Here's How: Clean Window Glass With Squeegee Like a Professional
Dear James: I have been living in my new home for about three months, and I cannot believe how dirty the windows keep getting. Why is this? What is the proper method to clean the windows the way professionals do? -- Crystal M.
Dear Crystal: It is not uncommon for the windows in a new home to become dirty very quickly after they are cleaned. There is a huge amount of dust from cement, cutting blades, shingles, drywall, etc., on the house exterior and in the soil. For about one year or so, until it blows away or settles into the soil, you can expect this dust to get on the window glass.
It is important to carefully wash the windows often during this period. These fine particles left over from the house construction are very abrasive and can scratch the window's glass surface. Some of these particles can chemically react and leave a film on the glass. Frequent washing with a lot of water and gentle force is best.
Don't use a roll of paper towels and a spray bottle of window cleaner solution. This will remove the heavy dirt, but it can be abrasive, and you will likely see a film when the glass dries and the sun shines on it. It is also a fairly expensive method to clean the glass.
The best method to clean windows is the way professional window washers do it. This is also the quickest and least costly method. You will need a good quality window squeegee and a lambswool scrubber. A medium-nap fleece scrubber is probably your best choice.
Since you have the luxury of a garden hose at your house, spray off the window glass first. This cleans off the loose dirt particles and makes certain the window is thoroughly wet. Saturate the lambswool scrubber with soapy water, and run it over the window. This will dislodge most of the dirt particles and pick them up off the glass.
If you have trouble getting some particles, such as specks of cement, off the glass, use a window porcupine scrubber. This has stiff synthetic bristles, but they will not scratch the glass surface. When the window is clear of all particles, rinse the window again with water from the garden hose.
The key to a good job is using the squeegee properly. This separates the novices from the professional window cleaners. The squeegee should be either 12 or 18 inches long, with a brass body and a replaceable rubber blade. A 12-inch squeegee is probably best for the beginner, but an 18-inch one is actually the most functional size.
Janitorial supply outlets should carry professional squeegees, or you may have to buy them directly or from dealers such as Ettore Products Co., 510-748-4130, and Haviland Corp., 800-325-3915.
Always start the squeegee at the top of the window in a horizontal path. Tilt the squeegee slightly so the water is forced out the bottom along the wet glass below it. Dry off the squeegee blade with a lint-free, dry cloth after each horizontal stroke. Each stroke should overlap the previous one by about two inches.
When you are finished using the squeegee on the entire window, there will be just a narrow wet strip along each side edge of the window. Dry these edges with the cloth.
Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com. To find out more about James Dulley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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