Making Cloudy Glass Perfectly Clear
Washing glass can be one of the easiest of chores and does not have to be time-consuming. If the area is small, as with a tabletop or a mirror, cleaning is a simple matter of spraying on a standard window cleaning fluid and wiping it off with a lint-free cloth or newspaper. Or, sponging it down with dishwashing liquid in hot water and drying it with a t-towel. Even a delicate crystal chandelier can be easily cleaned with a spray of Windex. This will spare you the tedium of dismantling and washing the fixture crystal by fragile crystal.
Washing the windows in an average house is a more formidable task, involving many square metres of glass. And, of course, every window has two sides – one of which is often hard to reach. In addition, the presence of secondary glazing doubles the work. Little wonder that most people try to put off this task for as long as possible. With the right tool, however – the squeegee – the job is not all that difficult. A squeegee has a rubber blade fixed to a metal holder. The blade has a knife-sharp edge, which is what makes it so effective. Like most tools, a squeegee should be properly looked after; after use, see that the blade is carefully washed, rinsed and wiped dry. It is important that you purchase a rubber blade squeegee, not a plastic one. Plastic interacts with most products and leaves streaks. On the other hand, a good quality rubber squeegee will leave a spotless finish.
Squeegees come in various lengths. Choose one wide enough to cover 60 – 70% of the window, so that only two vertical strokes are necessary to pass over the entire surface. On very large windows the squeegee is used to make a series of continuous S-strokes, from one side to the other, without lifting the blade from the glass. Dry the blade before starting the next series, and make sure that each stroke overlaps the previous one.
Corners and edges missed by the squeegee are cleaned with a chamois or a soft lint-free cloth, such as an old cotton T-shirt or cotton knit underwear. Discarded newspaper dipped in warm water does an excellent job of polishing glass once it has been washed. A chamois can be used not only for wet cleaning windows and mirrors, but also for dry cleaning silver. After use, the chamois should be washed out, rinsed and kept moist by placing in an airtight container – an old coffee or pickle jar would serve the purpose.
Many sorts of cleaning liquid can be used. All the traditional grease-cutting agents – methylated spirits, baking powder, vinegar, borax, even baby powder – are effective when mixed with water. Ammonia also makes a good cleaner, but remember that it is both caustic and poisonous and should be handled accordingly. Use a solution of 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water. To make the squeegee glide more easily, add 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent.
One of the toughest jobs is removing specks of rust, usually deposited on the glass by rain filtering through old metal shutters. Oven cleaner, sprayed on a very fine steel-wool pad and rubbed on the glass, will remove these particles. Paint spatters, a more common problem, must be scraped off with a razor blade or wallpaper-trimming knife.
Washing the outside of upper-storey windows is customarily done by leaning out of the window or using an extension ladder. A less hazardous alternative is to work from the ground, using a squeegee or sponge on the end of a special pole available from hardware shops. To wash a skylight, you must usually climb on the roof. Although some skylights are glass, many are made of acrylic, which is softer than glass. Before you wash a skylight, dust off loose dirt; it could scratch an acrylic surface during cleaning. Then sponge on the cleaner and wipe it dry with a chamois.
Getting Windows Clean with a Rubber Squeegee
Cleaning small windows –
Sponge on just enough cleaning liquid to wet the entire window, then pull the squeegee straight down over half of the window. To clean the other half of the window, slightly angle the blade of the squeegee as you descend, so that the excess cleaning liquid is forced into the lower corner. Then, using a chamois or lint-free cloth, wipe off the edges of the glass and remove any drips from the windowsill.
A clean sweep for large windows –
After sponging cleaning liquid onto the glass, move the squeegee across the window in a continuous side-to-side motion. Begin by placing the squeegee against the upper edges of the window, with the blade vertical. Pull it towards the opposite edge, and reverse direction by pivoting the squeegee. Without lifting the blade from the glass, continue sweeping back and forth, from edge to edge, until you reach the bottom of the window. Then turn the blade so that it is horizontal, to carry the liquid down to the window’s lower edge. Wipe off all the edges and the sill with a chamois or a lint-free cloth.
How to tell which side of the window has any streaks – If you need to check for streaks, make sure you clean horizontally on the inside ie: use the above method to clean the inside of the glass, and on the outside use the same technique but make your strokes vertical. It will be easy to see which side needs attention if need be.
A Quick way to clean a Crystal Chandelier
Spraying dirt off Glass Crystals –
Move furniture out from under the chandelier, and spread a plastic sheet over the floor. Turn off the electricity to the chandelier at the light switch and allow the bulbs to cool; then tighten the bulbs in their sockets. Working from a stepladder placed to the side of the fixture, spray a chandelier cleaner onto the glass pendants until the liquid begins to drip. Allow the chandelier to dry before removing the plastic sheet and switching it on again.