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Sparkle And Shine: Tips For Cleaning And Maintaining Residential Windows

living room window
Your home's windows offer you a view of the world, so it's important to keep them clean and well-maintained. If you've recently had new windows installed, you'll want to protect your investment by treating the glass with some TLC. While windows are typically easy to care for, there are some things you'll need to do on a regular basis to keep them looking and performing their best.
Windows take a beating everyday, whether it’s from sticky fingers or wet pet noses, and the marks can quickly diminish the overall appearance of a room. When you're deep-cleaning your home, don't neglect to care for your windows as well. After years of regular wear-and-tear, even if you've meticulously cared for them, you may need to eventually replace your windows. When the time comes, Kenny Glass offers several different types and brands of windows.
Following are some tips for extending the life of your home's windows and making them sparkle and shine:

1. Clean the Glass on a Regular Basis

While simply cleaning your windows on a regular basis seems like an easy task, it can go a long way in keeping the glass beautiful and in good condition. If your windows are typically covered by blinds, shades, drapes or curtains, open them once in a while to inspect the glass in the sunlight. In addition to dirt, debris and fingerprints, check the glass for cracks or any other types of imperfections.
If you have pets or small children, you may need to clean your windows on a weekly basis. If your household isn't that busy, you may be able to go a month or two without cleaning them. Environmental factors also come into play, as you may find more build-up on your windows if you live near a highway or an industrial area.
Spray a glass cleaner in an even layer all over the window, and wipe it clean with a soft, lint-free cloth, such as a chamois. For more heavily soiled windows, clean the glass with a solution of warm water and a few drops of a gentle dishwashing detergent.
Apply the soapy solution to the glass using a soft, clean sponge, concentrating on any hard-to-remove areas. Rinse the windows with plain water, and then remove the excess moisture with a squeegee featuring a rubber blade. Working from top to bottom, work the squeegee across the glass in smooth, even strokes to avoid streaking. Wipe the blade dry before each stroke.

2. Deep-Clean with Vinegar

A few times a year, such as during spring and fall cleaning, treat your home's windows to a vinegar wash. Fill a plastic spray bottle with one part distilled white vinegar and one part hot water, a solution that will remove any built-up grime and impart the glass with a sleek, crystal-like finish.
Spray an even layer of the vinegar solution over the window, and use a soft, clean sponge to work it into the glass. Don't over-saturate the glass, which will make the moisture hard to remove. Use a dry, lint-free cloth or a squeegee to thoroughly dry the glass.
To protect the windowsills during the cleaning process, simply cover them with paper towels. Avoid using any harsh cleaning products, such as stiff-bristled brushes or steel wool, when deep-cleaning the glass, as they can scratch and damage the surface.

3. Protect the Glass

Another way to keep your windows looking their best for the longest time possible is by protecting them from paint and other home improvement materials. Cover the glass with a liquid mask product, which you can either brush or spray on. The mask will protect the glass from the chemicals, and you can simply peel it off when you're done with the project. You can also cover the glass with paper and masking tape if that's all you have on hand.