Glossy windows, mirrors, and shower enclosures can make your home beautiful and alluring. However, even a few simple missteps during your Saturday chores could spell trouble for that glass. Here are three common cleaning mistakes that can damage your windows, and how to beat those streaks without causing collateral damage.
1. Wiping Windows Down With Paper Towels
Have you ever wondered why most paper towel commercials show people wiping up spills instead of scrubbing mirrors? While many people stock their cleaning closets with paper towels to tidy up mirrors and glass, paper towels actually aren't recommended for cleaning windows or glass, since the microscopic wooden fibers that make up paper towels can be abrasive to smooth glass surfaces.
If you choose to scrub windows with paper towels, the glass can become etched on a microscopic level, creating a rougher surface where future grime could stick easily. Paper towels also contain dyes and lint that can leave glass cloudy or dusty, which is why professional window cleaners recommend products like microfiber cloths or soft rubber squeegees to tackle smudges.
Although it might seem inconvenient to purchase a window squeegee instead of grabbing a handful of paper towels, squeegees offer a few added bonuses when it comes time to clean your windows. Many have retractable handles to make cleaning high exterior windows easier, and some varieties even contain a microfiber scrubbing side to make washing away sticky residue a little easier.
2. Pressure Washing Exterior Windows
Home exteriors can become dirty as the years march on, which is why many homeowners turn to professional pressure washing services to take care of dirty siding and difficult-to-reach windows. However, pressure washing is actually powerful enough to etch, crack, or even shatter windows, creating the need for replacement panels.
However, soft washing is a process that is gentle enough for windows and effective enough to clean the exterior of your home. Unlike pressure washing, which uses motorized systems to create thousands of pounds of pressure to blast away dirt and grime, soft washing uses pressures lower than 500 psi to gently rinse away debris and smudges with cleaners.
By simply changing out the tip on a pressure washing system, professionals can lower the pressure to an acceptable level, helping you to keep your new windowpanes in good condition. Soft washing is also gentle enough to use on roofing, aluminum siding, painted exteriors, and even light fixtures.
3. Using Blades or Abrasives to Remove Hard Water Stains
If you live in an area with hard water, you might notice white, cloudy droplet marks on your glass every time someone takes a shower or runs the outdoor sprinkler heads. These white residues contain calcium and magnesium deposits, and over time, they can cause considerable clouding on windows.
To remove deposits quickly and easily, some homeowners turn to razor blades or even sandpaper. However, both methods can scratch the glass, permanently damaging your windows. Using sharp products on your windows can also damage protective UV films, affecting your window's ability to prevent heat transfer.
Fortunately, you can whisk away hard water stains without damaging your windows by using something you might already have in your pantry. White vinegar contains acetic acid that dissolves mineral deposits, while being gentle enough to keep your windows in perfect condition.
If your windows have become damaged despite your best efforts, turn to the team at Wadsworth Glass Inc. With an incredible array of glass products including windows, doors, beveled mirrors, and shower enclosures, you are sure to find the glass panels you need to make your house a home. Give us a call today to arrange your complimentary quote.