It’s that time of the year again; the time families all over the world gather to celebrate the holidays. It’s also the time of the year that the cleaning frenzy begins. With visitors coming in and out of homes and family members arriving for their yearly visit, the holiday season often tends to revolve around bouts of cleaning rather than eating, drinking and being merry.
Window Cleaning – Tips and Avoidance Methods
When it comes to getting your home spic and span there is nothing more tedious than the chore of window cleaning. It’s tedious, very rarely completely effective and difficult while balancing on ladders to get to those hard to reach windows.
When it comes to window cleaning there are only three real options. You could hire a window cleaner to take care of it, you could spare the additional cost by cleaning the windows yourself, or you could fit the revolutionary new self-cleaning glass.
To keep your windows looking great and streak free you will need to ensure that they are cleaned often, however tedious this may be, it is necessary to maintain the aesthetic functions of glass windows. If you are going to attempt cleaning the windows yourself the following window cleaning tips may come in handy.
Window Cleaning Products
It is best to try a few window cleaning products before you decide on a firm favourite. Options vary from store bought to home made solutions.
Many use products such as ammonia, vinegar, borax, alcohol or Epsom salts for cleaning glass. Home-made window cleaning solutions include club soda or a 50:50 vinegar and water solution which is particularly effective for really dirty windows.
One of the best window cleaning tips I can give you is to never combine an acid with an alkaline when making your own solution. Using an alkaline and acid (i.e. vinegar and ammonia) will just cause a neutralising effect and you’ll be right back where you started.
The Cleaning Process
It is best to clean your windows on a cloudy day as direct sunlight tends to dry the solution you are cleaning your windows with quicker and you’ll be left with lots of unsightly streaks and a lot less good humour than you started out with.
Before you start cleaning the windows, wipe off all excess dirt – all that dust just turns into mud once water is introduced and the windows become harder to clean. Once you have dusted, use a hose to spray the windows and then spray on your choice of window cleaning solution.
You could use a squeegee or a cloth to clean the windows, a squeegee, however, will allow you to do it in less time. Once you have washed the windows it’s time to dry them, you can do this with a squeegee but make sure that the blade is kept dry with each stroke.
A great window cleaning tip for those ambitious enough to be cleaning the interior and the exterior glass is to use different strokes on each side. By using vertical strokes on the exterior glass and horizontal strokes on the interior you’ll be able to see which side of the glass the inevitable streaks are on.
Most homeowners choose newspaper to dry the glass once clean, while it’s cheap and quite effective, newspaper disintegrates quickly and tends to leave deposits on the glass, to avoid this use a dry cotton towel. If you are using newspaper, remember to wear gloves as the ink tends to get rather messy. Once the glass is dry you can use a blackboard eraser to achieve a great shine.
Stubborn Dirt Removal
For deposits of paint, resin or glue; wet the surface and then scrape them off using a razor blade or scraper. Take care to scrape in one direction only in order to avoid scratching the surface. Important: do not use sharp implements on self-cleaning glass.
Winter Window Cleaning Tips
It’s easy to keep frost from accumulating on exterior windows during the winter by adding two cups of antifreeze or rubbing alcohol to each gallon of wash water when cleaning glass.
Avoid Window Cleaning Entirely
The best way to just avoid external window cleaning entirely is to have self-cleaning windows fitted in your home. Sound too good to be true?
Here’s how self-cleaning glass works – an ultra-thin coating is applied to the glass during the manufacturing process; this coating has two highly beneficial effects on the glass. First organic residue on the glass is broken down by the ultraviolet wavelengths in sunlight then when it rains the dirt is washed off. As the coating is hydrophilic, when rain hits the glass it doesn’t form droplets and in turn eradicates streaking. Rain water flows down the glass in a sheet and washes the dirt away. If you don’t have time to wait for the rain a simple garden hose will be just as effective.
Self-cleaning glass is making life far easier and is giving home owners many reasons to use glass in the construction of their homes. What could be better than bright, open rooms with excellent outdoor views facilitated by huge glass sheets, without having to spend your days cleaning the glass?