I wash our large windows with just warm/hot water with a small amount of Dawn dish soap. A window mop, and large squeegee. Micro fiber cloths to wipe the squeegee and touch up edges if needed. (Stubborn spots that don't wash off easily, can be safely cleaned with 4zero steel wool or a single edge razor blade). Some of our windows require extension poles for both the mop and squeegee, to avoid needing ladders or step stools.
It is easier and you have more time to work, if you wash windows out of direct sun. But not necessary, if you apply enough soapy water and squeegee right away. (Pro window cleaners do it all the time.) It can also be really helpful if you have a partner inside cleaning vertically and outside horizontally. Easy to tell if any smears are inside or outside this way, (and if you happen to do it in the sun, the person inside can easily see any streaks or misses).
And if you have any outside screens, be sure remove and clean them too. Otherwise, the first rain that hits a dirty screen will transfer dirt to your clean window.
Each of our windows has a total of four sashes + one screen. And the windows are on the large side with out being picture windows.
It is a big job to wash the windows on the outside. One that at my age I no longer feel equal to. So for the outside I use one of those window washing fits on your hose bottles, except I fill it with Dawn dish det. rather than the windex product.
Counting attic and cellar we have a lot of windows.
Conrad since you have a good knowledge of products & processes, do you know a way of converting cord & weight hung sashes to an easier, more secure and yet more flexible (i.e. can swing inside for easy washing) system while using the same wooden framed old glass?This message has been edited. Last edited by: lady of shallot,
Lady of shallot, sorry, I wish I did. Our first home (circa 1918) had beautiful old float glass windows with the rope weights, and some with leaded/beveled panes. Storm windows (aluminum), on the outside of them. I think I only washed them once in the 7 years we lived there! We were fortunate to have large eaves that helped to keep them cleaner.
It is often a pain to try and remove the storms in order to get to the glass surface between the storm windows....and then remember how to put everything back together again. That is why I only did it once...then invested in sheers everywhere. Both for privacy and one could not see how dirty the windows might be.
Float glass is what I call the OLD Glass. My understanding was they poured the molten glass over a liquid surface and it found it's own level? Often has some very minor waviness to it as well as the possibility of some tiny bubbles present. Some antique china hutches will have float glass in the doors, if the glass is original.
Our storms were removable (top stationary, bottom would go up and down) but it took some wiggling and tipping to get them out of the tracks and removed for cleaning. Otherwise there was no way to clean the outer glass of the inside windows, between the storms and the original windows. Only about 2 inches of room, plus divisions of the panes...made it a royal pain!
Well, you got me wondering about the term Float Glass. I was actually wrong, as modern glass is float glass. Seems mid century, a new "floating method" was invented to be more industry standard. So I guess the old glass is called drawn or rolled glass?
the following is quoted from a site that sells both modern types and restoration glass:
Modern glass is produced by floating the molten glass on top of a ribbon of molten metal to give a uniform thickness and a distortion-free surface. For about 50 years immediately prior to the invention of this float glass method, glass was produced using a machine to draw the glass from its molten state into sheets. This method resulted in some distortion of the surface. Prior to the turn of the last century, glass was generally mouth blown into cylinders and then flattened into sheets by hand. This process produced glass containing various imperfections both within the glass and on its surface.
About ten years ago This Old House did a segment that had someone using the existing old windows and routing out the sashes to accept dual pane panels. I'm pretty sure part of the project was changing the sash weight system to a more modern sash pressure mounting.
The entire job was done in about a 16 foot trailer brought right to the site.
What do you use to wash the outside of your windows?
I use a window cleaning service for the outside of the windows. It's one of the very few things we don't do ourselves. They do it much better and faster than we can. They were here today and my windows look fantastic. There's something about sparkling clean windows!
We just had a professional service here on Thursday. First time for this, I usually use the Windex that you hook up to the hose. The windows are so much better done professionally, no streaks, no misses, very sparkly. We have a lot of windows including 5 sliding glass doors, one of them being 12 wide and 10 feet high. I was very surprised at the low cost to have them done professionally inside and out. It was well worth the m0ney.
Posts: 1002 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003
Thanks for sharing your recipe for cleaning or washing exterior windows, fastest way to clean your window is by using crystal or try to wash your windows with a squeegee, it is best way clean your glass clear and streak free in fraction of time.
What do you use to wash the outside of your windows?
Mother Nature when it rains. Once or twice a year we clean the whole outside of the house, and they get the same gentle solution as our vinyl siding, and we go through lots of water rinsing. Such is life.
No other effort to clean. Not enough time in life.
Posts: 4590 | Location: In the beautiful Tennessee Valley, between the Cumberland Plateau and the Great Smoky Mountains. | Registered: Jul 12, 2005
Sparkling and clean exterior windows make your home look well looked after no matter what the season is. But cleaning windows can be very dangerous if you don't keep necessary safety measures in your mind.