5 Reasons Why Window Cleaning Is Important
Everybody cleans their teeth every morning / evening and thinks twice about it. This is a very important routine in everyones daily life because it keeps us healthy. This idea and routine is not applied to other important areas of the home. Every now and again we all clean our home windows but put off doing it for as long as possible.
There are many reasons why you should get your windows cleaned regularly and in this article we explore 5 reasons why window cleaning is important.
- The Structure of Glass
Glass is porous and collects dirt and if left over time, can make it fragile or prevent as much natural light as possible from entering your property. Alongside of this, the build up of pollutants can ruin the glass completely through smears, streaks and pigmentation spots. The main pollutants are:
- Hard Minerals
- Acid Rain
- Salt and Grit
- Property Appearance
Most people don’t appreciate how different clean windows can make a property look. It can drastically effect the way people perceive your house or business. People pay attention to cleanliness and will subconsciously appreciate the effort you’ve gone through to create a pleasant environment.
Would you feel comfortable going to the doctors if all the windows were caked in dirt (inside and out)? Probably not. The same goes for your home and place of business. Clean windows will always attract more visitors and make people feel more comfortable. Also, if you are trying to sell or rent your property then it’s very important to keep your windows clean as cleaner properties were sold at higher prices on average than those with dirty windows, frames and sills.
- Heating Your Home
This surprises most people but it’s actually true that dirty windows do effect your homes heating efficiency. Pollutants resting on your windows and in the glass pores reflect more UV light which prevents the sun from warming up your home. This is exaggerated even more if your windows aren’t efficient in containing heat.
- Ongoing Maintenance
Just like with our teeth it’s always cheaper to maintain them regularly than wait and be exposed to expensive replacements or repairs. Through getting your windows cleaned regularly you will find that you can extend the lifetime of your windows dramatically. Not only this but you will protect the glass from small cracks, scratches, mould, algae growth and other pollutants. There’s no point in replacing the whole window when you could of got a quick and affordable window clean.
- It Just Looks… Nice!
There’s no getting around it, but clean windows (inside and out) always make you feel better. When in clean environments it boosts people mood positively and can also have health benefits. Not only this but it can help improve the perception of your home or business premises.
Window Cleaning Tips
Cleaning your windows properly has far-reaching benefits to you and your home. Did you know that there’s also an energy-saving benefit to having clean windows? This is because the cleaner your window glass, the more sun will shine in through your windows. The more sun shining through your windows, the more solar energy comes into your home. Solar energy is free and doesn’t harm the environment, and it will warm your home: a far-reaching money saving benefit! With that in mind, make sure you follow the tips below to help you achieve the cleanest windows on the block. If you don’t feel like getting wet or dripped on, or don’t have the extra time, then consider hiring a professional window cleaner to do the job for you.
- Wash the outside of the window panes from left to right and the inside of the window from the top to the bottom. This way, if you notice streaks, you will know which side to do over.
- Wash the windows from the top to the bottom so drips won’t streak or spot those you’ve already washed.
- Have a soft toothbrush handy to clean inside corners.
Try these homemade window cleaning solutions:
- For regular cleaning: 1 gallon water plus 1/4 c. white vinegar or 1/2 c. ammonia. Mix it all together in a bucket and you’ll be ready to start.
- For heavy-duty cleaning: 1 gallon water plus 1/2 c. ammonia and 2 c. rubbing alcohol. Mix it all together and it will help remove hard dirt.
You may have seen your grandmother using scrunched up newspapers to clean her windows. I know that’s what my grandmother used, and window cleaning professionals agree that this still gives you the cleanest-looking windows. So if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty with a little newspaper ink, then grab some old newspapers and get started! Some other great window cleaning rags include percale pillowcases, cloth diapers, coffee filters and even some old cut-up undershirts!
Window Screen Cleaning
- Use a vacuum attachment or a hand-held vacuum to clean your window screens and to remove dirt from the frames and window tracks.
- To wash the screen, take it outside and put the screen against an outside wall or fence. Use a hose to rinse the screen. This process should remove most of the dirt. Using a nylon brush, scrub the screen with a mixture of dish soap and water. When you are done rinsing the screen, make sure to dry it well.
