Archive for May, 2019

How to Clean Antique Windows

A historic building can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be a time-consuming task. If you are responsible for an antique home or business, you’ll need to keep the windows clean. If the home has already been restored, then you just need to maintain them. If the home hasn’t been restored, you’ll likely need some deeper cleaning options. To clean antique windows, you need to make sure you don’t damage the window. That’s the first goal.


Start Small

 Dirt, oil, and general grime build up over time on your windows. Sometimes, all of those years of accumulated grime will require some pretty strong chemicals to remove. However, you should never start with the strongest chemicals. Always start light and work your way up. So, first, you should use some wadded up newspaper or a soft rag made specifically for cleaning windows. Spray clean water on the window and attempt to wipe off the grime. Loose dust and dirt will likely be removed by simple water. After you’ve done that, you can move to something stronger.

Mix a few drops of dish soap into the water. The dish soap should cut through most oils and grease. However, if the oil and grease is old, it might not be moved by dish soap. After that, you can move to diluted ammonia. Ammonia is the primary ingredient in many traditional window cleaners you might buy in a store. You can often dilute those store-bought cleaners 50/50 with water.


Go Big

 If none of that works to clean your windows, you’ll need to break out the stronger stuff. Cleaners with oxalic acid are often in powder form; they can scrub away grime but they won’t scratch the glass.

You should be particularly careful about using stronger chemicals if you have stained glass windows. Stained glass can either be painted glass or colored glass. If the glass is colored, you likely won’t damage it by using mild chemicals. If it’s painted, the cleaning process could damage the paint. If you have stained glass, it’s probably best just to call a professional. In fact, if your windows are old and fragile, calling a restorer might be your best option.

Professionals will have specific tools and chemicals that will clean stained glass or antique glass without damaging the glass. They’ll also be able to clean the window frames. You shouldn’t neglect the frames when cleaning the windows. Depending on what they’re made from, you might need separate chemicals entirely.

Should You Use Window Cleaner or Just Soap and Water?

When you’re doing some cleaning around the house, it’s important not to neglect the windows. Clean windows help you see better and maximize the amount of light in your home. They also make the facade of your home look better. When you’re buying the supplies needed to clean your house, you’re going to see a lot of different products that are said to clean windows. They often promise a “streak-free shine.” However, are any of them necessary? Could you clean your windows just as well with soap and water? The answer is mixed.

Yes And No

 If you are cleaning one or two windows or mirrors in your house by hand, a window cleaner will work just fine. The store-bought liquid in the spray bottle will clean your windows pretty well as long as you use a microfiber cloth. Some people use wadded up newspaper. As long as you’re not leeching newsprint onto the window, that should be fine. However, that’s not what you want if you’re washing the windows.

Cleaning your windows could mean cleaning up some spots or streaks of dirt on your windows. Washing them means removing any dirt or grime that might have built up. If you want to wash your windows or if you have a large number of windows to clean, soap and water is the way to go. You shouldn’t choose just any soap, though. Many types of soap have fragrances and chemicals that leave behind a residue. If your dishes smell like dish soap after you clean them, they have a residue of soap on them. That residue could be visible on your windows. Use a window washing solution to avoid that.


Window Washing Solution

 Window washing solution is typically a concentrated liquid that is meant to be mixed with water for the purpose of washing windows. This might seem like an unnecessary expense but they’re generally designed for use by professional window washers. Therefore, you will likely be able to get dozens of uses out of one large bottle of solution. You’ll also get clean windows.

You can mix the window washing solution with water in a bucket. Some are meant to be connected to a water hose or pressure washer. You should also buy window washing tools such as squeegees and microfiber cloths.



 Essentially, if you are spot-cleaning your windows, the blue liquid is fine. If you’re looking to deep clean multiple windows, buy dedicated window washing solution.