Preparing glass for etching

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Andrey Kolmakov
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:51 pm

Preparing glass for etching

Post by Andrey Kolmakov » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:56 am

Hi,guys! I have question. How do you clean the glass before etching ? I just clean with Mr Muscle, but some spot were on the glass.

Aaron Aziz
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:08 am
Location: North Dakota (eastern)

Re: Preparing glass for etching

Post by Aaron Aziz » Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:29 am

Its certainly been awhile since I have done any etching but in my experience you are cleaning the glass (usually with rubbing alcohol) to ensure proper adhesion of your sand blast mask, photo resist etc. Hopefully Roderick will jump in here as he is the glass expert around here but there's my two cents til then.

pat mackle
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:35 pm

Re: Preparing glass for etching

Post by pat mackle » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:46 pm

This is what I know about cleaning glass.
First it depends on what condition the glass is in and what contaminates are on the glass. One of the biggest enemies to glass is ordinary tap water, which if left to sit on the glass will leave water deposits. Rain water will not leave water deposits.
Water deposits(calcium) on glass can appear as "dirt" or stains and are almost always impossible to remove. This is because tap water/lake water contains
salts and minerals that dissolve into the surface of glass. Even if you use a razor blade to skim these salts off the surface or polish the glass with cerium oxide and a felt block, the glass will still show the marks eaten into the surface by the minerals. Heavier polishing will remove these but it takes energy and time.

If the glass is free of calcium marks, then we can address normal contaminates such as oils and grime.
A simple mixture of vinegar and water will cut through most oils and dirt. A perfect example of this can be seen when using this mixture to clean the windows on the inside of a car. Most commercialized glass cleaners will continue to leave streaks even after several cleanings. This is because the oily plasticizer chemicals(phthalate esters) used in vinyl seat covers and dash boards, gas out in the heat of the sun and collect on the internal glass surfaces. These oils can be detected by rubbing a finger in circles on the glass which will create very fine oily swirled designs that will glisten in the light. These oils are very difficult to lift off the glass with ordinary glass cleaners, but vinegar and water will do the job leaving no streaks.

Another cleaner that I like to use is simply a scrubbing cleanser like Ajax or Comet and water. These contain fine pumice which is enough to cut through the dirt and not scratch the glass when used with a soft sponge. Use only a new sponge or one dedicated for glass only. Be sure there is not any sand or grit in the sponge.

Tyler Tim
Posts: 201
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:12 am

Re: Preparing glass for etching

Post by Tyler Tim » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:51 pm

Commercial cleaners can have agents added to coat the surface to repel dirt. So I stick to the old school basics like Pat... Bon-Ami, Bo Peep ammonia or white vinegar in distilled water. Don't mix the two together as they will neutralize each other. So use one or the other mixed with the water.

I use end of roll newsprint paper wadded up to break the fibers open to clean glass with.
Sure I paint thing for my amusement and then offer them for sale. A brushslinger could whither en die from lack of creativity in this plastic town my horse threw a shoe in. :shock:

Andrey Kolmakov
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:51 pm

Re: Preparing glass for etching

Post by Andrey Kolmakov » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:53 pm

Thank you so much ! I tried to clean the glass ordinary chalk. And everything worked perfectly !

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