Love your Windows: Care and Cleaning
Love the view outside your windows? We’ve gathered some great tips and techniques to help keep your views pristine. And while caring for your windows isn’t difficult, a few ounces of preventive maintenance will ensure smooth operation for years.
clean like a pro
Windows often make the spring-cleaning list: a dreaded task with countless rolls of paper towels and spray-on cleaners. While store-bought window cleaners work well, the eco-friendly method below achieves professional results using inexpensive household products.
You’ll need some basic tools:
- A good-quality squeegee and extension pole
- A bucket
- Clean rags or chamois
- Rubber gloves
- Dishwashing detergent
- White vinegar
- Coffee filters
Fill your bucket with hot water, 2 to 3 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent and a cup of white vinegar.
Using gloved hands and a rag, wipe your windows thoroughly with the sudsy solution. If you’re spring-cleaning, you may need to repeat this step. To remove tough spots on the glass, use a synthetic scraping tool.
While the window is still wet, begin to squeegee the excess water. Starting at the top, press firmly and draw the squeegee across the entire window. Dry the squeegee blade with each stroke, to eliminate drips. Touch up any excess water or drips with a coffee filter – they’re lint-free.
A few simple tips when using this cleaning method:
- Change your water often.
- Clean your windows on cloudy days. The hot sun can dry your solution prematurely, leaving streaks.
- Squeegee the interior of your windows horizontally and the exterior vertically. If you find streaks, you’ll know which side needs to be touched up.
Silicone from the manufacturing process can sometimes leave a mark on your glass. To remove, use a synthetic scraper. Avoid metal scrapers, as they can scratch the surface of the glass.
For vinyl, it’s best to use PVC cleaner. For stubborn spots, use a mild cleaner such as white Vim, but be sure to carefully rinse all surfaces afterwards.
The steps to maintain your windows are minimal, but ensure ease of use for years. Here are the basics:
- Apply silicone spray to window opening mechanisms at every change of season.
- Remove and store screens during the winter.
- Carefully clean the base of your wood or PVC windows on a regular basis.
- Check the condition of sealed window joints periodically and reseal as required. A damaged joint can let water into your home.
- All wood surfaces must be protected with paint, stain or varnish shortly after window installation, to prevent wood from swelling or changing colour.
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