Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cleaning Windows

Cleaning Windows

     Several people have emailed asking my opinion of a recipe for a furniture polish using olive oil and vinegar. Olive oil is very healthy for your body. It is not healthy for furniture. It turns rancid in a short period of time especially when exposed to air. Rancid olive oil will smell (do you really want that in your home?) Please use products only for their intended use unless you thoroughly check the validity of what is recommended.

     Spring is here and it's time to clean the windows. First of all use the Mary Moppins mop http://www.goclean.com/mops.htm to remove cobwebs around windows and under the eves of your home. Always wash windows from top to bottom. When using a squeegee wipe the blade often and change the blade if it continues to smear. Wash any towels you will be using adding ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse water. Do not use fabric softener, bleach or dryer sheets as all three will cause windows to smear. Wash windows out of the direct sunlight to prevent streaks. Wipe squeegee blades frequently. Replace your blades if they are more than a year or two old.

1)      Remove the screens cleaning them with our dry sponge http://www.goclean.com/dry-sponge.htm. This is faster and less messy than washing them.
2)      With a 1" paint brush remove cobwebs and dirt from around window frames
3)      Vacuum the frames to remove any dirt that is left
4)      Clean inside windows that can be reached by hand using a microfiber cloth http://www.goclean.com/towels.htm. Use microfiber ONLY on glass or mirrors. It will eventually take the finish off furniture, cars etc. We do carry very high quality microfiber that won't leave lint or stop working after washing it.  
5)      For inside windows that are up high including Sun Rooms, lightly dampen the wash pad of our Window Wizard http://www.goclean.com/ww-wizzard.htm with water only. If you have a microfiber mop, (please do not use it on your floors. It will eventually strip the finish off any floor) it will work quite well for you. Wash it then rinse it in a white vinegar and water solution to remove the soap residue.
6)      Alternately for sun rooms or windows up high you will need a step ladder and either microfiber cloths or lint free towels like our huck towels. Cotton baby diapers work quite well. Just do not use newspapers as the ink has changed and will leave streaks. Paper towels and newspapers contain pulp which will scratch glass. Mix 1/3 of a cup of distilled white vinegar and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol in a new 32 ounce spray bottle. Fill with distilled water, which gives consistent results. Put a terry towel on window sills to catch the drips.
7)       Outside windows: Use the same window cleaning recipe as above. Spray the window thoroughly, let it set a minute then squeegee down starting at the top. If you are using the Window Wizzard, dampen the wash pad with water clean the window and squeegee.
8)      For those of you who like to use a bucket of window cleaner wash your bucket and wipe the inside with rubbing alcohol to remove any film or oil left behind. Fill with water adding two-thirds cup of white vinegar and one-half cup of rubbing alcohol. Some people also add a bit of automatic dish washer detergent. That works too. I would use one-fourth cup.

     Generally smears are caused by towels that contain laundry detergent residue, squeegee blades that are old or dirty, cleaning in the direct sunlight or not drying the window quickly enough.

     If your window does smear, use an old cotton tee shirt (clean please) spray it with straight rubbing alcohol and wipe over the window. A neat trick is to tuck a lint free towel sprayed with rubbing alcohol in your belt loop. After you squeegee the window, wipe the window with the towel. A friend of mine (thank you Jerry) told me that wiping windows with a dry eraser will also remove smears. It would be fast! Just make sure the window is completely dry. You don't need to take this precaution if using alcohol.

This article may only be reprinted giving full credit to Mary Findley and her website at http://www.goclean.com. Copyright @2006 All rights reserved worldwide.

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