When your windows become dirty or dingy, they tend to keep the light out. Sparkling clean windows will bring the light back in and this can be achieved with just a few simple tricks.
Many of these tips can be completed with items that are likely already in your home and just a little elbow grease is needed.
Don’t Let The Dust To Build Up
When you discover that dust is a huge problem,use an antiseptic spray to keep it from building up. Be sure to clean the blinds prior to applying the antiseptic spray.
Start With A Sponge
Remove excess dirt with soapy water, but it is important to remember that there should be as little suds as possible. When using cleaning solutions, take care not to damage the paint around the window. Rinse the sponge often, so that you are not smearing dirt around the window.
Mildew From Frames
Window frames should be washed with a detergent and bleach solution. This will work for gray or black mildew spots that can be seen on wooden window frames.
Tip:To make the solution, mix 2 ounces of bleach with 1 ounce of laundry detergent, per one quart of water. Make sure that you wear rubber gloves for protection. Sponge the solution onto the spots and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with clean warm water.
You should be dusting your shades regularly with a duster, soft cloth, or the dust brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. Both sides of the shade should be dusted, and when they become stained, they will need a more thorough cleaning. Remove the shade and place it on a work surface. Vinyl shades can be washed with a solution of 1 quart of warm water with ¼ cup of white vinegar. The blinds should then be rinsed off with warm water.
Dirty Windows Soon After Cleaning
Your home’s air filter may need to be changed if your windows become dirty quite quickly. Modern homes are airtight, leading to dander, pollen, dust, and dirt to become trapped inside of the home.
Clean Your Screens
Dirty screens will make the glass on windows look dingy. When this happens, remove them and wash them. It is best to wash them outside, using a soft bristled brush to scrub both sides of the screens using hot or warm water with dish-washing detergent.
Lift the screens by the edges while holding it at an angle so that the screen is facing the ground. Against a firm surface, wrap the screen to shake any dirt loose. Then, rinse the screen off with a hose and then allow it to air dry.
Wash Them On A Cloudy Day
Direct sunlight does make it easier to see dirt, but it also makes windows dry too rapidly, which will leave streaks on the glass. An overcast day will ensure that the windows stay a moderate temperature.
Extremely Dirty Windows
Tip: Create your own cleaning solution by mixing two tablespoons of domestic borax or household ammonia with one gallon of water, and then rinse with a solution of two tablespoons of vinegar mixed into a small bucket of warm water. Dry the windows with a clean, lint-free cloth.
Buffing The Windows
You should buff the clean, dry glass with a pad of newspaper that has been crumpled up. The newsprint will give the windows just a bit more of a sparkle and shine.
Things To Know About Windows
- Thicker glass and wider air spaces reduce noise. Double-pane windows with one-quarter to a half of an inch of Argon or air between panes will lessen outdoor noise further.
- The average life of a window: the majority of window manufacturers say units should be replaced after twenty years. Common signs of defective windows include panes that gather frost, ice and condensation, drafty windows and frames that are painted shut or permanently sealed.
- A skylight offers thirty percent more light than a same-sized vertical window.
- Solid wood windows: Wood is a natural insulator; hence wooden windows are ideal in hot and cold weather. However, wood contracts and expands and this type of window frame is particularly costly to maintain.
- Custom window grills are inexpensive and a grill can easily be inserted into a standard sized window.
- Aluminum window frames require minimal maintenance. The strong, lightweight metal window frames are affordable, but Aluminum conducts cold and heat.
- Vinyl frames are a popular choice. However, the affordable, low maintenance UVPC frames discolor over time.
- Clad window frames can be costly. The wooden frames have a vinyl or aluminum coating. The inner wooden frame minimizes the heat transfer and the outer metal frame lowers maintenance.
- Composite windows are durable and affordable. This type of frame is hard-wearing in comparison to wood and vinyl and can be painted to match the home exterior.
- Certain window treatments allow light in and afford privacy and some special glass treatments are ideal for ground-level bathrooms. Glass blocks, bubbled glass and frosted glass all limit visibility, but allow light.
