22 Nov Rejuvenating Cloudy Windows Easily
The pictures just don’t show the full difference.
Used to be, you couldn’t see out the windows on Barefoot Gal. Oh, you knew if it was day or night, and I could see Paz’s (our dog) outline as she walked around the deck. But make out details? No way.
Now I can.
Friends aboard another Gemini told us how they’d restored their windows – a long, multi-step process – and, admittedly, theirs are totally clear now. But our priority now is to get the boat back in the water and I had just a few hours of “waiting time” between other higher-priority projects. I was looking for an 80% solution with 20% of the effort.
Last winter when spent ten days aboard Beagle Knot (they’re now offering fully crewed charters), LaDonna told me how she’d “unclouded” their windows with a product called Prism Polish. So I got some.
Yesterday, I used it on our windows. Both Dave and I are amazed at the difference – and it didn’t take a lot of time or effort, to be honest. To be sure, the windows aren’t 100% perfect – there’s still a bit of cloudiness and you can see water streaks on two of them. But you can see out the windows, and they’re shiny on the outside.
I did two-thirds of our windows in just over an hour (still have a couple to do). Added bonus: Prism Polish is a lot less expensive than many of the specialty products sold for restoring plastics.
I’m not declaring this to be the ultimate in rejuvenating windows. But if you’re like us and want a big improvement quickly and easily until such time as you can “really” do the windows, it’s perfect. It’s also great if – like on Beagle Knot – the windows weren’t as bad to start. LaDonna got theirs totally clear with just Prism Polish.
The containers of Prism Polish say that it’s for cleaning metal. When I first saw the container, I wondered if I was really buying the right stuff. I looked on their web site and they show restoring windows with the “metal” polish – it’s not some different product that they make.
It’s simple to use. Start by washing the windows with dish soap and water.* You’re just trying to get any dirt off so you won’t grind it in. Let the windows dry – a few drops of water remaining are okay, you just don’t want to dilute the polish too much.
Then use a soft cloth to rub the Prism Polish all over the window. Old terry cloth towels are great for this step – they have a bit of bite to rub with. Expect the polish on the rag to change color a bit, going from a very light gray to whatever color (probably brownish) your windows are tinted. That’s normal and shows that you’re getting the oxidation off.
Then use a fresh soft rag (old t-shirts are good) to buff it out (no need to wait for it to dry) – or you can use an electrical buffer. It is very easy to buff, even doing it by hand, and literally just took minutes.
I did the first window by hand, then wondered if a buffer would give any better results. The answer is that I couldn’t see any difference.
There. You’re done. But now you’ll need curtains so your neighbors can’t see in.
I got Prism Polish on Amazon — I’ve never seen it in a store. The 6 ounce container has enough for all our windows, but I’ll be needing more to do our stainless. The 16-ounce is a little better deal. (They also make a liquid version; the links below are the paste, which is what I used.) The company says it’s also good for removing cloudiness on isinglass but I haven’t tried it.
*Don’t use ammonia, alcohol, bleach, gasoline or acetone on Lexan windows. That’s right – no Windex, which contains ammonia. It can cause cloudiness — what you’re trying to get rid of! Dish soap and water is best.