Dear Home-Ec 101:
We just moved into an older house and I don’t think anyone has cleaned the windows in years. We had it pressure washed and used Windex but the windows still look covered in grime. Are there any other solutions I can use that will get off the tough dirt.
Let The Sunshine In, Please?
Windows initially get grimy due to moisture and dust. The windows develop condensation, dust in the wind adheres to the pane. In the spring pollen joins in the game creating a nice layer of filth. Tree sap? Oh yeah that’s a joy to remove. To add to the fun mineral deposits can form if you have masonry or wire screens. Fun, right?
First use slightly soapy water and a natural bristle brush and a squeegee. Use the brush to gently scrub the glass. Rinse the brush often to ensure no trapped dirt is lurking to create scratches in the glass. If your windows are divided into panes, you may need to cut a squeegee to fit. Wipe the blade between each use and pull straight down to remove the water and avoid streaking. Wipe the blade again to avoid transferring dirt from one pane to the next. If your window is a picture window start in the top corner of your dominant hand and pull straight to the other side, making an S or reverse S turn as needed. Try to keep the squeegee in contact with the glass at all times to avoid streaking.
If the window is near a tree, some of the problem may be tree sap. A product like Oops or Goo Gone may be very helpful.
If this doesn’t greatly improve the situation you may have mineral deposits and it’s time to use Bar Keepers Friend -look on the cleaning aisle near the other scrubbing powders). Be very careful choosing scrubbing powders, some brands are NOT safe for glass which is why I am so fond of BKF. Sprinkle the BKF on a damp rag and gently buff the glass with a back and forth motion. This may be a little time consuming, but is certainly more cost effective than giving up and replacing the windows.
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