Cleaning Outside Windows: The Dos and Don'ts
Cleaning the windows outside the house is an important task. It means the difference between transparent, crisp views and unsightly smudges. While it may seem like a simple task, there are many ways it can go wrong, along with several tricks to ensure a successful result. To help you get the best results from your outside window cleaning efforts, we’ve assembled this list of dos and don’ts. If you follow along, you’ll read your way to sparkling, crystal clear windows.
Related: Exterior Window Washing
Consider the Temperature
Believe it or not, timing is a critical factor when it comes to cleaning windows. Timing is essential because weather matters to the success of the venture. The primary concern relates to the temperature of the window panes themselves. If they are too warm, the cleaning solution will evaporate before you can wipe it away, resulting in unfortunate streaking. So, if you’re considering washing your windows, put a finger against the glass first. If it’s hot to the touch, wait for a cooler day.
Wait for a Cloudy Day
It’s not just temperature that weather effects, but light as well. The reason this is important is that visibility is a vital concern when it comes to washing windows. Choosing to clean windows on a sunny day may increase glare, which will result in missed places. The missed spots will appear, in turn, as smudges or streaks, which will make you have to wash the windows all over again. If you wait for a cloudy day, you’ll have better visibility in your workspace, which will allow you to do a much more thorough job of cleaning the windows.
It’s very tempting to soak down the windows and starting wiping away. Unfortunately, if you do that, you’ve missed a step. Over time, the frames of windows accumulate dust and debris, which can end up streaked across the surface of the window if you start cleaning without dusting the window first. Use a soft brush to clear away loose debris from the area and surface of the window. A duster on an extendable pole helps reach high places. Taking this simple step first will save you extra work in the long run.
Rinse Before the Rubdown
As mentioned above, the exterior of windows accumulates quite a lot of grime. To make the process smoother, it’s a good idea to get rid of as much excess as possible. For outside window cleaning, a great way to do that is with a garden hose. Close all the windows first, then thoroughly spray all of the window surfaces to remove the initial film of dirt. After that, continue with your regular cleaning regimen and discover that everything cleans much more quickly.
Use a Squeegee
There are several tools you might use to remove moisture from the surfaces of the windows. However, one stands out above all the others for professional-level use. That’s the squeegee. Used correctly, it prevents streaking and doesn’t leave lint on the window the way some towels do. One tip is to leave rolled-up towels at the base of the window to collect excess water as the squeegee removes it.
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Clean Your Tools
It’s a good idea to keep your tools clean throughout the process of cleaning the windows. Keep a rinse bucket and hose handy to rinse and squeeze out sponges and cloths. Also, retain a cloth to clean the edge of your squeegee while you work.
Work in the Right Direction
When you’re working with a squeegee, make sure you do so in the proper direction. Start at the top, working in strokes across the surface of the window. Overlap your strokes to catch drips and prevent streaking.
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Use Cleaners with Ammonia or Alcohol
Selecting the proper cleaning solution is an integral part of the window cleaning process. When you’re choosing which cleaner to use, avoid those containing ammonia or alcohol. These products can leave residue behind as you work, which will result in streaking and clouding. This eventuality can result in the need to clean the windows a second time, which no one wants.
Use Too Much Soap
Many people opt to clean their windows using soap and water. While this is a perfectly viable cleaning solution, it’s important not to overdo it with the soap. Excess soap creates a film on the surface of the window, which will result in a streaky, cloudy finish. To avoid this, keep the soap to a level that you can easily rinse away with water.
Use Scrapers on Dry Glass
When there are especially stubborn spots on windows, such as sticker residue or tree sap, it’s sometimes necessary to break out the scraper to get it off. While these are excellent tools that can help to provide the perfect finish you’re looking for, it’s important not to scrape the window while it’s dry. This action can result in scratches on the surface of the window due to overexertion with the scraper. Instead, thoroughly wet the area and wait for it to soak. This strategy will make the sticky spot easier to remove and allow you to scrape it away without pressing too firmly.
Dry the Glass With a Regular Towel
After a window washing, it’s necessary to remove the water from the surface of the windows. While it’s tempting to use the supplies you have to hand, avoid using regular towels for this purpose. They leave behind unsightly lint on the surface of the window. The best choice is to squeegee the moisture away. If it’s necessary to use a towel, be sure to select a lint-free version.
Clean Windows With Newspaper
Many people use newspapers as a handy tool to wipe cleaning solutions from a window. The advantage is that it doesn’t leave behind particulate matter like paper towels or cloth towels. Unfortunately, the ink can come away from the paper and leave itself in streaks on the window. As a result, it’s best to avoid using newspapers for this purpose.
Clean Windows You Can’t Safely Reach
Sometimes it’s necessary to call the professionals. If there are windows on your home that you can’t safely reach from the ground or a ladder, avoid cleaning those windows yourself. Professional Window cleaners will come with the necessary tools to tackle the task safely and effectively.
Related: The Shine Guarantee
Window cleaning appears to be a simple task. At its essence, it’s as basic as washing the dishes. However, there are many ways it might result in a subpar result. To avoid them, stick to the tips above. When you do, you’ll have the sparkling high-shine windows you’re looking for.
Are you ready to take the next step in professional window cleaning help? Contact Shine today to learn more about their services!