Washing the windows as every other housework has its DO’s and DONT’s that everyone should consider if they want to achieve good results. Avoiding the most common mistakes when cleaning your home windows will surely save you time, efforts and will get you shiny, streak-free windows. This post will concisely list the most frequent and easy to make mistakes you may want to consider and refrain from when cleaning the windows at home.
Keep in mind, there are a lot of ways you can damage your windows. Starting with the wrong tools, using the wrong cleaning solution and ending with the classical cleaning tips turning into harmful advice. The different window types have their own specifics when it comes to maintenance so be careful what is allowed and what not when restoring or cleaning windows.
The Seven “Deadly Sins" of Window Cleaning:
- Kitchen paper is not your best choice for cleaning and polishing windows.
There is this misconception that kitchen paper will do the job of polishing the glass. However, that’s not quite true. Paper tends to tear and stick to wet surfaces. It can smear the cleaning solution and leave small fibres on the glass surface. That way you may need to repeat the cleaning process and spend more of your time on a chore that is already time-consuming. Better, choose lint-free cotton clothes or buy a couple of microfiber cloths and all your window cleaning related problems will be solved.
- No, newspapers are not suitable for window cleaning.
Back in the days, yes, the piles with daily newspapers were repurposed and used for polishing glass surfaces. Today, they are made of materials which make them useless for the purpose of wiping off the cleaning solution and polishing the glass. Instead of absorbing the cleaner and breaking off the dirt, the greasy newspaper will redistribute the grime, leave black ink and smear the windows.
- Forget about abrasive materials to break up hard dirt.
If there are some difficult to remove spots and stains on your windows, for example, it could be bird faeces, traces from insects or other coarse dirt particles, even scrubbing it hard won’t be enough and still, it’ll be tough to clean it. You shouldn’t use rough brushes, scrub pads or razors. Yes, probably you’ll be able to remove the dried up filth but as a result, they will scratch the windows or the frames and pretty much ruined them.
- Using inappropriate window cleaning solutions.
You better forget about the window cleaning detergents you’re used to. They contain chemicals that can negatively affect your well-being and cause allergies, respiratory problems, skin eruptions, etc. Not only that, but these toxic components can actually attract dust which makes them unreliable. Alternatively, create a homemade window cleaning solution by mixing white vinegar, lemon, dish soap and water. It’s an easy, efficient, cheap and healthy way to deal with the windows.
- Cleaning with the wrong type of water.
When you clean glass surfaces, you need a lot of water. Many people use tap water because it’s the most convenient, especially at home. This is another mistake because this type of water is full of minerals such as limestone that makes it hard. It will leave streaks on the windows, so the cleaning process will be pointless. Instead, use purified water which is filtered out of impurities and is excellent for dissolving even the most stubborn dirt and repels dist from accumulating for a longer time.
- Choosing the wrong weather for window washing.
Often when the sunlight streams through the windows, we can see how dirty they are. This is very irritating and could motivate us to clean them right away. A big mistake! When you clean during the hottest time of the day, you risk your windows to dry quickly. This will lead to stains and you’ll have to start from the beginning. You should choose a cloudy day or a cooler time to perform this chore. The optimal temperature for cleaning the windows is around 21°-23°C.
- Cleaning the windowpanes outward from the centre.
Starting to wash the windows from the middle outward towards the frames is a wrong technique. This way dirty soapy water will run down and stain the already cleaned areas when moving upward. It restricts the free movement of your hand with the squeegee or sponge. However, if you move from the top down and use an S-technique, then you get a smear-free glass because you’ll be able to cover to the whole window and wipe off all the excess water.
Image source: Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash