Specially formulated to remove the deposits, alkali residues, haze and pollutants which collect window glass.

 1417 NW 51st STREET
 SEATTLE, WA  98107









     WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT is specifically formulated for use by professional window cleaning contractors and those who want their windows to look like they were professionally cleaned.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is designed to remove any residues left on glass, which may alter the optical clarity of the window, or glass that cannot be cleaned using standard, acceptable cleaning methods. For glass turned hazy by these residues, CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will act as a clearing agent to make the glass clear again.

    Window glass is abused by chemical attack almost every day.  Caustic and corrosive air pollution, acid rain, automotive and aircraft exhaust, dust and air-borne grit, hard water deposits, corrosive cleaning chemicals and the deposits of brick, concrete and mortar can haze, erode, etch and pit glass on thousands of windows on thousands of buildings daily!  Whether it is the build-up of chemical deposits or the etching of the glass by corrosive materials and minerals, the result is the same, optical distortion, hazing and clouding!  Over a period of time, the glass can distort to the point where one can no longer see distinctly through the glass or the glass becomes so clouded that even sunlight is greatly filtered and diffused.

WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT will dissolve away the mineral deposits from the surface of the glass and help prevent their redeposit later by cleaning out any rough areas where such deposits can become trapped.  Because CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is an acid based product, it has the ability to dissolve alkaline residues found in the rough pits and built-up ridges on the glass caused by corrosive materials. It will clean the glass until it is almost like new. Obviously, CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 cannot replace glass, which has been eroded by years of damage, but in most cases it can clear the glass sufficiently so one cannot tell that the glass had been damaged in the first place.

    Photograph A  (300X)

Surface deposits and etching of the glass can be perceived as cloudiness or hazing.  See photograph A.  This cloudiness occurs because the light is refracted irregularly as it passes through the hazed glass.  This refracted light appears to the human eye, without magnification, as a general whitening or haziness of the glass.  See figure # 1.  WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will clear away surface irregularities and the light passing through the glass will be less refracted and therefore the glass will appear to be clear. See figure #2.

                               Figure 1                                                                       Figure 2


WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT is  safe to use on most types of glass in buildings and homes.


WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT is a very economical way of restoring a more natural appearance to old and hazy glass.  Clearing with WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 amounts to only a small fraction of the cost of replacing the original window.  And the results are almost the same as getting a new window.


Much of what happens to glass is so gradual that one does not often see anything wrong with the window that mere cleaning won't resolve.  It is not until the window is washed and the haze remains, that the damage is noticed.


Part of the visible haze may be mineral deposits, which attach tenaciously to the glass. Such deposits damage glass and do not readily come off with just regular washing.  These mineral deposits usually require a form of anti-oxidant to be removed.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is just such a product.  With regular use, alkaline, acid and mineral deposits will be released and the glass will appear cleaner and brighter.

                 Photograph B (1000X)

Most often the damage is only slight and the distortion and irregular refraction of the glass can be lessened.  Most glass distortion is in the form of eroded glass.  That is, the glass has been removed in spots and the visible haze is caused from the irregular light refraction through the damaged glass.  See Photograph B.
    The purpose of WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is to smooth the glass out by removing debris to a level where the light is refracted less by the damage and the glass looks clear and   optically normal.

    If the damage is so substantial that the glass may not be cleared enough, then mechanical polishing or glass replacement may be necessary.  However, most times, WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 should be able to remove 90% or more of the hazing on glass, saving enormous costs for building owners and maintenance personnel.

WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT has been tested on most types of window glass and has been found to be both safe and effective.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 cannot damage glass.  That is, it will not cause distortion nor cause the glass to become hazy.   Testing conducted by Failure Analysis, an independent testing laboratory, has shown that no damage will occur when used in accordance with instructions.

Independent testing, CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 was applied repeatedly to glass and never rinsed or wiped away. There was no evidence of damage on the surface of the glass.

These tests included use of an electron microscope, profilometer - instrument used to measure surface roughness within a great deal of accuracy 2 mils. 0.000002 inches) figure #3 and Jeol Super Probe 2000 used to measure types and amounts of mineral deposits on surfaces. Figure #4


Before use of CRYSTAL CLEAR 550         After use of CRYSTAL CLEAR 550
 (Review safety precautions at end of document.)

