The best way to clean glass is with a soft cloth and a quality glass cleaner. Apply the glass cleaner to the cloth and clean with soft, circular motions until the glass is clean. Be careful not to spray directly on the glass, especially on mirrors.
Mirrors can be one of the most frustrating glass surfaces to clean because even the smallest imperfections show up clearly. The first mistake many people make is using paper towels. Paper towels will not only leave behind tiny streaks, they will also leave behind particles that make the mirror appear dusty. Instead, use a microfiber towel which will not leave behind any remnants. Many people also swear by newspaper for a streak-free clean. Just be sure to wear gloves or wash your hands after as the ink may come off on your skin.
So you finally got around to cleaning that one window that has been dirty for so long, only to find that it looks worse after cleaning than before you started. What gives?
Many times windows get a waxy or oily build-up on them if left uncleaned for long periods- especially the inside of windshields since vinyl protectant is usually sprayed on dashboards when cars are detailed.
To avoid damaging the glass or housing, always begin with the mildest solution and work your way up. If you’ve already tried a quality glass cleaner, vinegar and warm water may be another good option. It may take some elbow great and a few rounds of cleaning. If this doesn’t work, the next step would be to spot clean using a solvent such as acetone, rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits. Use sparingly as these can be potentially harmful to the glass. Always clean the glass afterwards to remove the solvent completely. For actual wax build up, avoid using razor blades as this may permanently scratch the glass.
Vinegar to the rescue again! If a mirror is hazy it will need some serious cleaning power, so don’t dilute with water. Wet either newspaper or a microfiber cloth with distilled white vinegar and wipe the mirror. Afterward, you may want to wipe with water to get rid of the vinegar smell, then follow up with a normal glass cleaner to achieve a streak-free shine.
- Amonia Based Cleaners – Leave streaking and attract dust
- Alcohol Based Cleaners – leave streaking and attract dust
- Plain water—is not an adequate cleaning agent. Will leave spots and streaks.
- Abrasives – anything that contains an abrasive should be avoided as it can permanently harm the finish of the glass
- Thorough glass cleanings are recommended at least twice a year and can be done seasonally—once in the Fall and once in the Spring. Thorough cleanings mean cleaning both the inside and outside of the glass, as well as the trim that surrounds the glass.
- Additionally, spot cleaning should be done as often as necessary.
- We’ve all been there….that one mirror that always streaks no matter how carefully you clean it. For the most stubborn streaks, try using undiluted distilled white vinegar. Be sure to wipe and dry the mirror quickly and polish with a clean dry microfiber cloth.
Unfortunately, glass doesn’t last forever and at some point the time will come to replace your doors and windows. But how do you know when you’ve reached that point?
First, consider safety. If there are any cracks, chips or holes in your home’s glass, this should be a red flag. Broken glass has extremely sharp edges and could cause injury. The same goes for the housing surrounding the glass.
Other signs to look for are not so obvious. Your window serve as more than just an opening for natural light and a view to the outdoors—they also serve as insulation from heat and cold. If you can feel or hear air movement coming in through your windows or doors, or feel drastic temperature changes near them, this is a sign that they are not effectively insulating your home. This can increase electric bills.
If you suspect it might be time for replacement, call your local window and door specialist to have them do an onsite evaluation to determine the best option for your home.