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Impact windows, often referred to as hurricane windows, shield our homes from nature’s unpredictable moods. But to maintain their clarity and efficiency, regular cleaning is essential. In this guide, you’ll discover how to clean impact windows, ensuring they stay clear and resilient.
What You’ll Need: Essential Cleaning Supplies
To achieve spotless results, assemble these tools:
- Soft, lint-free cloth (like a microfiber towel)
- Gentle, non-abrasive and non-ammonia mild soap
- Clean water
- White vinegar (for a natural cleaning solution, especially effective on glass)
- A squeegee (ideal for larger windows to achieve a streak-free finish)
Setting the Perfect Cleaning Conditions
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Contrary to what one might believe, direct sunlight can hinder your cleaning efforts. Sunlight can cause your cleaning solution to evaporate rapidly, resulting in streaks. Opt to clean on cloudy days or when your windows are in the shade.
How to Clean Impact Windows: Step-by-Step
Step 1: Pre-Cleaning Preparations
- Clear any obstacles out of the way like plants, furniture, etc.
- Lay protective covers or plastic sheets to catch drips and debris.
- Then, if applicable, open the windows and remove screens to access all areas for thorough cleaning.
Step 2: Cleaning Exterior Surfaces
- To start the cleaning process, gently brush or use a soft cloth to remove any loose dirt, leaves, or debris from the window surfaces.
- After that, give the windows a thorough rinse with either a hose or a bucket of clean water. This step helps effectively eliminate any remaining dirt and dust.
- Next, create a mild soap solution by mixing mild soap and water in a bucket. Dip a soft microfiber cloth into the solution, ensuring it’s well wrung out. With the damp cloth, proceed to gently scrub the window surfaces. Pay special attention to stubborn dirt buildup or water spots, focusing on problem areas while avoiding applying excessive pressure.
- You can use a high-grade non-abrasive cleaner, which is available at any home improvement store. Or, you can also use a 50:50 white vinegar-water solution.
- Following the scrubbing, make sure to rinse the windows once again using clean water to remove all soap residue.
- To prevent streaks and water spots, take a lint-free towel or a soft microfiber cloth and carefully wipe down the windows. Be thorough in your approach, paying extra attention to edges and corners for a flawless finish.
Step 3: Cleaning Interior Surfaces
- To begin with the interiors of your windows, dust the window frames and sills using a soft cloth or handheld brush. I use a vacuum attachment to remove it effectively.
- Apply a suitable glass cleaner or the vinegar solution.
- Focus on edges and corners. To avoid transferring grime, use a separate clean cloth for this step.
- Finally, ensure a streak-free finish by buffing the window surfaces with a fresh lint-free towel. Make sure no cleaning solution residue remains.
Step 4: Addressing Stubborn Stains
Despite your best efforts, stubborn stains can sometimes mar the clarity of your impact windows. Here’s how to address them without causing permanent damage:
- Identify the Stain: Different stains require different approaches. Identify the type of stain – whether it’s water spots, bird droppings, or other marks – to choose the appropriate cleaning method.
- Spot Treatment: Apply a small amount of dish soap or mild detergent directly to the stained area. Let it sit for a few minutes to loosen the stain.
- Gentle Scrubbing: Use a soft brush or a cloth to gently scrub the stained area, applying slight pressure. Avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch the window.
- Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the window with water to remove the cleaning solution. Make sure no soap residue remains, as it could attract more dirt.
- Assess and Repeat: Assess the stain’s removal. If necessary, repeat the process until the stain is no longer visible, being careful not to over-scrub and cause damage.
Caring for Hardware and Keeping Them Functional
- Cleaning Locks and Handles: Wipe down locks, handles, and hinges with a soft cloth dampened with water or a mild detergent solution. Lubricate moving parts if needed.
- Inspecting for Wear: Regularly check for signs of wear, rust, or damage. Address any issues promptly to prevent further complications.
- Check window seals and weatherstripping: Over time, they may degrade and compromise the window’s insulation. Replace if needed.
Expert Tips for Continuous Maintenance
Ensuring Safety and Environmental Care
If your windows are elevated:
- Use a sturdy ladder and always prioritize safety.
- Consider safety harnesses for extra protection.
- Hire professionals if windows are hard to reach.
Remember the environment:
- It’s good to be aware of the environmental impact of runoff, especially if using any cleaning agents. Consider using bio-degradable soaps or detergents to minimize harm to the environment.
Impact windows serve a crucial role in home safety. With regular and environmentally conscious cleaning, they remain clear and effective. By following this guide, you’re not only ensuring clarity but also prolonging the life of your windows. Embrace the views they offer and the protection they provide.