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Window Cleaning Facts Every Property Owner Should Be Aware Of

Updated on April 8, 2017
Window Cleaning is a must to enjoy a clear view of the world around you
Window Cleaning is a must to enjoy a clear view of the world around you

Window cleaning is an exercise which may not find mention in the priority list of property owners but is an important part of maintenance all the same. Usually it is undertaken only when there is a contingency like vacating house, preparing house for rental and so on.

During the course of the day in a normal household, much of the activity is focused on cleaning floors and furnishings. It is but natural to feel tempted to postpone window cleaning. However, the problem in this case is that tomorrow never really comes unless you are truly determined. Given the gruelling nature of the task, how would you react if presented with a set of guidelines pertaining to its modus operandi?

When it comes to window cleaning, there are aspects involved which go beyond the normal cleaning procedure and being aware of these is equally essential.

Why Is It Important To Clean Windows?

Mundane though it might seem, window cleaning should be undertaken frequently owing to the following reasons –

Protecting the glass surface – Your window pane is like a canvas on which a variety of elements ranging from dirt to water spots, mortar particles and paint marks settle. If your property faces the sea, then ocean spray is yet another addition to the list. Initially, these just obscure the view. However, on being ignored these spots soon become pigmented and can eventually destroy the glass surface completely. Regular cleaning is the only way to protect your window pane against these destructive elements.

Maintaining heat efficiency of the property – An unclean window has a negative impact on the heat efficiency of your property. Dust particles settled on the pane tend to reflect UV rays and block the penetration of natural light and warmth into the house. This leads to loss of heat which in turn causes a major spike in your utility bills.

Clean windows are a must for any property to enjoy good heat efficiency and for you as the owner to spend less in terms of utilities.

Difference that Window Cleaning makes
Difference that Window Cleaning makes

Creating a good impression – While clean windows create a good impression on visitors, unclean windows have exactly the opposite impact. On observing the fact that your windows have not been cleaned, people regard you as being shabby, negligent and careless.

On the other hand, clean windows have a positive impact which is evident in terms of attracting visitors and adding to the aesthetic appeal of the property.

Reduce maintenance costs – Like every other aspect of your home or office, windows are just as prone to wear and tear and procrastination in this respect could prove to be costly. Unclean windows are prone to developing cracks and also provide an ideal habitat for mould to grow, both of which are unsafe for occupants.

Rather than let the situation deteriorate wherein replacement is the only option, regular cleaning is both cost effective and convenient.

Overall feeling of well-being – Peeking out of a clear glass pane is akin to gazing through a clean pair of spectacles. Not only is the view spectacular but also soothing, particularly if you are under stress, thus triggering an overall feeling of well being.

Brief History of Sqeegee

In the nineteenth century, fishermen used squilgee, a wooden tool with blades, to clear their boat decks of fish entrails. This is believed to have been the inspiration that led to the invention of squeegee during the twentieth century, a tool that has had several make-overs since then. By the turn of the millennium, the century-old squeegee made way for the fed-pole cleaning systems which were deemed safer and efficient.

Window Cleaning Modus Operadi Outlined

Outcome of any cleaning task usually depends on the type and quality of equipment used and this applies to window cleaning too. You would do well to spend the preceding week shopping for equipment and supplies to ensure that everything proceeds smoothly.

Following equipment is must-have for effective and efficient window cleaning –

Present-day Window Cleaning Tools
Present-day Window Cleaning Tools

Bucket – A medium sized bucket would be perfect for your needs as long as it is wide enough to accommodate the squeegee and the mop. But it should also be light enough to facilitate ease of movement.

Squeegee – Considering that it is the most important tool for window cleaning, a squeegee should be chosen with care and caution. While it is but natural to feel overwhelmed owing to the number of options, you would do well to remember that an ideal squeegee comprises of a handle, channel and rubber that can be turned over and replaced.

Mop – Also known as a washer or a wand, ideally a mop features a t-bar and a sleeve. A handle could be fixed or swivelling while the sleeve comes in different versions and is detachable. You must be clear in your mind as regards the kind of mop you require and try each one out prior to purchasing.

Scraper – Used for removing paint spots, insect marks and other stubborn stains, a scrapper comes with metal blades. However a bit of mishandling could lead to your glass surface being scratched, thus implying that you need to be careful while using this tool.

Detergent – Choice of detergent is mostly personal and as long as the cleaning agent achieves its objective, you might as well continue with it.

Other than these, you would require rags, wiping cloth, sponges, ladders and poles, especially if the window in question is at an elevation.

A typical start to a window cleaning operation entails wiping off all the dust from the window and applying detergent with a wet mop. Then it is time to use the scrapper to remove the stubborn stains followed by the squeegee. Manipulating the squeegee requires expertise and knowledge not to mention flair and you might want to practice it a couple of times before using it on your window. Next, it is time to wipe the water off the glass-pane and the edges with a towel or a clean dry cloth.