Figure #4    JEOL SUPER PROBE 2000

                Before use of CRYSTAL CLEAR 550                                           After use of CRYSTAL CLEAR 550

Further tests show that when CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT was wiped on and left to dry by itself there was no evidence of damage. Additional testing showed that repeated applications and rinsing caused no damage even with CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 pooled on the glass for as long as 10 minutes.      Figures 5, 6, and 7

Figure # 5   Glass with thick deposits, magnified 660 X

Figure # 6   Clean glass not exposed to elements, magnified 660 X

Figure # 7  Glass cleared with CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 exposed 10 minutes. Compare this to figure #6


Hard water deposits on glass will leave crystalline residues which can act as prisms. The prism effect will cause a rainbow of colors to become apparent.  While it may be pretty to some, most of us find it distracting and indicative of a dirty window. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will remove all the crystalline residues, which not only distort the glass, but also cause the distracting rainbow affect.


There are a few instances where CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 may not be effective in altering the pre-existing damage done to glass.  Such instances include Stage II corrosion and tenacious coatings from silicone, building sealers and specialty products applied to window glass (especially near salt water) to prevent water marks and soil build-up.


Stage I corrosion is usually minimal and can be easily removed with light maintenance using CRYSTAL CLEAR 550.


Stage II corrosion is usually not correctable using compounds containing fluorine such as CRYSTAL CLEAR 550; and can be made worse by any attempt to clear.  Stage II differentiates from Stage I in that the silica has been leached from the glass and there has been a complete breakdown of some of the oxygen molecules in the silica component.


Most of the coatings or films left on glass are usually found after installation. For example, they can be oversprays from sealers applied to buildings to prevent water seepage or cleaning and polishing compounds for windows which contain silicones ostensibly to protect glass from the affects of salt water or acid rain.  Libbey Owens Ford Glass suggests the only safe way to remove such coatings is to soften the film with toluene or xylene and then use a very mild abrasive rubbing compound to strip it away.  While most people, except for those involved in glass research, cannot conceive of the terms "glass corrosion" or staining, it is none-the-less true.  "In fact, glass damaged by staining and corroding has resulted in losses to glass manufacturers and fabricators amounting to millions of dollars."   It is widely known among glass professionals that water reacts with commercial soda-lime-silica glass compositions.  If water is permitted to remain on a glass surface for longer than a moment, several unique chemical reactions can occur that causes corrosion, damage, or stain. Chemically, water leaches sodium ions from soda-lime-silica glass and can be expressed with the following reaction:
                           SiONa (glass) + H2O = SiOH (glass) + NaOH (sodium hydroxide).
"Eventually, the increase in alkalinity of the contact solution will initiate other, more damaging reactions."   Testing has shown that this reaction can produce pH levels as high as 9.9.  This is very alkaline.  As long as pH levels remain below 9.0, stage I corrosion proceeds with the usual reaction on the glass surface.  The optical quality and surface integrity remain essentially unaffected. "However, unrestrained stage I corrosion can lead, as previously mentioned, to highly alkaline conditions." says Paul Duffer.

( Paul F. Duffer, How to Prevent Glass Corrosion" Glass Digest, Nov. 15, 1986 pp76-80 Paul F. Duffer)

Once the pH levels reach 9.0 or higher, the second important reaction in the glass corrosion process - stage II - begins.  At this point, hydroxide ion concentration is sufficient to begin attack of the silicate network.  During the beginning stages of this reaction, microscopic pitting of the surface occurs.  If the reaction is allowed to continue, surface damage will become more apparent and the glass may have a widespread iridescence or a dense, translucent haze. In both cases the optical integrity of the glass is destroyed.  Restoring the pristine surface quality to severely corroded glass is a major task.  Grinding and polishing  may restore the optical quality, but because of the time and effort, it is simply easier to discard heavily corroded glass. Lightly corroded (Stage I) glass may be successfully restored with CRYSTAL CLEAR 550. The sodium and calcium silicates will be removed as well as any carbonate residues that may have precipitated on the glass surface, causing the Stage I corrosion.