- If there is still dirt on the screen or for general screen maintenance, use a lint brush to pick up any dust or dirt on the screen.
Tips for Aluminum Windows and Frames
- To clean aluminum frames, use liquid soap and a scouring pad. After rinsing the frames out, put a few drops of vegetable oil on the tracks and then move the window up and down to distribute the oil over the frame area.
- If aluminum storm windows won’t glide smoothly in their tracks, make a scrunched ball of waxed paper and rub it along the edge of the window casing a few times.
The Best Way to Clean Windows, According to Our Cleaning Lab
Washing your windows is a tedious chore — so you want to make sure you get it right the first time. To avoid having to redo your work.
- Choose a dry, cloudy day.
“Do this job in the blazing sun and the cleaner will dry onto the hot windows before you get to wipe it off, leaving hard-to-remove streaks,” If the weather won’t cooperate, start on the shady side of the house.
- Remove dirt and dust first.
Before you get started, sweep dirt from the window frame with a brush or vacuum it up with your machine’s dusting attachment. This will prevent dirt from turning into a muddy mess when mixed with a cleaner. If your window screen looks especially grimy, pop it out and wash with hot, sudsy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let dry before putting it back.For quickly dusting shades and blinds, Forte recommends going over both sides with a microfiber duster or opening the slats and going over each one with a damp cloth and followed by a dry one.
You can also refresh your curtains at the same time by putting them in the dryer for 15 minutes on an “air-only” cycle and rehanging quickly to prevent wrinkles.
- Pick the right cleaner — and spritz generously.
Don’t hold back on the spray, especially if your windows look extra dirty. “You need plenty of cleaner to dissolve and suspend the dirt so it can be completely wiped away — skimp and you’ll be seeing streaks,”.
Recommends Invisible Glass Cleaner With EZ Grip. The fine mist from the bottle stays where you spray until you wipe it, meaning less drips and mess.
Homemade Glass Cleaner
What you’ll need:
2 cups water
1/2 cup white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol 70% concentration
Combine the ingredients and pour them in a spray bottle. If you have kids or pets, write the ingredients on the outside of the bottle for safety.
- Use a microfiber cloth.
Some folks like drying panes with newspaper, but you’re better off reusable microfiber cloths. They are super absorbent, washable, and leave the glass shiny and streak-free.
Try Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloths, which have a special honeycomb texture to nab water spots, smudges, and dirt from mirrors and glass without scratching.
If you rather use paper towels, choose a brand that’s up to the task. Weak paper towels can shred and leave lint behind. In our last paper towel test, GH Seal Holder Bounty Regular held up the best when wet.
- Skip the squeegee.
Professional window cleaners swear by them, but you have to know how to use them right. “You squeegee down and where does the water go? On the floor.”
Because of the potential mess and drip factor, she avoids using squeegees, especially for small panes, but they can be more helpful on bigger, picture windows.
- Break it down.
You only need to clean your windows once or twice a year, but it’s even easier if you divide the job up and do it room by room. When you’re cleaning, wipe one side of the window horizontally and the other vertically. If any streaks do form, you’ll easily know whether they’re on the outside or the inside.
Cleaning Windows with Vinegar Without Streaks
Vinegar is a miracle from nature. Completely non-toxic and anti-bacterial, vinegar is actually beneficial to any surface it touches. It safely kills germs and is much more economical than chemical cleaning solutions. It’s not even harmful when accidentally inhaled or ingested. (If you’ve got kids, you’ll love that part).
The acidic composition of vinegar acts quickly to break down the kind of film that frequently accumulates on glass surfaces. When you wash a window using a solution that contains vinegar, the results will almost always be free from streaks and sparkling clean.
Recipes for Vinegar Window Washing Solution
Martha Stewart included a section with detailed recommendations for window washing in her series, “20 More Things Everyone Should Know”. Below are a few choice tips, along with her vinegar window-washing recipe.
- Mix one part hot water to one part distilled vinegar.
- Sponge cleaning: Moisten the window, using the solution, then clean.
