Cleaning outside windows from the inside quite often turns into a nightmarish experience, especially if you live in an apartment or a condo. The danger of falling out of the window in a combination with a fear of heights will most like make you give up on this task. And let’s be honest, when you are most unwilling to do some chore, you tend to put it off for as long as you can.
But why struggle when you can take advantage of the modern inventions and methods that come up constantly to relieve us from hard labour?
The magnetic window cleaner is one of those clever devices that have the potential to solve your dilemma. With its help, the cleaning of hard to reach window corners turn into a child’s play. Here’s how to know if this little tool is worth your investment.
What is a magnetic window cleaner?
A magnetic window cleaner is a plastic tool with two magnetic parts that stick together from both sides of the window. The one part from the inside is made with a handle to hold on so you can guide the cleaner. For safety reasons, most of the cleaners come with a string that may have a length of up to six meters. Before you start using the device you have to attach the string to your window. This step is necessary to secure the outside magnet from falling, and you’re good to go.
There are different sizes that range in price. The cleaner comes with different magnets as well depending what type are the window panes you would like to clean. The cheapest magnetic window cleaner is equipped with smaller magnets and is intended for thin, single glazed window glass. For thick double glazed windows, you should use the medium window cleaner which has much more powerful magnets. Other models come with very strong magnets for extremely thick glass panels.
The magnetic window cleaner package usually includes:
- 2 magnets parts;
- White safety string;
- Microfiber cloth;
- Spare rubber squeegees;
- Spare powerful magnets;
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How does a magnetic window cleaner work?
The only thing you need besides the tool is a bucket, a dish-washing liquid or all-purpose liquid cleaner and some elbow grease. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of the process:
- Put a little bit of the cleaning solution into a bucket of lukewarm water. You don’t need to use window washing detergents.
- Stir the water to make bubbles. The soapiness is essential for this cleaning method because it lets the gadget glide smoothly on the window surface.
- Dip the two parts of the magnetic window cleaners into the water separately. Don’t stick them together just yet (You will get an explanation about that below).
- Rub together the sponges to create froth. More bubbles mean easier cleaning with the tool.
- Keep the larger piece with the handle on the inside. Place the smaller piece on the outside of the window and secure it from falling by attaching it with the string to the window handle. This is optional, but better be safe than sorry. Alternatively, hold and pull the cord towards you and close the window.
- Clamp the two parts together and start cleaning! Slowly.
- Always clean with the sponge/cloth first to make sure that all the dirt is scrubbed off, then with the squeegee blade. Some products even have an arrow to show you the right direction of movement.
- Clean horizontally from top to bottom -in a zigzag movement. Move slowly and with patience.
- Move the cleaner to the closest edge when you reach the bottom of your window. Then slowly separate the magnets.
- To remove any streaks left behind and give a good shiny look to your windows, place the microfiber cloth on both magnetic parts. Then spray the cloths with a bit of the cleaning solution or with clear water and glide the magnets across the width of the whole window.
- When you finish with the window cleaning process, store the magnetic cleaner with the spacer between the magnetic parts.
- Enjoy your clean windows!
Have a look at this short video from Mashable to see the cleaner in action:
Pros – In favour of the magnetic window cleaner:
Here are the listed reasons why you could consider getting a magnetic window cleaner:
- One tool for window cleaning – it combines a sponge (or a cloth) and a squeegee.
- They are easy to store as they don’t use up much space.
- You clean simultaneously from both sides. So that cuts the work in half when done right.
- If you have a difficult time reaching windows in your flat or house – this could be one of your solutions.
- If you live on a higher floor and you do not want to risk your life just to clean that upper outside corner of your windows – this may help you.
- They are easy to find and most of them have affordable pricing.
- Most of the cleaners are made with replaceable sponges.
- They can be used with almost any type of window, like single and double glazed windows.
Cons – The unpleasant truth about the tool:
You can read on every advert why you should buy this tool, but what about the reviews that tell you a little more beyond that? So you ask yourself – are the magnetic window cleaners any good? Here is what we found on the not-so-good side of this equipment:
- Remember when we said you shouldn’t put the two parts together in the bucket with the cleaning solution? Well, if you do that they will stick to each other and it will be very hard to take them apart. You have to use force and that will, in most cases, break them. Money invested in the tool – gone.
- Some strings are too short and might need replacing.
- If the water is not soapy enough they won’t glide on the windows as easily as expected causing frustration. Plus, if you force them to move they will most likely come off because of the lack of cohesion.
- If you use the model for double glazed windows on a single one it can even break your glass! As the whole name explains – the tool has magnets. They are stronger on those for double glazed windows. There are varieties of this tool – for single and for double glazed windows. The one for single glazed windows is not as strong and won’t work as well (or at all) through two sets of glass.
- They come in different sizes. The bigger ones are difficult to work with because they’re much more tricky to move and not so good at washing the corners of the windows. As for the smaller one, the trouble there is that they might not be able to clean the window panes properly leaving smears behind.
- If the rubber is bent or damaged you won’t be able to clean properly. It will just leave some parts of your windows untouched, leaving dirt and soap behind. Nobody wants that.
- You have to work slowly so the magnets can catch up with each other. When you are turning sides you have to move even slower.
- It is very common for the products to break.
In conclusion of the magnetic window cleaner review
To summarise it all - the magnetic window cleaner can help you get the job done, but it’s tricky and you’ll have to take time and patience to master cleaning with it. Knowing the pros and cons of having this tool should help you decide if it’s worth your money. Because, after all, you will be doing the hard work.