Where does the responsibility for these conditions lie?  Literally with the home or business owner. Armed with the knowledge that the glass is not as impervious as previously thought, it will be up to the owner to approve a thorough and frequent maintenance program which will allow for the cleaning and neutralizing of any alkaline deposits to prevent Stage II corrosion.  Once Stage II corrosion exists, there is nothing the professional cleaner can do effectively to restore that glass. The professional window maintenance personnel will have to understand the effects of the corrosive deposits to use the proper chemistry to clean and maintain the glass. It is up to the contractor to assure the glass is properly installed in all windows and to assure no sealers or unwanted chemicals ever reach the window glass. WINSOL has developed a release form that is included with this booklet for your use. All soda-lime-silica glass is essentially the same. Manufacturing processes are virtually the same and are tightly controlled.  Manufacturing disparity is usually not a factor.

Our sincere thanks to Libbey Owens Ford and to Mr. Paul F. Duffer from which much of this information comes.  Paul F. Duffer is a research associate in the advanced research department at the PPG Industries, Inc., glass research and development center in Harmar Township, PA., near Pittsburgh.   He joined the glass manufacturer in 1977 as a senior research chemist at the center and was named to his present post in 1981.


    * Airports
    * Schools
    * Hotels
    * Commercial Buildings
    * All Buildings Zoned Light or Heavy Industrial
    * Buildings near Freeways or Sea Coasts


Check the appearance of the glass carefully. Look for any major distortion or irregularities. Make sure the glass is really glass and not a polycarbonate or plexiglass window.  Make sure the glass is not coated with any kind of tint or reflectorized film. Avoid using this product on lead surfaces and on tinted glass, especially on surface tinted glass.  Avoid using directly on window decals.  Do not allow CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 to drip or run down window frames or the sides of buildings.  NOTE:  Building water sealers sometimes contain silicones. If these sprays are accidentally sprayed over the glass, CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 may haze the residue.  Soften such residue with toluene or xylene and remove the softened residue with a rubbing or polishing compound.  Repeat as necessary.


WINSOL CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 GLASS CLEARING AGENT is safe for use with nylon and polypropylene ropes, however, caution should be used to avoid contact on with natural ropes and harnesses. Rinse thoroughly if contact has been made. Inspect all ropes, harnesses and other equipment for any signs of wear and abrasion before using.  It is important and necessary to test each piece of glass. Testing must be done before proceeding with the entire window.  Apply a small amount to a tiny spot on the glass and massage in with a sponge or rag.  Allow to nearly dry. Check both outside and inside of the window for any distortion before commencing with the entire window.  If glass appears clear at the test site, apply CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 over the entire affected glass evenly.  (CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 may be applied with a sponge, strip washer or rag.)  Use the same cleaning motion as you would if you were washing the window. Rinse off the CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 thoroughly and clean the glass as usual. Repeat only if necessary.


CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is a highly effective acid blend used to remove hard water spots and concrete runoff from buildings. However, and most importantly, not all glass can be restored. To help eliminate problems, the building owner    (manager) must be made aware that normal cleaning methods will not get their glass "clean." The building owner must also be made aware of his/her options before you proceed to use CRYSTAL CLEAR 550. First, you must make the building owner/manager aware of the situation, advise him/her that if he/she leaves the glass "unrestored" it will eventually have to be replaced.  Second, as a professional cleaner, you have products available that will probably remove the entire window staining problems. However, if the glass is in Stage II corrosion, some of the panes may haze and have to be replaced, but that, generally, all of the glass can be saved. By doing this, it will give the owner these choices:
1. Do nothing and replace all of the glass.
2. "Clear" and "restore" all of the glass.
3. "Clear" and possibly have to replace a few panes, specifically those panes that have progressed onto Stage II corrosion.
Both the 2nd and 3rd options are much less costly than the 1st, but most importantly make the owner/manager decide. By following these suggestions, it will save you the grief of, "you ruined my glass - you fix it."  It must be remembered that the glass is beyond normal cleaning methods and that you are trying to fix the owner's problem.

Q. How and when do I explain the problems of stage 1 and 2 corrosion when I discover it on the job?
    A. The problems of stage 1 and 2 corrosion are best described to your client upon discovery.  Whether you have discovered the problem during a pre-cleaning inspection or during the job itself it is paramount that the building owner/manager be made aware of the situation.  If corrosion is discovered or suspected they must be made aware that there is the possibility of existing, hidden damage to the glass surface or that the damage may be greater than it appears to be.  It is important that they are made aware that corrosion/damage is already present and neither your methods or chemicals are to blame.

Q. What is CRYSTAL CLEAR 550?
    A. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is a blend of acids and other ingredients to safely and effectively remove corrosion from glass.

Q. What is CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 used for?
    A. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will remove hard water marks, exhaust from car and aircraft, run-off from unsealed masonry, airborne pollution, acid rain and just about anything that has caused corrosion of the glass.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is a glass clearing agent and is not to be used as a window cleaner. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is used as a restoration service and should be treated as such.

Q. How does corrosion occur?
    A. Corrosion occurs when the pH (degree of alkalinity with 7 as neutral) becomes too high (above 9). Hydrogen from water will mix with the sodium of soda lime glass to form sodium hydroxide, a strong alkali. Mineral deposits (lime, calcium, lead and salts), even detergent not thoroughly rinsed, will react with the chemical make-up of the glass causing corrosion. Acids are used to return the pH to neutral. There are two types of corrosion Stage I (light corrosion, little or no damage to glass) and Stage II (severe corrosion, damaged glass, etched glass).

Q. What about the use of hydrofluoric acid?
    A. While it is true hydrofluoric acid can affect glass, it is used to etch glass generally at high concentration of 14% or higher, the hydrofluoric acid in CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is at a safe level 1.5%. (Laboratory certified to be within 1/10 of 1%). Hydrofluoric acid is needed to quickly dissolve mineral deposits. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550, when rinsed with water and a wetting agent, will rinse completely from the glass leaving no residue.

Q. Will CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 restore all glass problems?
    A. No. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 cannot repair damaged glass - it can only help restore appearance.  Alkaline runoff and Stage I corrosion haze can often be eliminated, but visible and invisible Stage II corrosion often cannot be eliminated. Remember that the glass is already damaged to the point that normal cleaning is ineffective.  Replacement is  necessary. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will only delay that eventual replacement.

Q.  What is Stage II corrosion?
    A. This is when the mineral deposit is no longer on the surface of the glass. The deposit has started to break down the molecular structure of the glass. This is evident when you remove the surface stain and etching or white hazing appears. This is glass literally "falling apart".

Q. How do I use it?
    A. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is very easy to use.  Just apply undiluted on a clean cloth, scrub sleeve or clean natural sponge to moisten the window that you are working on and using the regular motion as you would in normal washing.  A little goes a long way. Remember always rinse thoroughly after using. Do Not use steel wool. Steel wool may scratch the surface of the glass causing you problems down the road

Q. Can CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 clear some panes of glass and then selectively "burn" others?
    A. No. Chemicals can not be selective; CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is no different.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will not clear 500 panes and then "burn" 2 or 3 panes.  Those panes that haze must be different from the others.  Probable causes can be, panes that are subjected to more runoff, water sprinklers, panes that were possibly installed wrong or were stored incorrectly before installation etc.

Q. Will CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 damage window glass?
    A. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will not damage window glass if used properly and according to instructions.  However, there have been cases when years of oxidation and pollution have been removed, and the glass appeared wavy.  The CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 does not cause this; it is caused by erosion from years of pollution on the window.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 has removed the haze and the etching can now be seen. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will not damage normal, properly installed and undamaged window glass.  If you determine CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is needed to clear glass, remember that the window is already damaged or CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 wouldn’t be needed.  Normal glass cleaning solutions will remove all dirt and residues otherwise.

Q.  How severe a problem on glass will CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 solve?
    A. If the damage to the glass is severe or if the corrosion has reached Stage II (more information on this type of corrosion can be found in the body of this text.  Refer to Stage I and II in the index.) There may be little any product can do to restore clarity to the glass.  Most glass manufacturers recommend replacement when Stage II is reached.  CRYSTAL CLEAR 550, when used on Stage II corrosion or on windows sealed by building sealer, may cause the glass to appear hazy.  STOP clearing this window until you can determine whether the problem is corrosion or sealer.

Q. What can be done about Stage II corrosion?
    A. Options are limited, remember, the damage is already done. The building owner can replace the glass or you can use a rubbing compound that is time consuming and labor intensive. Both are expensive options.