- Low-E glass or low-emission glass blocks harmful Ultra-Violet rays, but allows natural light to pass through. The thin metallic coating on the surface of the glass keeps a property warm in winter and cool during summer.
- Window cranks hinder window treatments. However, fold-down handles on casement and awning units offer sufficient clearance for shades and blinds.
- Suspended particle device technology can be applied to existing and new windows. Home or business owners can tint the glass using a dimmer switch.
- Self-cleaning windows are used in commercial and domestic premises. The dual-action coating breaks down the dirt as soon as it comes into contact with the glass.
- Numerous professional window coatings cut glare and reduce energy costs. UV blocking window film will stop the sun from fading fabric and flooring.
- Window awnings are available in a range of sizes. Fit an awning to a fixed window and it can remain open if there is a light shower of rain.
- Fixed and architectural windows allow light to flood the home. This type of window also affords the homeowner a great view.
- The classic single and double-hung windows are easy to lift, tilt and clean. This style of window doesn’t jut out into nearby areas like walkways, patios or porches.
- On average, fifteen percent of wall space in an average-sized home comprises of windows.
- The Home Energy Magazine reports awnings lower solar heat gain by as much as 77%, whereas light-colored window shades reduce solar heat gain by around 43%.
- Window R-Values measure resistance to heat flow and the U-factor measures the rate of heat transfer. High R-value windows are highly-efficient, whereas, low U-factor windows are the most efficient. SHGC or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient indicates the amount of heat the home derives from the sun. Homes with low SHGC rates attain little heat from the sun.
- Shatterproof glass is much stronger than standard window glass. A pane of shatterproof glass is made up of two glass panes with a thin layer of plastic sandwiched in the middle. This type of glass must now be installed in certain regions that are hurricane prone. Shatterproof glazing is energy-efficient, it lowers noise transmission and affords an extra level of security.
- Casement windows are great over counter-tops, appliances and sinks where it would prove difficult to lean over to open the window.
- Gliding windows don’t take up valuable space on walkways, patios and porches. This type of window is ideal for a basement because it meets egress requirements and lets the light in.
- Heat is lost through inefficient windows and glazed doors. In fact, twenty-five percent of a household’s annual energy bill accounts for leaky windows and skylights. Homeowners who buy windows with Energy Star ratings, airtight frames, double-pane insulated glass or heat-resistant coatings can cut energy costs by as much as 15%.
Home Remedies For Windows Cleaning
Vinegar and Water
Make a general window cleaner using distilled white vinegar and water. Vinegar removes films from glass surfaces and leaves the windows free of streaks and smudges.
Tip:Mix equal parts vinegar and water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto windows and then wipe the surface clean with a lint-free cloth. For very dirty windows, pre-wash with soapy water.Use undiluted vinegar directly on hard-to-remove water spots. Apply the vinegar to a cloth and rub the area clean. Polish with a dry cloth.
When windows are dusty but not too dirty, clean with just a dry cloth for a streak-free shine. Use lint-free cotton cloths to polish windows. Newspapers work well for polishing windows, but the ink can affect some people if it contacts their skin. To remove light dust, slightly dampen a chamois cloth and rub down the windowpanes.
Borax and Cornstarch
Make a natural window cleaner using borax and water.
Tip: Mix 2 tablespoons of borax in 3 cups of water. Apply the solution to the window surface and wipe clean. After cleaning windows with borax, rinse the glass using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to polish the surface and leave the glass streak-free.
Alternatively, fill a gallon bucket with water and mix in 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/2 cup vinegar to apply and wipe dry.
Other Window Cleaners
Lemon juice works much like vinegar to cut grease and polish glass surfaces.
Tip: Mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice into 1 quart warm water. Spray the solution onto windows and wipe dry. Polish out scratches in windows and glass surfaces using toothpaste. Apply the toothpaste to the surface using a rag or cotton ball and work it into the area. Polish the scratched area with a soft cloth.