How to Clean Your Windows

The dog days of summer are here. This is the time of year to get outside and enjoy the weather. Even if you’re stuck inside, summer sun streaming through a window lifts the spirit. But if your windows are dirty and streaked, you won’t be able to see the bright side of life.

Make sure there’s nothing clouding your view by learning how to keep windows clean. Here’s what you can do on the inside and outside of your home to make your windows sparkle.

Outside Influences: Keep the Exterior of Your Windows Clean

Let’s start on the outside of your home. If you have screens mounted on the windows, the best thing to do is have them cleaned. The dust, pollen, and other debris that becomes trapped in the mesh will transfer to the windows during rainy weather.

Keeping your windows clean is easiest if you remove the screens when they are not necessary. For those of us in the Pacific Northwest, opening windows in the fall and winter is not practical due to near-constant rain. If possible, store screens away during the rainy season.

When you’re outside grilling, keep the barbeque at least five feet from the windows. The grease and smoke from the grill collect on glass. If you wear eyeglasses, you’ve likely experienced this firsthand.

If you have foliage that brushes up against your home, trim away those bushes and trees. These plants generate pollen and other debris that can accumulate on windows.

This one may be a bit of a challenge but do what you can to keep sprinklers from hitting windows. Hard water can stain window with mineral deposits. While you may think water spots are harmless, they can cause permanent damage over time.

Inside Job: Tips to Limit Indoor Pollution

Do you like to burn candles or incense? If so, keep them away from windows. This will reduce the amount of smoke residue left on the glass. Some types of candles are dirtier than others. Choose candles that don’t smoke. Beeswax, for instance, burns relatively cleanly.

Maintain the heating and cooling system to minimize dirt and dust inside your home. Follow the recommended schedule for changing furnace air filters. Lowering airborne contaminants is suitable for your windows, furnishings, carpet and health.

Another interior tip, one that is a daily activity, is to run your kitchen’s exhaust fan when cooking. Kitchen windows stay cleaner for a longer time when airborne oils are removed.

Avoid Windex

When it comes time to wash the windows, most people reach for the nearest bottle of Windex and spray-cleaning-windowstart scrubbing. At Heaven’s Best however, we say “don’t even think about it.” Here are four reasons that little blue bottle causes big problems.

Doesn’t Get the Whole Job Done

One major drawback of Windex is that it only helps with half the battle of glass cleaning. Windex cleans by helping to dislodge dust, debris and grease off the surface of the window. Once that material is disrupted, however, you still have to remove it. This is where Windex falls short. Most of the time that debris just ends up getting moved around on the glass.

Makes Spots Worse

We buy and use cleaners under the impression that they will clean our windows as promised. With Windex and other ammonia-based products, that may not be the case. Have you ever gone to wipe down your windows only to find them with even more stubborn smudges and marks after cleaning? That’s your store-bought cleaner at work. Sure the dust may be gone, but you’re going to find another solution for the tough stuff (like bird poop) you might find on the exterior surface.

Some Damage Can’t Be Undone

While the Windex may clear up your windows, the damage it can leave behind is often difficult to undo. Many professional window cleaning services report difficulty in removing the stains and scratches that are often left behind from using Windex. This isn’t a good look in any home or office, so it’s best to avoid those harsh cleaners altogether.

Deteriorates Window Tint

Certain kinds of Windex contain chemicals that are too harsh for tinted windows. The key offender is ammonia. Ammonia is a compound that occurs naturally in the environment, but causes major damage when applied to any kind of tinting or film. If you use Windex or other ammonia-based cleaners on your tinted windows, over time you may notice any of the following:

  • Discoloration
  • Spots that don’t go away
  • Bubbling
  • Deformities

Don’t be Afraid to Call in a Professional

A yearly or bi-yearly cleaning will keep your windows clear and clean so you can enjoy the outside from the comfort of the inside. For questions about our window-cleaning services or to schedule your window cleaning, contact Heaven’s Best in Vancouver, WA at 360-606-2707.

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