Cleaning your replacement windows is a tedious, yet critical task. If you don’t do it properly, you can leave behind annoying white streaks. Luckily, with the help of a few simple tricks, you can clean your windows in no time. Renewal by Andersen® of Eastern NY shares some tips below.
Avoid Cleaning Your Windows on a Sunny Day
Pesky white streaks that are hard to remove can form on your window if the sunlight dries the cleaning solution before you have a chance to wipe it off. That’s why it’s best to wait for a cloudy day. However, if the weather just won’t cooperate, start with the windows in the shady parts of your home.
Use the Right Tools
Not using the right cleaning tools is a fairly common mistake. We recommend using two squeegees, one for your interior and another for your exterior. That way, you’ll avoid any cross-contamination. If you’re cleaning tall windows, using long-handled squeegees can make the task easier.
Use Distilled Water to Make Your Cleaning Solution
There’s not necessarily anything wrong with using commercial cleaners. Just make sure to consult the window manufacturer’s manual and check the bottle’s label for any chemicals that can damage the window frame. A safer option, however, is to use a homemade cleaning solution. Just combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
2 cups of distilled water—the mineral traces in hard water can leave behind white streaks.
½ cup vinegar
¼ cup rubbing alcohol
Liquid Detergent Works Just As Well
Liquid detergent makes the window glass slippery, making it easier for the squeegee to glide over and remove dirt. If you’re cleaning your window’s exterior, make sure the liquid detergent is 100% biodegradable to prevent potentially toxic chemicals from dripping onto your landscape.
Remove Dirt and Dust First
Remove dirt and dust from the window frame before spritzing the window with cleaning solution. Otherwise, the grime will mix with the cleaning solution and turn into a muddy mess.
What If There’s Mold on the Windowsill?
Mix vinegar and tea tree oil, spritz the mixture onto the windowsill, and let it sit for 30 minutes before wiping it off. If the mold is still there, you might have to use a bleach solution or commercial cleaner. Consult the manufacturer’s manual to see if it’s okay to use stronger cleaning solutions on your windows.
It’s important to note however that mold on your windowsill is a symptom of a bigger problem: window leaks. Water might have infiltrated your window through cracks and gaps in the window frame, depositing water on the windowsill, which in turn created a damp environment that’s conducive to mold formation. You need to inspect your window and the rest of your exterior—the water might be coming from roof leaks or clogged gutters. Depending on the extent of the damage, you might have to replace your windows.
Wipe Windows Vertically on One Side and Horizontally on the Other
It’s more efficient to wipe your windows from top to bottom. Let gravity do its work and allow the cleaning solution to drip downwards. On the other side of your window, however, we recommend wiping the glass horizontally. That way, if you notice streaks on the glass, you’ll know which side they’re on.
If you’re using a commercial cleaner on wooden windows, place a small piece of cloth on the window frame or the windowsill. Wood is easily stained, so it’s be a good idea to spritz the solution in small amounts or small window sections to make sure none of it drips onto your frame or sill.
Lay Rags on the Floor
The cleaning solution might also stain your hardwood floors, so you should lay down some paper towels or rags before cleaning your windows.
Wipe the Solution Off Using a Microfiber Cloth
Don’t use newspapers. While some people claim they’re more effective than rags, the ink might stain the window glass. Use a microfiber cloth instead—it will absorb water without leaving lint behind.
The squeegee might not be able to wipe some of the grime or solution that ends up on the corners of the glass window. Use cotton swabs or a soft toothbrush to clean window corners.
Don’t Forget the Window Tracks
If you have sliding windows, don’t forget to clean the tracks. Dust and dirt can accumulate in the tracks over time, making it harder to slide your windows open. Make it a habit to clean and lubricate your windows’ opening mechanisms.
Of course, no amount of cleaning can get rid of scratches. If you notice cracks on the glass panel or the window frame, we strongly recommend window replacement. Otherwise, warm air can leak out of your home, raising your power costs.
Window Shopping Tips:
When you shop for new windows, remember this: there’s no guarantee that pre-manufactured windows will be a great fit for your home. Ill-fitting windows can let in cold air, raising your heating costs. The only way to make sure your new windows will be a great fit is to customize them.
The Renewal by Andersen Advantage
As part of our Signature Service, we customize each window and door we make according to our customers’ exact needs and preferences. From the drafting of the design right down to the installation in your home, we have complete oversight of the process to ensure the quality of each and every window.
Renewal by Andersen of Eastern NY offers a wide variety of premium American-made doors and windows, including sliding and double-hung windows. We customize each door and window according to our customers’ needs and preferences. To schedule a consultation with one of our design consultants, call us at (844) 486-0203 or leave us a message here.