Q. Will it harm anodized aluminum or painted surfaces?
    A. It may, if left unattended.  Normal window cleaning after clearing the oxidation off the window should neutralize the CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 that has accidentally been spilled on anodized aluminum framing.  If a large amount has been spilled, immediately flush with your wash solution. Discoloring of the anodized aluminum is not instantaneous; it does take a little time.  Time enough for you to wash it off. If left on painted surfaces CRYSTAL CLEAR will leave clean streaks that may not be easy to remove.

Q. What should I do if the CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 runs down the glass?
    A. If the CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 runs down the window when you use it, you are using too much.  Remember that a little goes a long way.  But if it does, just wash off the excess from the framing to neutralize the solution. Then proceed using less on your applicator. Remember to always rinse thoroughly.

Q. How much should I use, and how much area will a gallon of CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 clean?
    A. As a rule, put enough undiluted 550 on the cloth or sponge to moisten the applicator without it dripping or having the CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 run down the window.  Depending on the amount of oxidation on the glass, you may have to go over the area again.  Normally one time will do the job. As far as how much a gallon of CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 will clean, this depends on the amount of haze.  A college in the Seattle area with light to moderate hazing cleaned 6000 sq. ft. of glass with one gallon.  But as stated above, your results may vary depending on the amount of oxidation on the glass.

Q. Can I use CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 on mirrored glass or tinted glass?
    A. No. Remember CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 attacks mineral deposits. It cannot distinguish between good (mirror) minerals and bad (calcium, salt and lime) minerals. However, if the mirror or tint is on the "inside" of the glass, you should not have a problem.  Factory tinted automotive glass is safe, however, CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 should not be used on windshields as they often have abrasive damage from wipers that can become more visible.  Always test first!

Q. Can I add CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 to my washing solution and do two jobs in one application?
    A. No. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 was developed to remove haze, pollution, and oxidation from windows, saving the building owner expensive replacement costs.  This is a new service you can now provide your customers. Glass restoration.  Mixing CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 with your regular cleaning solution will not help to cut corners. The solution will weaken/ neutralize the CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 making it useless, and you are out your cost of the chemical.

Q. Can CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 penetrate glass and harm "inside" tint?
    A. Absolutely not.

Q. Is CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 harmful to me?
    A. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550, like any chemical on the market today, can be harmful if used improperly or misused.  Always read label instructions and the MSDS prior to using CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 or any other chemical.  If the directions are followed and proper care is used, CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 is not harmful. Safety precautions should be followed always wear rubber gloves and boots. If you are in a confined area an acid vapor-breathing mask should be worn. Avoid breathing the vapors. If splashed on clothing or skin rinse immediately with lots of water.

Q. Is CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 harmful to my equipment?
    A. CRYSTAL CLEAR 550 has not been found to be harmful to commercial cleaning equipment.  But remember, where your safety is involved, it is always imperative to check your equipment prior to its use.  Wash and rinse all your equipment with special attention to rags, lambs wool applicators, ropes and support equipment.  Check and test all ropes and lines.

Q. What extra equipment do I need?
    A. None.  You will need extra clean cloths or sponges, but standard window cleaning supplies are sufficient.

Q. Is it really necessary to test each piece of glass before clearing it?
    A. Yes.  Before using any restoration chemical on glass always test.  Glass, especially float glass, which has a microscopic film of tin on one surface to protect it from corrosion, if installed backwards, may be more severely damaged by corrosion than other panes of glass.  Without testing you may find one or two panes on a whole building resists clearing and may even look worse due to the removal of residues caused by Stage II corrosion.   It is always advisable to inform building owners and managers that this service is an interim step for extending the useful life of damaged glass and that you cannot be responsible for damage already on the surface of the glass panes.



Color                                                  Colorless liquid
Specific gravity                                    1.01
Boiling point                                        212o F. approx.
Freezing point                                     32o F.
Flash point                                          N/A   non-flammable
Fire point                                            N/A   non-flammable
Toxicity CRYSTAL CLEAR 550       TOXIC contains hydrofluoric acid.
GLASS CLEARING AGENT                          (DO NOT BREATH VAPOR!)