Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reflections on glass

Oh boy, now I am really reaching into the exciting nooks and crannies of hot topics. Who in their right mind writes about glass unless they’re in the business, a collector, or simply loves PANE? Well maybe that sentence alone will serve as an adequate disclaimer before you throw caution to the wind and read further?

I started pondering how truly important glass is and how it’s made mostly because I am always trying to clean the stuff. Look around your house and count the windows, mirrors, kitchen items and table tops to see what I mean – glass and irritating ‘smudgey’ fingerprints abound!

Most clear window glass that you come in contact with is made from pulverized sandstone (white sand) combined with soda (yes Arm and Hammer’s corporate ears are burning) and lime. The additives to the sand basically stabilize the melting process, lower the melting temperature, and make the end product strong and impervious to water. Once the three main ingredients are fused together at around 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, other substances can be added to affect color, insulation properties, and reflectivity. All in all, despite the simplicity of the recipe, the results all around you are truly amazing.

Now that YOU are the expert on making the stuff, can somebody help me figure out how to clean it? Yes I use that expensive blue juice but even that can haze. Most of the time AFTER I clean the glass, I have to go buff the surface with a soft cloth to seek reflective perfection. Yeah I tried the newspaper thing too to save paper towels, but in the end, the newsprint makes my hands look like they are covered in shoe polish. The car is no different. I have tried those microfiber cloths with spray foam cleaner. It is not bad, but impossibly difficult to clean that film off the inside of the windshield, built-up from breathing I think? The next time I drive, I have to try holding my breath until I get to the store?

On the outside windows, I use a wet rag at the end of a long pole to try to remove the bird’s disrespectful graffiti. I mix a little vinegar and water so it won’t kill the plants like ammonia will. Squeegees are great but more often than not they bomb me with drips of water and the head slips off repeatedly? Secretly though, when that pole is deployed in all its ’two-story glory’, I do achieve a sense of ultimate power.

Yes It’s as if I am ‘ONE’ with the long lanky finger of God himself as he reaches heaven-ward to personally touch my humble ‘efforts in translucence’. Now I’m not naming names, but when it comes to glass, even with divine intervention I mysteriously seem to always miss at least ONE greasy fingerprint? Coincidence? … I think NOT!

No comments:

Post a Comment