- Squeegee cleaning: Always dampen the squeegee first and clean from the top down, wiping the edge of the squeegee after every stroke.
- Clean only when there is no direct sun on the windows.
- Rinse and dry the window frames immediately to avoid any damage.
Green Living, from National Geographic, recommends this simple recipe, plus a few extra tips for the best window cleaning outcome.
- In a spray bottle, mix 50% distilled vinegar (white) and 50% tap water.
- For extremely grimy glass, prewash with very soapy water, then go to the vinegar spray.
- Got highly resistent spots? Try rubbing hard with a cloth dipped in undiluted vinegar.
Are the Streaks Still Blurring Your View?
Don’t blame the vinegar. Streaks are caused by residue left on the glass by commercial products. The answer? See the information below:
First Vinegar Wash
- 2 c. water
- 1/4 c. white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. dishwashing detergent or liquid
Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, then just spray and clean.
Forever After Vinegar Wash
- 1 c. water
- 1 c. white vinegar
- Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, spray and clean. This is for normal windows.
Vinegar Wash For Horribly Grimy Windows
- 1 c. full strength white vinegar
- Warm up the solution and use directly on glass to clean.
What’s the Best Wipe?
You can ensure a streak-free, squeaky clean window by using one of the above tips and wiping with paper towels, microfiber cloths or newspaper. Whatever you use, make sure its lint-free.
HINT: Squeegees are harder to get the hang of, but they almost always do a better job.
Homage to Vinegar in the Home
Psst! Reader’s Digest recently published a collection of over 150 uses around the home for common vinegar. Here are just a few to give you a glimpse of tricks you are probably missing out on:
- Clean window blinds- A cool idea is to don a pair of white cotton gloves, dip your gloved hands in a 50/50 solution of hot water and white vinegar, then clean the blinds by simply sliding your gloved fingers down each side simultaneously.
- Unclog drains- Did you know you could use 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar to foam clean a stubborn drain? Put the baking soda in first, followed by vinegar and watch the chemical magic. The combo kills bacteria too and is easier on pipes and drains than harsh commercial preparations as well.
- Spiff up your silver- Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and soak your silverware in the solution. Rinse, then dry and voila!
Not just a cooking phenomenon, vinegar is truly the homemaker’s panacea!
What Causes Window Streaking?
Before we tell you how to get rid of your window streaks, it is helpful to understand what causes them in the first place. Here are the top two causes of window streaking.
- The Cleaner.- All window cleaning solutions are created equal? False. Some multi-purpose cleaners claim to be streak-free but fail to deliver. A big problem is the evaporation rate. If you’re cleaning your windows on a warm sunny day, the liquid part of the solution evaporates quickly and leaves behind a residue that appears as streaks. On the other hand, if you don’t entirely remove the liquid you can also be left with a streaky window. Take your time when you are cleaning your windows as being in a hurry is a sure-fire way of creating streaks.
- The Towel.- The type of cloth or towel used is also a factor. Towels that are not as absorbent spread dirt and moisture instead of removing them, leaving behind those ugly streaks. Other towels may shed, leaving you with streaks of dust, debris and lint. A towel that has been previously used for other purposes may have been contaminated with other cleaners. The oils and detergents in household cleaners can remain on towels even after they have been washed, making them useless for window cleaning.
How to Get Rid of Streaks on Your Windows
Now that you know what causes streaks, you can formulate the best plan to get rid of them. The proper way to remove window streaks or marks is to do another cleaning.
Here are a few tips to help you remove streaks.
Step 1. Go over the window using a dry dust-free microfiber cloth. Often streaks will vanish with a little elbow grease.
Step 2. If step 1 doesn’t work for you, it will be necessary to use a cleaning solution. We recommend a solution of dawn dish soap or another solution such as ecover.
Step 3. Apply the solution to a small area starting at the bottom of the window working upward, to avoid dripping. Be sure to work fast but clean thoroughly and with enough force that no residue is left behind. It is often helpful to use specialized window cleaning equipment like a squeegee.
Step 4. Go back and dry the edges of the window from the top down with a new or clean dust-free cloth.