Glass seems to be one of the most stable solid substances - which chemicals, particularly home products that react with glass?

  • $\begingroup$ Drain cleaner (concentrated solutions of NaOH) but very slowly. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 1:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is an effective substance to dissolve Glass. Its also very effective in killing you in a very slow and very painful way (by basically dissolving your bones). $\endgroup$
    – user37142
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 9:54
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Actually, HF kills you by depositing CaF2 in your microcapillaries. Blood flow in extremities diminishes to zero over a few hours, leading to cell death and gangrene. It is possible to reverse the process if it has not progressed too far, but it is a hospital-type procedure. Definitely painful. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 6, 2018 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ Well, HF can hardly be considered as a home product, frequently used/found in households. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 10:55

1 Answer 1


Some rust and stain removers (like Whink) contain hydrofluoric acid* at low concentrations (1-2.3%) Here is the MSDS for Whink: https://www.whink.com/cmssites/ws0811www.whink.com/uploads/Documents/Rust%20Stain%20Remover%20SDS.pdf

Now, at those concentrations it would probably take a while to dissolve silica, but it would be arguably quicker than a $\ce{NaOH}$ cleaning product.

*I do not recommend playing around with $\ce{HF}$ and its products unless you are experienced with them.


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