As soon as your windows are installed, they start to get dirty. The wind, rain and weather conditions, outside, will create a mess on the exterior of the glass, but you are concerned, primarily, with the inside of these panes. You are looking for the best way to clean inside windows, so that is where our discussion will concentrate.
Most people will grab a bottle or can of glass cleaner and a soft cloth and this is something that can be done, of course. Most commercially available glass cleaners have either an ammonia or vinegar base. A little information about what is in the dirt and grime that is on your window glass will help you understand the best way to clean them.
It is interesting to note that, among many other things that are on the surface of your glass, is a greasy residue from cooking, especially in the kitchen and other rooms close to it. The buildup of this type of contamination can create a mess that will attract other substances, such as dust and dirt. Other things on your glass will be hand and finger prints, again, oily substances that can attract and capture other contaminants.
Now, both vinegar and ammonia will work as a good surfactant to break down this greasy material, but they both have a distinct odor that many people find offensive. Not only that, but vinegar can soften some glazing compounds used to mount glass in their frames, applied in too strong of a dilution.
As you are looking for the best way to clean inside windows, you only need to gather a few tools and supplies:
- Three clean low or lint-free cloths (many people who do a lot of windows use old diapers.)
- A spray bottle of glass cleaner
- Spray a small amount of glass cleaner on one of the cloths. (Do NOT use paper towels as they leave too much lint!)
- With a circular motion, apply the cloth to the glass and scrub the surface.
- The glass cleaner solution will dry out as you work it across the entire surface.
A little practice and you will be able to clean each pane of glass without leaving streaks. One method is to try a little more cleanser on the cloth.
The second cloth will be used to wipe any cleanser off of the frame and the third cloth can be used to buff the glass clean if need be.
Another way to clean your inside windows is to duplicate, as much as possible, the way professional window jockeys do it:
The Professional Squeegee Method
- Spray bottle of glass cleaner: One gallon of water and a drop or two of dishwashing soap – many professionals use Dial brand. This breaks down the grease and oils much better and at a lower cost than commercially prepared solutions.
- And/or wet bar. This is a tool that professionals use to apply the cleaning solution on the glass and allows them to scrub the surface, easily. It is composed of a metal or wood T-bar with a cloth cover that is not only absorbent but also ribbed to have a scrubby surface to it. Many home improvement or janitorial supply stores have this in stock.
- Squeegee: These come in a variety of lengths. Professionals will have several of them on hand, such as the nine, 12, 14, 16-inch ones all the way to a 24 or even 36-inch model. Select the one that you can comfortably use on the sizes of glass you have.
- One clean cloth
- Apply the solution to the glass with either the spray bottle or the wet bar, scrubbing to remove dirt and soils.
- Use the squeegee to remove the dirty solution from the glass:
- The basic technique is to lift the squeegee to the top of the glass, in either the extreme left or right of the surface.
- Press firmly onto the glass and bring it down, firmly to the bottom of the glass.
- Wipe the squeegee with the cloth and wipe any solution from the frame at the bottom of this stroke-line.
- Go back up to the top of the glass, just to the right, or left, of the previous position and repeat the action.
Several Cautions To Consider Regardless Of The Method You Use To Clean Your Inside Windows:
Any tape or adhesive that is attached to the glass can be removed by using a glass cleaning knife. These are easily used retractable razor blades that can slice under the material to remove it. Make sure the glass is wet before using any sharp object for this purpose as they can be scratched fairly easily otherwise.
Do not spray the solution directly onto the glass as this is the best way to cause drips and the overspray can get other surfaces wet that may not tolerate it too well.
The rubber blades on the squeegees are great for glass and the cleaning you wish to do, however, they should not be used on anything else that may cause nicks on the fairly fragile cleaning edge. This will then cause streaks and require the replacement that is easy enough to do, but why since some blades may cost more than the original squeegee?