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How to Wash Dirty Windows
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Windows are everywhere, our homes, our cars, and our places of business. Properly cleaned and maintained, they can add a lot to the aesthetic appearance of our property. Left to go downhill or just get dirty, they can make an otherwise attractive home look terrible. This is especially true when the sun shines directly through the window as it illuminates and highlights every smudge, fingerprint, and any other imperfection.
Most of us don't enjoy washing windows. It is a time consuming task and can be frustrating if it isn't done right. Fortunately, there are techniques and procedures designed to make the window cleaning process much more effective the first time through.
What Products Should You Have for Cleaning Windows?
You should invest in quality cleaning equipment, such as a squeegee with an extended handle along with an ammonia-based window cleaning solution. These are readily available at any janitorial supply outlet and most retail stores. Window cleaning solutions may be purchased commercially or mixed yourself. If you do mix your own, use chemicals sparingly as too much may result in unsightly streaks and residue on the windows themselves. Ammonia is good for removing greasy dirt and vinegar goes to work on hard water stains.
Extremely dirty windows should be wiped down with a damp cloth. Window cleaning solution should be applied sparingly and with a damp cloth. Use the squeegee to remove the cleaning solution and dirt from the glass. The squeegee blade will need to be cleaned after every pass in order to avoid unnecessary streaking. With each squeegee pass, overlap the dried area to avoid creating water lines. Excess water, solution, and dirt will usually accumulate on the window sill, so be sure to wipe that area clean when you are done.
The Cleaning Process
Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight, as the heat may cause the window to dry too fast, producing unsightly streaking. Exterior windows will need to be first hosed down to remove grime and grease from the panes.
Wash windows in a horizontal motion on the interior and a vertical motion on the exterior. That way, if you have streaks, you will be able to determine which side of the glass they are on.
You should also change out the cleaning solution often. Cleaning a window with a dirty solution solves nothing. Screens should also be washed using water only. Allow them to air dry.
Cloths will need to be used on textured or stained glass windows. A squeegee will be ineffective is such cases.
In every case, be thorough and make sure the window is cleaned properly before moving on. This is a very tedious process and it can be quite discouraging to come back later and discover that much of your hard work didnít have the desired effect.
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