Window Cleaner

Tired of looking out through streaky windows? Today you have a variety of options to help get your glass looking like it's not even there. Window cleaner comes in homemade or commercial varieties, or you can even hire a window cleaning service.

Since glass windows were first created around the time of Christ, people have been cleaning them. Glass windows let in light, but they also collect dirt, which soon obscures them. Today, air pollution, dust, dirt and sometimes little fingerprints can make your windows look like a brick wall.

Water, of course, is a great cleaner for dust and general grime. Any type of grease on your windows will require a little more power, though. Soap has too many oils in it to create a truly clean appearance; when chemical detergents were introduced, they seemed like the answer. But many people found that these products left streaks on the glass, which distracted from the view.

Special cleaners for windows came to the rescue. Spray bottles holding liquids of various colours promise to clean the grime away and make your glass sparkle. Some are even marketed as multi-surface cleaners, with the ability to cleanse your countertops, windows, stove top, and more. Many people found these products much improved from the old standbys, and sales have been brisk.

Which is best for you? You'll have to try a few things to decide. Commercially available products like Windolene Cream, HG Spray and Astonish Spray are all products you can find on the grocery shelves, and they all do a good job. Most promise a smear-free shine, and so long as you use a lint-free cloth to wipe your windows, you should achieve that result.

These cleaners, however, do use chemicals, and those who are sensitive should be aware of that. Windolene, for instance, contains small amounts of Butoxypropanol and Sodium Hydroxide. These, of course, help make your windows shine, but can be a skin irritant.

In today's environmentally conscious world, many people recommend an old standby for cleaning windows—ammonia and water. A newer suggestion is to add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to a pail of water and a bit of ammonia. Either solution works, though the addition of the detergent does cut through grime better, and might be more suited to the outside window surfaces.

A favourite "cloth" for cleaning windows is either wadded up newspaper (leaves no streaks, but leaves newsprint on your hands), or a leather chamois (sometimes leaves streaks, but much easier on your hands). People who clean their windows frequently, or those who do it for a living, often choose a sponge and squeegee combination tool. The sponge dipped in cleaner can scrub even the most stubborn spots from your window, and the squeegee side removes most of the cleaning agent. A soft cloth or chamois is often used to eliminate lines from the squeegee.

For windows above your reach you can buy poles that will attach to a squeegee or other tool. Many of these poles are two or three part telescoping poles, with the smaller sections sliding inside the larger ones. This makes storage very simple. Reasonably inexpensive, these are a great investment for a home with more than one storey.

Whether you choose something off the grocery store shelves or make your own solution, window cleaner is available that will leave your glass sparkling like new!
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