 2001, the self-cleaning glass was developed by Pilkington to keep your windows clean and free from dirt using a coating applied to the glass in the manufacturing stage. The hydrophilic coating (titanium dioxide) is said to clean itself when wet from either rain or water by reducing the contact with the dirt and causing the water to form a thin layer that simply just washes away. The technology has been proven to work in laboratory test conditions, but the truth is that it simply does not keep your windows clean.

We are not saying that the technology doesn’t work, and it may indeed have a slight benefit with structures such as conservatory roofs, but having seen this product first-hand we can safely say window cleaners have nothing to worry about, as it’s not likely to put any of us out of business!

We have had many customers who have spent a lot of money having this product installed when upgrading windows of adding conservatories and who have been keen to tell us that they will no longer need their window cleaning service anymore, only to be calling us several weeks later to resume the cleaning again. We have even had one customer have all of her self-cleaning glass removed as the titanium dioxide coating was leaving the windows even worse than her original standard glass! They had paid an extra £850 for the self-cleaning glass and after realising that this was not working they got back in contact with the company that installed it to have the glass returned back to standard double glazing, and refunded the difference.

Pilkington Self Cleaning Glass

This is the advert for Pilkington ActivClear

The question we would always ask is – how on earth is this glass going to remove bird droppings and dirt building up? The simple answer is – it won’t.

The self-cleaning coating may help towards keeping your windows clean but it certainly won’t clean them itself, so calling it “self cleaning glass” may be true as far as a marketing slogan goes, but it certainly will NOT keep your glass clean.


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