Caring for window frames with home remedies

Proper technique and the right accessories help make this housekeeping chore simple and rewarding. No special cleaning products are required to keep your windows clean and streak-free, you have the remedies right at home.

Caring for window frames with home remedies

Window coverings aren't only about design — they have to be functional as well. After all, they protect your home from drafts, heat and bright light as well as from prying eyes. Before the window-cleaning begins, a little prep work will help make the whole job easier.

First remove the curtains from the windows and any knickknacks from the windowsills. Also cover sensitive surfaces to protect them from drips. Do yourself a favour and get a real chamois cloth; it absorbs water more quickly and is easily squeezed out. With proper care it will last for years.

Curtains, drapes, blinds and accessories should be coordinated with the overall decor and proportions of a specific room. Choose your window fabrics and decorative elements only after you've decided on the overall feel you want.

Window frames

  • Vacuum the window frame joint with the appropriate nozzle on the vacuum cleaner before starting to clean with liquid.
  • Wipe wood window frames treated with clear glaze or varnish with a damp cloth. Replace the water frequently and to get them extra clean, rub them with a solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and tap water.
  • Clean painted window frames with a solution of 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) of ammonia in about 500 millilitres (two cups) of water.
  • Clean wooden window frames, then dry with a soft cloth.
  • Rub off flyspecks on wood frames using a rough rag moistened with water. Another option: clean them with a mixture of reduced-fat milk and cold water in equal proportions.
  • Stick with hot, soapy water for washing aluminum or plastic frames; scouring powder will scratch the frames.

Special cases

  • Modern stained glass is so strong that it can be cleaned as you would normal glass panes. Take greater care with old stained glass: simply wipe it carefully with a damp cloth. If the old glass is actually painted, don't wash it at all or you risk removing the colour. Instead, dust the panes with a soft brush.
  • Clean frosted glass with hot vinegar water to give it a dull sheen; then carefully wipe dry.
  • Dust etched glass with a soft brush, and clean the textured side of the glass with a chamois. You can simply squeegee the smooth side.

Windowsills

  • Apply a soft soap solution on windowsills to battle everyday dirt.
  • Remove water stains with a soft cloth moistened with a solution of equal parts rubbing alcohol and tap water.

Good to know

Avoid washing windows in the sunshine — the water dries too quickly on the panes and causes streaking. Cold days aren't ideal either because the glass is likely to be brittle. If you must wash windows in cold weather, add a dash or two of rubbing alcohol to the wash water.

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