Cleaning windows may seem like a pretty easy thing to do. Just grab a cloth and some Windex and off you go, right? Well yes, and no. It really depends on what type of result you want. Today’s blog is all about the best way to clean inside windows.
At Apply To Glass, we spend a lot of time cleaning glass prior to applying window film. When installing frosted window film, the glass has to be spotlessly clean in order to get a great result. Whether you’re planning a DIY window film installation job and want to make sure you get a great finish, or you’re just not happy with your own window cleaning results, we’ve got some expert tips to help.
Window Cleaning Materials
The main materials you will need for cleaning windows are:
- Brush and/or vacuum cleaner
- Assorted soft, lint-free cloths
- Recommended glass cleaning solution or powder
The first thing to do is to get rid of as much loose dirt and dust as you can. This is to avoid turning the dust into mud when you get to the stage of using a liquid cleaner. We recommend using a soft brush and a vacuum cleaner. Focus around the edges of the window, where the loose grime settles. Don’t forget to brush the whole surface of the glass as well.
General glass cleaner
There are lots of commercial window cleaners available that will clean regular window grime. You’ll find them in the supermarket or at any hardware. But you can also make your own.
Non toxic cleaner
These days more people are interested in non toxic cleaners that are better for their health and don’t pollute our waterways. The simplest and most effective general cleaner for sparkling windows is vinegar and water. Mix together:
- one part vinegar
- one part water
- Few drops of your favourite essential oil (we recommend a fresh citrus scent)
Spray the solution generously on dirty glass. Apply enough so that the solution starts to break down the dirt. Use a squeegee or a cloth to clean. Finish with a clean, dry cloth.
You can use pure vinegar on its own for stubborn spots or try adding some soap to your vinegar mix. There are lots of different soaps to choose from, but regular Palmolive will add some sudsing action.
Without using some extra elbow grease, sometimes you might find that stubborn grime needs a more heavy duty solution. Regular detergent, like Palmolive or powdered cleansers like Bon Ami work on glass. Be sure to rinse the glass thoroughly to finish.
Isopropyl alcohol is a very effective cleaner that is relatively non toxic and dissolves oils and sticky grime – so it’s perfect for using to clean glass and windows. You can buy isopropyl alcohol at hardware stores and Bunnings. It’s very economical, particularly if you buy it in bulk.
- one cup water
- one cup isopropyl alcohol
- tablespoon vinegar
Cleaning new windows
It’s exciting getting new windows installed, but sometimes when new glass gets wet or fogs up, mysterious circular patterns emerge on the surface.
They look like miniature crop circles, but they’re actually suction cup marks left from manufacturing and installation. The vacuum suction system aids in moving heavy glass and safely positioning windows during installation, but unfortunately it leaves a fine, dirty imprint that can be detected when the window is misty.
The surface of glass has tiny little undulations that you can’t see. Tiny, microscopic bits of dirt settle in the crevices from the suction cups and can be seen whenever the glass gets wet. Over time they can disappear, but you can attempt to get rid of them by thoroughly cleaning the glass with a powerful cleaner, like Bon Ami. Follow up with a isopropyl alcohol and wipe off with a dry cloth.
Preparing new windows for window film
For DIY window film installation, its important to make sure that you do a thorough job of cleaning. Good preparation will mean the difference between a great job and a really ordinary job.
Use the right solution and take your time to remove stubborn grime. When selecting a cleaning cloth, it’s important not to create another problem by using one that leaves lint all over the surface. Tiny bits of lint, left on the glass surface will be visible under window film, and while a few may be unavoidable, if there are a lot, you’ll have to remove the film and start all over again.
The best type of cloth to use is by far microfibre. Microfibre has tiny fibres that pick up microscopic bits of dirt. They’re also super absorbent, making them perfect for cleaning glass, getting rid of streaks and not leaving tell-tale lint fibres.
Read our blog for more tips on how to install window film