An Evolution in Greenhouse glass

Following an intensive research and development programme, Hartley Botanic are proud to be the first UK Glasshouse and Greenhouse manufacturer to introduce a product that achieves a dramatic evolution.

The unique dual-action process used by this product uses the forces of nature to help keep the glass clear of organic material, giving you not only the practical benefit of less cleaning, but also clearer, better-looking windows.

Hartley Botanic have always been innovators in Glasshouse and Greenhouse technology. Our other unique developments include “clearspan” design, the elimination of glass to glass or glass to metal contact, powder coating aluminium to enhance aesthetics, the introduction of spot-welding techniques to provide even greater strength and the development of “concealed engineering” Greenhouses and Glasshouses to create beautiful contemporary designs.

The benefits of self-cleaning glass

  • Saves time and money, and is safer than cleaning your own windows.
  • Unique coating breaks down and loosens organic material.
  • Even works on cloudy days and during the night.
  • Can be used in almost any external domestic application – and it especially useful for Glasshouses and Greenhouses.
  • The coating will not be worn away or rubbed off under normal conditions.
  • Easily cleaned during dry spells by hosing down or wiping with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
  • Helps reduce the visual appearance of external condensation.

How does it work?

The secret of self-cleaning glass lies in its special coating, which works in two stages:

1:       Breaking down organic dirt

Firstly, the coating reacts with ultra-violet (UV) rays from natural daylight to break down organic dirt. Organic dirt generally comes from plants and animals e.g. bird droppings, pollen or tree sap, while inorganic dirt comes from other, non-living sources e.g. sand or silt present in the atmosphere.

2:       Washing dirt away

The second part of the process happens when water hits the glass. Rainwater runs down the glass to wash the loosened dirt (both organic and inorganic) away. Loose inorganic dirt, such as sand or silt will only be removed by water. Compared with conventional glass, the water dries very quickly, reducing unsightly streaks or marks.

How long does the self-cleaning operation take?

Self-cleaning glass works continuously, with dirt being washed away whenever it rains.

Does self-cleaning glass work straight away?

After fitting, the coating on the glass will be fully active.


Will this process work even when the glass is very dirty?

The coating will eventually break down quite heavy deposits of organic dirt. However, if the surface is so dirty that UV light cannot reach the glass, the self-cleaning action will become steadily less effective. In such cases, clean the glass with warm soapy water and a soft cloth, and in a few days the glass coating will have re-activated.

What happens if it does not rain for some time?

Normally, rainfall will be enough to keep your windows clean. In dry spells though, your windows can be washed with a soft cloth and warm soapy water or gently hosed down.

What about cloudy days and at night?

Self-cleaning glass needs only a small amount of UV radiation to keep the coating activated – so it works even on overcast days.

Frequently asked questions

Exactly what is self-cleaning glass?

Self-cleaning glass is normal glass with a special coating on the outside that has a unique dual-action. Once exposed to daylight, the coating firstly breaks down any organic dirt deposits and secondly, causes rainwater to ‘sheet’ down the glass to wash the loosened dirt away.

What effect does the coating have on the glass?

Very little, other than keeping it cleaner for longer! It has no effect on its strength,
and only reduces the amount of light and energy that passes through by about 5%. From certain angles it has a slightly greater reflective quality than normal glass, with an attractive faint blue tint, giving it a clearer, brighter appearance.

Can it be scratched or rubbed off?

The coating is integral to the glass – it will not flake off or discolour, so it can only be affected if the surface itself is damaged; for example, by pointed objects, abrasive cleaners or steel wool.

How long will the coating last? Can it be replaced?

The coating has been developed to last as long as the glass itself. The coating is permanent and will not need re-applying.

Is it environmentally friendly?

Yes. The coating contains harmless chemical substances already found in the home, in items such as bath oils and toothpaste. In fact, because of the reduction in the use of detergents and fresh water needed to clean the glass, The Building Research Establishment has indicated that self-cleaning glass is actually more beneficial to the environment than normal glass. What’s more, it also reduces maintenance costs.

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