With the arrival of spring, homeowners often turn their attention to neglected tasks. One of those is window cleaning.
Clean windows are important, because they are our visible link to the outside world. Having windows designed especially for Arizona’s harsh arid climate can reduce energy costs and make life more enjoyable. If those windows are also clean, that’s a welcome bonus.
Here are some expert tips about how you can easily achieve windows that are clean and sparkling.
Start with the edges
Dust and dirt collect along the seams and cracks around window borders. If all you clean is the glass surface, the first small amount of rain will wash dirt out of those crevices and back onto the glass. Depending on the location, spray the windows with a hose to get rid of loose dirt. Then clean the frames and edges with soapy water and a rag.
Soapy water and a sponge
Use cold water. Hot water evaporates too quickly — especially on a sunny day. A few squirts of detergent in the water will help clear the dirt and help the glass dry without streaks. Wipe the window down with a sponge or with a sponge mop.
Use a squeegee
“Try washing windows with a squeegee and I bet you’ll never go back to a spray bottle and paper towels,” explains familyhandyman.com. “Squeegees get your glass clear and streak free in a fraction of the time it takes with paper towels.”
Replace the squeegee blade frequently. Professional window cleaners change the blades daily if needed. When the edge of the blade gets rounded from use or has nicks, it won’t do a good job.
Opt for microfiber
Wipe off any leftover water on the glass or around the window edges with a soft, microfiber cloth. Cloths made of cotton or other natural fibers can leave lint that will attract and trap dirt.
Hard water stains
Sometimes windows get stained from hard water or mineral deposits. It is particularly a problem if they are in a location where they are sometimes hit by sprinkler spray, either directly or windblown. To get rid of those stains, spray the window with a white vinegar solution or with a commercial product like CLR or Lime-a-way and scrub before washing. The chemical composition of the products reacts with and dissolves the hard water minerals.
For tougher stuff
Dried-on paint, bug splatters and bird excrement can be removed with a razor-blade scraper or a scrubbing sponge. Don’t use steel wool or metal scrubbers that can leave scratches on the glass surface.
Remember the screens
Having a clean window doesn’t accomplish much if it is covered by a dirty screen. Bobvila.com suggests removing the screens, then rinsing them with plain water, spraying with a vinegar and water solution, then rinsing again with just water. Let the screens dry thoroughly before replacing them on the windows.
Sometimes no matter what you do, you simply can’t get your windows looking good. They might be scratched from blowing sand or clouded from moisture getting through the seal. Perhaps you have old windows which aren’t designed to withstand the local sun and heat. They might not be energy efficient and allow dust and air to escape through the edges. In that case, your best option could be to replace your old windows with new, highly efficient, energy-friendly option from a professional window expert.
With hotter weather just around the corner, this is the perfect time to get your windows clean.
American Vision Windows is a family owned and operated business, beginning more than 15 years ago with the sole purpose of helping fellow homeowners save money by keeping their homes better insulated. Now, American Vision Windows is the largest window sales and installation company in California and Arizona. Visit us at AmericanVisionWindowsAZ.com to hear owners, Bill and Kathleen’s story on why they started American Vision Windows.