By Jason Roberts
Do you find keeping your glass windows sparkling clean quite a challenge? The truth is unlike any other place in your home, cleaning windows isn't as easy as it looks. From hand prints to dirt and dust, glass windows are exposed to all kinds of factors that complicate things. If you’re having trouble keeping these clean, here are some tips that will save you a lot of work:
1. Vacuum first
Dust mixed with water makes additional smears which are hard to clean. Ensure that your windows are free of dust before putting water on them, by using a vacuum cleaner. Pass it over the windows, including all the corners and sills. Use a small cotton cloth moistened with white vinegar and try to access all the corners that the vacuum cleaner could not reach. Having cleared all the loose dust, you can then commence the real window cleaning process.
2. Use newspapers
Among the things that make cleaning a window challenging are the tools you choose to use. Unlike wooden tables or cupboards, rags and paper towels don't work well. They leave marks, smears and more, even after putting a lot of effort. So the best way to ensure that you don't have to redo the cleaning over and over is to use a newspaper. What you need to do is to apply a glass cleaner on the window/mirror and instead of using a rag, you’ll have to wipe it with a crumbled newspaper. You can also choose to dip it into the bucket containing the glass cleaner solution. Clean the glass with the wet newspaper and dry it with another one which is dry.
3. Avoid cleaning in direct sunlight
Water dries faster if heated. What does this mean? The glass cleaner solution won't last long on the applied surface. Instead, it will dry faster giving you no time to wipe the window. As a result, it will leave marks, spots, and the worst part, it will harden the dirt. This will most likely force you to redo the work. Redoing the work over and over isn't pleasing, so it is advisable to clean windows either in the morning or in the evening.
4. Use blackboard erasers
Blackboard erasers might be old fashioned, but they surely work well on windows. Unlike rags or any other cloth you might choose to use, blackboard erasers are known to leave the glass sparkling clean. You can even mix this method with the one with the newspaper. After the window dries, you can do the finishing with the erasers.
5. Use distilled water
Sometimes you might see the smears after the glass dries out. Tap water might look clean, but it contains lots of minerals, including limestone. These minerals leave smears, despite all your efforts. On the other hand, distilled water is free of minerals, which means that using it on your windows and mirrors will leave your glass crystal clear.
6. Clean windows from top to bottom
Since most of glass windows are vertically positioned and since you will need to use lots of water while cleaning them, it is important to note the starting and the ending point. While cleaning windows, watch the drips and thin lines of water flowing from the top to the bottom of the glass. As you can see, it is advisable that you start cleaning from the top part of the window and finish up with the lower part. Cleaning the window from top to bottom will reduce cleaning time, since you will only have to pass the squeegee once over the same spot. It will also reduce chances of smears being left behind to dry.
7. Don't use too much soap
Whether you are using regular soap or professional cleaning detergent, it is advisable that you apply as little as possible. Too much soap might be harder to remove than the dirt itself. Clearing it will take time and, as a result, you’ll end up using more water than needed.
8. Use anti-static sprays
Glass windows attract dust that piles up, especially on the corners. To stop this from happening, you have to spray windows with an anti-static spray. One of my favorites is Static Guard. The anti-static solution ensures that your window doesn't trap any dust on the short term.
9. Choose the right glass cleaner
Do not use a solution that contains ammonia. If you don’t have a special commercial solution try club soda – it’s quite effective. Vinegar is also recommended when working on a glass with a waxy film. Two tablespoons of the white vinegar mixed with two tablespoons of medicinal alcohol plus a half spoon of corn starch mixed with warm water should do the trick. You’ll have to shake the mixture well before use.
Cleaning windows can be boring and fun at the same time, depending on how you do it. Most people make it a hobby, but the truth is, you have to clean your windows at least once per month. Following the right procedure and having the right tools makes it easier, and seeing the dust coming out makes it fun.