Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shiny clean windows for a great view

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my last post! You'll be happy to know I'm back on track and the dog booties have been made... Debbie, I promise to post some pictures of the dog wearing them soon- he looks ever so sweet. Talking of whom - have you all seen Debbie's grand new online shop? For all things vintage, shabby chic, romantic and just plain gorgeous, go take a look (I don't normally advertise on my site, but Debbie also happens to be one of the friendliest bloggers you'll come across and deserves the recognition).

Back to the windows then. Window cleaning is an essential part of seasonal cleaning. Of course it's easy enough to get a window cleaner to clean the glass, but there's allot more to window cleaning than just the glass, and plus... window cleaning (all of it) is a home keeping skill we should all know how to do properly because it doesn't need doing often. So if you're going to clean your windows before your Halloween or Christmas display go up, you might as well do it properly - and here's how:

You're going to need a window cleaning kit containing...
Dusting cloth

White vinegar

Lint free cloths (micro fibre cloths such as the e-cloth is great!)

Rubber gloves

Straight edged razor blade or a sharp scraper

Sturdy ladder

Fungicide or 1:3 diluted solution of water and bleach*

Soapy water (dish washing liquid is just fine)

* This is only if you have mould growing in the corners of your window frames due to condensation.

Ideally start window cleaning from the outside - choose a a time a time of day that the sun is not directly shining onto the windows because this will result in the windows drying too fast and streaking.
  • Start off by brushing away cobwebs and loose dirt from around the window.
  • Mix a solution of 1 part vinegar and 1 part hot water. Use this solution to wash the windows with a sponge rubbing away any dirt.
  • Starting at an upper corner, wipe the squeegee down the window in a smooth straight stroke, moving along the window and wiping the squeegee with a lint free cloth after every stroke. Dry the sill at the bottom with a cloth.
  • Now use a dampened cloth and the soapy water to wash the frames of dirt and the vinegar solution, paying particular attention to the corners where dirt and grime gathers.
  • If any marks remain on the glass after washing, use the razor blade or scraper to scrape off the marks, taking care not to scratch the windows.
  • Fungicide or diluted bleach can be used in the corners of windows to prevent mould growing back.
Repeat the same steps on the inside of the windows, making sure to clean the frames of any vinegar solution and dusting and polishing any window hardware with a suitable cleaning solution. For large windows, use the method to squeegee your windows that you see office window cleaners use - it's called the snake method. The squeegee gets pulled horizontally across the top of the window, turning at the end and winding your way down to the bottom of the window. Yikes, I'm glad I don't have his job.

Please only ever use very gentle PH neutral cleaners on stained glass. Painted glass should only ever be washed with warm water and a soft sponge, and leaded windows should also only be washed with a PH neutral cleaner - so don't just use a vinegar solution on everything - eek!

When cleaning your windows also check for any window putty that needs to be replaced or rotting wood that could do with filling, or paint retouches that are needed. When we bought our house, the windows had been neglected, and once we touched them up with some wood paint the look of the house from the outside changed drastically!

I'll be honest and say that I find washing windows a bit of a pain, but oh boy does it make a difference. Looking out of clean windows will make your house feel fresh as a daisy, and the light will bouncing off all of your favourite possessions like the crystals in Pollyanna (I love that movie!).
So go ahead and clean your windows before you show off your Christmas ornaments this winter (or summer for those of you down south!)... I know I need to!

Channel 4 - How to clean windows
Martha Stewart's Home Keeping Handbook
The Daily Green


Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

glad your back on track - its easy to have a wobble every now and again but we usually come out the other side better than ever! and judging by this post you have done :-) my windows inside are a nightmare but im only 5'2" and have very high ceilings with very high windows so its a massive job but you as per usualy have inspired me to get on and do it! outside gets done by window cleaners but 2 questions : does the house not smell of vinegar if you use the vinegar solution? and are those e cloths really good? i bow to your superior knowledge on these subject matters and will buy the appropriate items on my next supermarket trip :-)
Lesley x

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Hi sweetie,
You don`t need to do the white glove test to find dust!
You can actually see it!LOL
I`m quite behind on the house work too!
I`m off now to read this new post!
Debbie Moss

The Vintage Kitten said...

That is so strange, I was going to ask you about window cleaning so thanks so much for posting. I always use washing liquid but take it off with scrunched up newspaper. Your post has very useful information. My windows get really dirty on the inside because of the coal dust from the fire, so Im going to try the tips here. It will be time soon to take the curtains down and clean before xmas so will do the windows again then. Glad you are feeling back to normal, even a few days out of sorts can knock the routine sideways. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Ive never been very good at writing my thoughts down (so why am I blogging?), but it was so nice of you to leave a comment like that. I really do appreciate all your hints and tips too. Looking forward to see your doggies booties X

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

I`m backkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!
And a bit tearfull too!
You are such a sweet heart!
Thanks so much for the advertisement!
And it was FREE!
My favorite word! FREEeeeeeeeeee!!!
I have another confession to make...
Its been a while since I have clean my windows!
Thank goodness for net curtains!
Oh, no!
My net curtains, need washing too!
My To Do List just keeps getting bigger and bigger!
I will do it next week when my 3 Treasures will be off school!
Thanks for the tips... I sure need them!
By the way... can they be used to clean mirrors, too!?
I wish you both a wonderful evening!
From your "Big Headed" Friend.LOL

Debbie Moss

Lori J. said...

I'm glad to see your back. I needed this post. As I look out my back porch, my slider window is awful. The dog jumps on it causing scratches which are impossible to remove. I hate it!
I was going to email you and tell you we went to England finally! We went to Bath and loved it so much! We were'nt there long, only 3 days, but it was great! I can't wait to go back sometime.

Ivy said...

How exciting! I wish I had more windows to clean. :)

Anonymous said...

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Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

hi ive given you an award x

MelMel said...

Thats so sweet of you to say so......was feeling a bit rubbish today and that has really perked me up!
Looking forward to seeing some pictures....will you put them on here?
Have a super weekend hun!xxxxx

LaundryBasketCase said...

You can definitely use these tips to clean mirrors! I favour the e-cloth (they do a glass e-cloth) and they work wonders on mirrors. I'm starting to sound like a rep for these e-cloths, but I love that I don't have to use any nasty chemicals with them. Just water or a bit of vinegar!
I forgot to say Lesley - the house smells of vinegar while you clean, but the vinegar soone evaporates and leaves no smell at all... now that's the cleanest smell. :)

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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