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Windows - Crystal Clear


Published: 05/30/2012


Summer is the perfect time to spruce up the exterior of the home, especially when warm weather turns the focus to outdoor living. Make cleaning the grime off windows and patio doors your first priority and really let the sunshine in.

The best way to clean glass is the old fashioned way, with a little vinegar and a lot of elbow grease. A dry, overcast summer day is ideal for washing glass. On sunny days the glass surfaces can dry too fast, leaving streaks.

Start with a solution of 1-1/2 cups (about 350 ml) of vinegar added to one gallon of water (about 4 litres). Wash the windows with a clean, soft cloth or sponge. Rinse with clean water. Dry glass surfaces thoroughly and quickly with a clean
cloth. Dry window frames and door surfaces with a separate cloth.

Keep in mind that cleaning shortcuts can sometimes hurt instead of help. Avoid using power washers, metal tools, razor blades or other objects that can break seals, scratch glass and remove exterior glass coatings. If you have to remove a stubborn label or dried bit of paint, it’s best to soak the area with a mild, soapy solution and use a plastic scraper or putty knife to get off the residue.

Make sure you don't allow harsh cleaners to come in contact with vinyl, wood or metal-clad surfaces and clean up puddles that collect at glass edges, as this can damage window glazing. Avoid using pressurized sprayers when washing windows. The force of the spray could damage the seals.

To clean screens, start by removing them from the window or door. Place the screen into a tub or shower stall if indoors, or on a hard surface outdoors. Gently spray the screen with water. Brush lightly with a soft-bristled tool until clean. For stubborn dirt, a mild soap and water solution can be used. Rinse clean and replace the screen when dry.

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