Do You Find Cleaning Windows A Pane?
Window cleaning can be frustrating. The secret to getting crystal clear windows is simple. The right window cleaning tools, and especially a quality squeegee, will get your windows spotless.
You will never see a professional with a spray bottle of blue liquid and a roll of paper towels or old rags. They use lots of water and squeegees.
When you clean your windows, every time you look outside you’ll think your eyes have gotten sharper! There’s also an energy-saving benefit to clean windows. For those of you in cold climates, pay particular attention to those south-facing windows – clean glass admits much more solar energy, and that’s free heat.
The Right Tools
The tools to clean glass are not extremely sophisticated. There are two different scrubbers that you can choose from to wash the dirt from window glass. The most common one resembles a lamb’s wool applicator or a medium nap fleece. This scrubber accepts lots of water from a bucket and it washes a moderately dirty window in a flash. You just have to rub the scrubber across the window in curving motions to loosen the dirt and transfer it to the fleece on the scrubber.
If your windows have dried tree sap or some other deposit that is water soluble, then you should use a porcupine scrubber. This tool has medium length synthetic hairs, some of which have small barbs or coarse tips. These tips really do a swell job of getting rid of sticky stuff on glass. If you don’t want to buy a fancy scrubber, you can use a tile grout sponge or a natural sponge. You just want a tool that will collect the dirt, not spread it around.
The squeegee is most important. You want a professional one. These differ from many you see at hardware stores, grocery stores and the ones you frequently use at gas stations. Professional ones have replaceable rubber blades. The blades slide into a brass channel.
The blades are actually held firmly in the channel by brass clamps that fit onto each end of the rubber blades. Some professional window cleaners change their rubber blades each day. You will not need to do this, but switching them every 2 to 3 months may not seem unreasonable. Have at least two spare blades on hand.
A brass handle is best when you buy the squeegee.
Lint Free Cloths
Yes, there are such things. Absorbent lint free cloths are a knit type fabric. The paint and hardware stores have lots of them. They are inexpensive, and professional window cleaners buy them all the time.
When you wash your car you don’t spray it with a solution and then rub this solution with paper towels in a circular motion over the car’s painted finish. It’s no wonder, as a significant amount of dirt would still be left on the car. Poor methods of cleaning your windows simply remove some of the dirt and spread the rest of it around on the surface. To get windows perfectly clean you must remove all of the dirt from the glass.
Professional window cleaners get glass clean by doing just that. They use a sponge or wand to apply a cleaning solution. As they wipe the glass, an enormous amount of the dirt is actually transferred to the sponge. The solution is usually just a mixture of water and a mild soap de- greasing agent. Professionals use squeegees to remove the solution that is left on the glass. The soap in the solution lubricates the glass surface allowing the squeegee to glide across the glass.
To achieve professional results, you need to use the right squeegee. A professional squeegee is often constructed with brass channel that holds a rubber blade. The rubber often projects past the brass just 1/8 inch or so making it very rigid. Brass is used to hold the rubber blade because it is a soft metal that will not scratch glass. Some hardware stores may carry professional squeegees. You can also try businesses that sell janitorial supplies and equipment. These distributors may also sell concentrated glass cleaning solutions. You can make your own window cleaning solution using a liquid dish soap and water.
Step 1. Wash Windowsills and Frames:
On the exterior (or on unusually dirty interiors), wash the windowsill and the frame of window before you do the glass. If it’s particularly grimy, keep a separate bucket of cleaning solution and sponge so you don’t soil the glass-cleaning solution and sponge.
Tip: If you have gray or black mildew spots on your window frames, clean them and kill the mildew with a 1:16 solution of household bleach and water, plus 1/8-cup laundry detergent. Wearing rubber gloves, sponge it on and rinse well with clean water after 10 minutes. (Bleach is not good for paint).
Caution: Caution: Do not mix bleach and ammonia (or mix any cleaners that contain these chemicals). A toxic gas is produced.
Step 2. Wash the Window:
Mix cleaning solution according to instructions on the label. Apply with a sponge and scrub. If necessary, use a razor scraper to remove paint, sap, or other stubborn dirt. To avoid streaks, don’t clean windows when the sun is shining on them.
Step 3. First Drying Stroke:
Using an appropriate-size squeegee, make your first stroke across the top of the pane, with the blade angled so you only clear the top two inches of the glass. Wipe the blade clean with your chamois or cloth. Wipe up drips at the bottom of the window with a damp sponge.
Step 4. Complete Drying:
Starting on one side of the just dried area at the top of the window, draw the squeegee down to the bottom of the glass, dry the blade and repeat. The trick with a squeegee is to always start in the dry area and overlap each stroke. When your chamois or cloth gets dirty, wash it out in the cleaning solution and wring it out well.
When acid rain gets baked onto your windows from the sun without regular cleaning, it can be impossible to get off with regular window cleaner. Use oven cleaner on your grimy old windows and they’ll come out looking sparkling clean. This also works for windows that have been covered by an aluminum window screen. But watch out for the paint below, and protect your hands with gloves as well!
Cleaning and Construction
Standard window glass must be treated with care when it is cleaned, especially glass exposed to the harsh new construction environment. Glass is actually relatively soft and it is porous. Cement, paint, urethanes, and sealers can penetrate the surface and stick tenaciously to the glass. Sand from brick mortar and stucco, asphalt shingle granules, heavy dust from an assortment of construction activities can all scratch new glass if one is not careful. The best way to avoid scratches on new glass is to protect it with a plastic covering during construction.
Windows that have construction splatter on them need to be cleaned with care. A new 3 or 4 inch wide sharp flexible putty knife that has no burrs on the edge when used with flowing water will help you get material off the exterior surfaces of the glass. A mist of soapy water used on interior glass surfaces will help lubricate the surface to help prevent scratches as you gently scrape off any built up deposits.
What happens if you don’t want to do your own windows? Or you can reach some of them, while others are too dangerously placed to do on your own. Call in a professional. If you have standard windows, you are going to be amazed at how inexpensive the cost actually is. Keep in mind that most people wash the exterior surfaces about 4 times a year. The inside surfaces are usually washed twice a year. Certain rooms may need more frequent cleanings if there is lots of dirt or grease in the air.
If you hire a professional, make sure they are bonded and have all necessary insurance documentation. Simply ask for copies of their certificate of liability insurance and their worker’s compensation insurance certificate. A bonded company is one that also offers you protection against theft. If a strange window cleaner comes into your house and steals something, you want to make sure that you can get reimbursed.
Professional window cleaners have all of the right tools and equipment that allow them to easily clean windows with minimal effort. When you consider the hassle and danger involved in working on ladders, you may find that calling a professional is a much better way to go, especially if you have hard to reach windows.
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