We have all seen the images of the professional window washers on scaffolding, suspended outside of tall skyscrapers with squeegees in hand. Many homeowners and business owners are vocal about the labor intensive, tedious task of cleaning windows. You just put in new replacement windows and they look great! Well, except for those pesky manufacturers stickers placed in the middle of them and the saw dust, dirt, pollen and fingerprints. So, now the question is, how do you get them clean and looking new again?
There are many different approaches to cleaning windows. Did you know that ammonia based cleaners and newspapers or paper towels can actually damage your glass and windows? Newspapers and paper towels also have the ability to add a static electric charge to your glass causing dust, dirt and pollen to be attracted to them.
Before you do anything, we recommend getting the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for details on what works best for your specific window. In the meantime, our pros would like to share with you some general tips on how to clean windows:
- Clear water with no soap is the best place to start. Use a soft cloth to rub over glass. Wipe clean with a damp, wrung-dry chamois, which will soak up the water and not leave streaks. Add minimal amounts of a mild cleaner as necessary. Mild cleaner can be a gentle dish soap. The least amount of bubbles, the better.
- For picture windows and larger clear window panes, small squeegees can be used to remove the water from the glass surface.
- Screens can easily be cleaned by vacuuming with a soft brush attachment and if needed they can be removed and gently rinsed with a garden hose.
- Some windows have a manufacturer’s sticker on the glass. To remove this, gently peel off BEFORE window is installed. If these stickers are left on the window after installation the sun will ‘cook’ the adhesive and make it harder to remove from the glass. If you are in a situation where there is a lot of residue left from the adhesive try a natural citrus based cleaner BEFORE scraping or using a chemical like acetone.
- If any of the vinyl frame or tracks need to be cleaned, use the same diluted mix of water and mild soap.
There are some definite DON’TS when it comes to cleaning windows:
- Using power washers and high pressure sprays can actually damage the seals in the windows causing them to not be as water or air tight.
- Strong detergents and solvents can actually damage glass by weakening the protective coating on the glass. They can also adversely affect the vinyl, wood or fiberglass and joints of the window.
- Use of WD-40 and other oil based lubricants can attract dirt making your windows difficult to use and keep clean.
- Be extremely careful of any and all sharp tools around windows. Cutting or damaging the seals on windows can overtly affect the windows ability to keep out moisture and its air efficiency.
Caring for your new replacement windows correctly will keep them performing at optimum capacity and will sustain their life. Knowing how to clean your windows properly will keep them looking and acting new for a long time!