Challenges You Might Face During Window Cleaning

If spring cleaning is regarded as a tedious chore, cleaning windows is a task which is even more arduous. Its benefits notwithstanding, you are likely to face a number of challenges while cleaning windows, some of which are discussed as follows –

Weather vagaries – Heat, strong winds and at times even rain and snow might hinder your window cleaning exercise. The situation could be further aggravated by the presence of bugs and insects. In case your home/office is located on the upper floors of a high-rise, observing caution and taking appropriate precautions is a must.

How About Washing Your Windows on a Cloudy Day?

As opposed to a hot summer day, cleaning windows on a cloudy day is much quicker and effective. As long as it does not rain, stains and marks are much more visible on a cloudy day as compared to a hot sunny day. These also come off swiftly on being wiped since the weather does not permit them to dry up and form stains.

Stress – Cleaning chores do have a way of triggering stress, both physical and mental, and window cleaning is no exception to this rule. More than anything else, this task is perils personified, particularly if the windows meant for cleaning are located high above the ground.

Accessibility is a problem for cleaning windows that are at an elevation
Accessibility is a problem for cleaning windows that are at an elevation

Accessibility – Sometimes windows in homes and offices may not be as easily accessible both from inside and from outside and this could be a big deterrent. In such a situation, cleaning would entail first clearing the surrounding areas so as to create sufficient space for the cleaner to do his/her job. So even though the thought of cleaning windows does occur, it is soon put aside owing to the trouble involved, thus resulting in procrastination.

That said, window cleaning is a chore which need not be performed every day but can be scheduled on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. How about carrying out this chore at regular intervals and ensure that it is efficiently handled and safe for all parties concerned?

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Home-made Window Cleaning Solutions

Described as follows are recipes for preparing your own window cleaning solutions using ingredients that are usually available in every household

#1 –

  • Mix 2 cups of alcohol in a gallon of water
  • To this solution add 1/2 cup ammonia followed by 1 tea-spoon dish-washing liquid

#2 –

  • In 2 cups of water, add 3 table-spoons of vinegar
  • Add 1/2 table-spoon dish-washing liquid to this solution to acquire an effective cleaning solution

#3 –

  • Combine ¼ cup vinegar with 2 table-spoons of lemon juice
  • Dissolve this mixture in 1 gallon of water
  • Fortify it further by adding 1 table-spoon of dish-washing liquid

Home Owner’s Hacks for Solving Window Cleaning Issues

There are some common and time-tested home owners’ hacks that have been known to solve issues related to window cleaning. These are –

Dusty blinds – No matter how frequently you brush them, blinds always seem dusty. The good news is that there is a simple solution that would enable you to overcome this issue. It entails spraying your blinds with room freshener as soon as you finish cleaning. In addition to forming a protective layer that prevents dust from settling, the spray would also ensure that your room remains fragrant for the next couple of days.

Mildew on window frames – Isn't it shocking to look at your windows one day and discover black/grey spots of mildew marking the frames? Disturbing that such a situation is, all it takes is application of a solution of bleach and detergent in 2:1 ratio. After having left it for 10 minutes, you must rinse with water and watch the mildew spots disappear. A word of caution pertains to wearing gloves during the entire procedure so as to protect your hands from bleach and detergent.

Dirty window-sills – Window-sill constitutes the outer portion of the window and hence is exposed to pollutants and weather elements like rain and snow. Try as you might, the task of keeping your window-sill clean is virtually impossible unless of course you decide to use floor wax. If you cover the surface uniformly with a waxy coat, it would shield your window-sills from outdoor elements, climatic and otherwise, for many days to come.

Unclean window shades could mar the entire décor of your home
Unclean window shades could mar the entire décor of your home

Unsightly window shades – Solving this problem would depend on the nature of dirt affecting your window shades and also the material of the shades. Dusting your shades on a daily basis is a must but this is a temporary solution. For long-terms results, wash the shades every once in a while, for example weekly or fortnightly, depending on how dirty they get.

Window shades are best washed by being taken off and dipped in a tub filled with a solution of dish-washing liquid and water. Alternatively they can be laid on any flat surface and wiped with a wet cloth. After having been sponged, these should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water prior to being hung up on the window. In case your window shades are made of fabric, cleaning procedure would depend on the instructions provided.

Windows being exposed to smoke – Smoke within the house could be due to a variety of sources ranging from kitchen to guests smoking in your living room. What is more worrying is the fact that it is just a matter before this smoke settles itself in corners of the room including windows. While the smoky feeling in the room can be overpowered by spraying air freshener, nicotine settled in the windows is best encountered by scrubbing with an ammonia solution.

Final Word

Intimidating though it is, window cleaning is an inevitable part of your cleaning routine and is best handled through careful planning and judicious use of cleaning solutions. After all windows are meant to let in natural light and provide you with a wonderful view of the outside world. So irrespective of whether you use a home-made cleaning solution or one that has been picked off the shelves, do make sure that it is effective and economical.

Ultimately, the aim of window cleaning is same as that of other cleaning tasks, namely to improve health and hygiene not to mention enhancing the aesthetic appeal of the property. This should convince you to undertake this chore frequently and not neglect it for long.

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