From mowing the lawn and cleaning the exterior siding to replacing a loose roofing shingle and shampooing your carpet, it is easy to see the overwhelming nature of home ownership. Fortunately, some tasks offer enormous benefits to your home's appeal and value. While surprising to learn, installing new, energy-efficient windows in your home can offer an estimated 85 percent return on your investment. So window replacement is an upgrade you should consider.
Once you install your new windows, you will need to ensure they are clean, appealing, and in good condition. Using these natural, non-toxic tips, you can protect the look, quality, and value of your home's new windows.
Focus on Frames
Dirt, dust, dead insects, and bird droppings will quickly build up on your window frames, so washing off your vinyl window frames will be necessary.
In a spray bottle, add the following ingredients:
- 3 cups of hot water
- ¼ cup of baking soda
Shake the bottle to dissolve the baking soda into the water. Then, spray a generous amount of the solution onto the vinyl window frame. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the solution onto the entire window frame and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Rinse off with your garden hose. Use the same technique to wash each of your window frames before washing the glass.
The baking soda will dissolve away any dirt and debris from your window frames without harming your health or the environment.
Gear Up For Glass
If you purchase glass cleaner from your local discount retailer or home improvement store, you most likely are coming in contact with ammonia. Exposure to large amounts of ammonia can irritate your skin and eyes while decreasing your ability to breathe properly. In addition, ammonia can combine with nitrates in the environment, negatively affecting the air quality.
To clean your new windows in an effective manner without ammonia, combine 3 cups of warm water and 1 ½ cups of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake to mix.
Spray the vinegar solution onto one section of glass on your window at a time. Allow the vinegar solution to eat through dirt, dust, bird droppings, and dead insects. Remove the excess solution and debris by swiping the rubber blade of a squeegee tool over the glass. Use a paper towel or clean cloth to wipe the residue off the blade. Repeat the process on each section of your window glass.
In some cases, you will notice streaks across the window glass after cleaning. Streaky glass may stem from improper drying or using an excessive amount of vinegar. To clean streaky glass panes, add the following to a bucket:
- 1 gallon of hot water
- 4 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol
Mix the ingredients and dip the squeegee tool into the solution. Swipe the rubber blade of the squeegee across the streaky glass panes. Dry off the rubber blade using a clean cloth. Dip the squeegee blade and swipe across other streaky glass panes, as well.
Time For Tracks
After cleaning your exterior and interior window frames and glass panes, you should also spend some time on the tracks where the window slides when opening and closing. Even though your windows are new, you should still wipe down the tracks periodically to prevent heavy buildup of dirt and dust.
Using the baking soda solution made for your window frames, spray a small amount in and on the tracks. Allow the solution to sit and soak into the tracks for 20 minutes. Use an old toothbrush to scrub in between the small sections of the tracks. After a few minutes, use a damp cloth to wipe away the remaining baking soda solution and dusty residue.
Installing new windows is a worthwhile investment for your home's value, but proper maintenance is imperative. Using these natural, non-toxic tips, you can easily clean your new window frames, glass panes, and tracks.