Is there anything more obnoxious than cleaning your replacement windows to within an inch of their life only to walk by an hour later and notice a streaky-looking mess? Unfortunately, for homeowners everywhere, it’s not just an annoying issue: It’s a likely byproduct of using the wrong cleaner, cleaning too infrequently, or simply not using the right technique. When it comes to keeping your replacement windows spotless, you need to do a lot more than spray, wipe and hope those water stains and spots just disappear. Cleaning your windows doesn’t have to be time intensive or even labor intensive. All it requires is a bit of know-how and the right cleaning products to keep your windows looking their best, and to keep your view bright and clear. If you’re finding that you can never get your windows perfectly clean no matter what you do, here are a few tips to help you achieve a perfect clean.
Use the Right Products
You wouldn’t use an all-purpose cleaner to treat the more sensitive surfaces and objects in your home, so why settle for bargain-level glass cleaners to use on your windows and mirrors? While products like Windex can be great for breaking down grease and grit on your window without hurting your glass, they don’t work as well as some of the more heavy-duty products on the market. For instance, using a professional-grade cleaner that’s comparable to the kind used at the car wash will help you get rid of even the toughest water stains on your windows. If you live in an environment where there’s lots of dirty rain and snowfall, you’ll want to get a product that’s as tough as it gets, while still being gentle enough to keep your glass protected. Use products that are industry grade in order to get a deep clean that won’t leave your windows looking worse off than before.
Use the Right Tools
If you’ve been using an old rag and soapy water to treat your windows, there’s a high chance that you’re only exacerbating the problem. To get a good clean on your windows, you not only need to use the right cleaning products, such as targeted glass cleaner, you also need to use the right tools for the job. Using an old cloth to wipe down your windows will more than likely leave you with a cloudy, unclean finish while using paper towels will only give you a scratchy, uneven exterior. For truly sparkling-clean glass, you’ll need to use a squeegee. This tool is used by professional window washers and car washers everywhere because of the even, easily-dried clean it creates. Squeegees help you use less water and product so that instead of soaking your windows and drying them off by hand, you’ll be helping your windows dry by pushing the water away from the surface. This won’t just create a quick-drying finish, it will give soap and scum another place to go instead of sitting on your windows to create new stains.
The key to keeping windows clean is to keep consistent. Since the weather is fairly unpredictable in most areas, you don’t want to go out of your way to clean right before rainfall or a big storm, but always taking the time to spray and dry your windows after a rain shower is a good way to stop hard water stains from building up. You might not think that water is capable of “building up,” but if you’re dealing with dirty rain and hard water, it’s fully possible. Once your window starts getting inundated with stains from dirty rain and snow, it will be harder to achieve a truly perfect clean. Even if you take the time a few days each week to wipe down your windows with a squeegee and a natural cleaner, such as lemon juice or white vinegar, you’ll be helping to break down hard water residue and keep your windows looking clean and clear. It also means you won’t have to work as hard the next time.
Don’t Overdo It
While it’s tempting to attack a dirty surface with tons of chemical cleaners and a lot of elbow grease, sometimes less is actually more when it comes to your dirty windows. If you’re not dealing with a Grade A disaster, try cleaning your window with natural products like citrus or baking soda in order to keep your home free of harsh chemical smells. Using natural cleaners will help keep your windows in good shape while touching up your glass in between regular cleanings.