As long as there have been windows, there have been windows to clean, and finding the best way to clean them has been a question. There are many myths about cleaning windows and some are based in facts that used to be valid way back when. Times change, products and materials change and what once worked well, no longer works as well, and in some cases can be a problem. On the other hand, some of those myths are, in fact, true. Here, we take a look at some of the top window cleaning myths.
1. Polish your windows with newspaper. Many decades ago that may have been true. Newspapers were thicker then and were often used in home window cleaning. Printers today need to save money so newspapers are considerably thinner. This means they tear and fall apart more easily than the papers of yesteryear. Additionally, the ink used on newspapers may discolor trim around the window. The microfiber cloths of today do a much better job at polishing windows. Chamois leather is also top-notch for window polishing.
2. Dirty windows go unnoticed. If only that were true. Even windows that aren’t being touched by people or pets get dirtier every day. Since the dirt and grime on such windows tends to be uniform, it could seem that no one notices, yet when the light hits the window at a certain angle, there it is. The haze from the dirt shows up spectacularly. When those grimy windows are cleaned, you will really be amazed at the difference.
3. Spot cleaning windows is good enough. For a time you may be able to spot clean your windows without them looking like you are cutting corners, but that will only work very short term. Sooner or later you are going to need to actually get the windows cleaned.
4. Window cleaners are not good for the environment. It’s a fact that we need to be more considerate of our planet-home; however, there are window cleaning solutions that will not harm the environment and are safe for humans to use. These alternatives may be more expensive, but you’ll rest easy knowing that you are doing your part to protect the planet.
5. Water and vinegar will do a great job cleaning the windows. This myth is partially true. While some sources nix the idea, others stand with it. The naysayers point out that vinegar and water smears the dirt and doesn’t clean it away. The proof is in the pudding. On the other hand, just a touch of dish detergent in the water and vinegar mix seems to work wonders on inside and outside dirt and grime, leaving an unbelievably clean surface.
6. Cleaning windows while the sun is shining is a bad idea. While this myth may sound false, it’s actually true. If you’ve ever tried to clean a window full of sunshine you’re familiar with the streaks and stripes left behind. You probably used an inordinate amount of elbow grease removing them, too! Had you left the job for a cloudier day or a time when the sun wasn’t streaming in, the job would have gone easier. Water evaporates fast on heated window panes.
7. Glass cleaner will get rid of the streaks. Maybe, and maybe not. What really needs to happen is removal of all the fluid on the window pane. Glass cleaners have extra ingredients which is why they smell good. These extras can form a thin film on the glass which create streaks when the fluids dry.
8. Hot water cleans windows faster. Intuitively it may seem so, but actually the water needs to be warm to the touch, just enough so cleaners can develop to their full strength without evaporating.
9. Rain makes windows dirty. Not true. In fact, rain can actually add longevity to the cleanliness of your windows. What makes it seem that rain adds to the dirt, is that the dirt or residue that is already on the window becomes more visible. Ground water on the other hand has lots of minerals, particulates and chemicals that will grime up your windows fast as it splashes up on them.
10. It’s cheaper for me to do it do it myself. This is another one that just depends on the situation. A small home with simple windows may be cost effective as a DIY job. A much larger multiple story home may benefit from the expertise and safety of professional window cleaners. You also need to figure in the time you’ll spend washing windows to find out if it’s worth the effort.
Let the sunshine in! Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire professionals, you home will sparkle with a good window washing.
About Joanne Aubuchon
Joanne is a resident writer for SERVIZ, an on-demand home services company offering everything from Plumbing repairs to Carpet Cleaning across the US. Joanne is a writer by day and reader by night. Joanne loves writing about saving money, raising kids and improving the quality of our lives. When she is not writing, you can find her trying out new salad recipes, playing ball with her kids, or cheering in the stands at her son’s soccer games.