It may sound kind of weird, but at Clear Sky Windows windows are our passion, we truly enjoy our job! However, if you don't want to hire a professional to save you time and potentially money if you damage the glass, or are just curious, we'll let you in on the do's and don'ts. First a little education on windows.
Window cleaning is an often overlooked yet vital part of home maintenance. All but the highest-end windows that are neglected will deteriorate quickly in the high desert. The heat and lack of humidity quickly contribute to "seal failure", once it happens the window will start to become foggy. All modern windows are double or triple paned for insulation reasons, the seals are what traps the air/gas between the panes. Once the seal fails moisture begins to creep in and ruins your view! Replacing windows is very costly, not only for the window itself but the installation and also having to re-stucco. The products we use help to swell the seals and removes dirt that threatens the seal. Protect your investment!
Glass may appear smooth to the eye but there's tons of little pores. These pores can fill in with all kinds of things. The worst being minerals. Once the build-up gets to a certain point it can never be undone, as it will etch/alter the glass. If your windows can be cleaned to truly perfect we highly recommend a treatment to seal (flatten/level) the window. On new windows it's a must, and if applied to windows in good condition it will keep them that way much longer. Especially in highly exposed areas.
1. First off, don't try and hammer a nail with a screwdriver. Invest in the proper gear. It will save you a lot of time, frustration, and paper towels! You can purchase all the gear you need at window-cleaning-supply.com at great prices and service. The bare minimum would be a wand/sleeve and handle/channel for your size windows.
2. There are all kinds of "home brews" out there for cleaning windows. We've heard them all, Dawn dish-soap, JetDry, ammonia, to name the most common. None of these formulas are good for your windows and can be downright harmful on certain glass. Sure it will clean them, but at what cost? Professional grade soap can be purchased in small sizes with huge dilution ratios for cheap.
3. "I'm just going to scrub off that spot with a dish-sponge..." STOP! Never use any abrasive scrubber on glass. Many windows have a protective film coating (especially on the inside) that can scratch very easily, even windows without coating will scratch. Only ever use 000 Bronze wool, and even then test it in a low viability area first.
4. Razors work great at removing stubborn debris, just be sure to thoroughly wet the glass and keep it wet during the process. Hold the razor firmly at around a 20 degree angle perfectly flat with the glass. Personally I prefer older razors as one can work faster with them, as they don't try and grab as much. Don't try and remove it all with a razor, switch to bronze wool for perfection.
5. Don't use a garden hose to clean your windows as the minerals will stay on the glass. That is unless you can filter/soften the water you're using! Mr Clean made a car wash system (Mr Clean Auto Dry Car Wash) that attached to your hose and included a filter for final rinse. They're no longer available in stores but can be found online. Or use something similar, it's the quick easy way to maintain your windows after a professional grade clean!
6. Painters in New Mexico often do a sloppy job... if you're about to paint/stucco or hire someone to, be sure they cover the windows (and remove the screens)! Seems like common sense but you'd be amazed how often it happens. An ounce of prevention and all that...
7. Don't open certain windows all year? Remove the screens! You'll be surprised at how much extra light comes in, and how your view just got an "upgrade". To chase those winter blues away, remove them all and clean your skylights!