Window Cleaning Hacks

Window Cleaners
Getting and keeping your home’s windows clean is really difficult, expensive and time consuming.  In fact, we wouldn’t blame you if cleaning your windows is probably one of your least favorite chores. That being said, sparkling windows make your home look great. And they can be easily achieved if you follow these simple window cleaning hacks.

Don’t use newspaper.
While recycling your newspaper and using it to clean your windows is a great, green effort- it leaves your window pane and fingers inky. Some people have even been known to have allergic reactions to newspaper ink getting on thei hands.  Use an unused coffee filter instead, for a streak-free, ink free, environmentally friendly shine.

Make your own cleaner
You’ve probably figured out by now that just spritzing on a little windex onto your windows doesn’t really get the job done. Ever wonder how professional window detailers get those panes to sparkle like new? The formula has been closely guarded by professionals for many years, but finally the secret is out. It’s not complicated or expensive at all, and you can make the cleaner with things you already have lying around at home. 

All you need is water, vinegar, and dish soap. Two parts water to one part soap and one part vinegar will work just fine, although there are plenty of different measurements that will all yield similar results.

Once you’ve mixed everything up, decant the mixture into an empty spray bottle. Spray (but don’t drench) your windows with it before wiping it away with a squeegee. Then rinse your window with a little water to avoid any film build up from the dish soap. Be careful to avoid adding too much dish soap to your formula for this reason.


Add a little lemon juice.
Lemon juice is naturally acidic, so is great for removing any gunk or residue on your windows. Add some to the natural cleaner you mixed for extra shine boosting properties.

Use a chalkboard eraser
If you’re still struggling to get rid of the streaks on your windows, head to your local craft store and pick up a new blackboard eraser. Then simply wipe the streaks away. If you do’t feel like braving your local craft store, a soft static-free t-shirt or diaper will work just as well. The trick is to use something that will get rid of streaks but not leave behind an additional residue of lint or dust.

Take care of the details 
Remember that if you take care of the details, your windows will always look flawless. Don’t be ashamed to wipe away marks with a q-tip or buffer out a scratch with some non gel toothpaste.

Remember that these tips are only to be used for interior cleaning. Always leave any hard to reach windows that would require a ladder to the professionals. As nice  as it is to have clean windows, it is definitely not worth sacrificing your safety for.

How to Paint Windows Without Painting Them Shut

Some people love to take the initiative and work on home improvement projects by themselves, and painting is no exception. It may seem pretty straightforward, but you have to be careful when painting windows. If you rush it and don’t take certain precautions, you could end up painting them shut. At Clear Window Restorations, we specialize in performing Portland, OR window replacement, repairs and restorations. We have written this guide to help you successfully paint your windows without gluing them shut.

Just like any other part of your house, the key to painting windows is preparation. Start by dusting the interior of the windows with a brush and washing the exterior with water. If you have wood windows, let them dry for at least 24 hours. If they aren’t wood, let them dry for a few hours. Put painter’s tape around the perimeter of the window frame, but not on the glass itself. Apply a light, even coat of primer to prevent it from building up in the seams of your window. Give the primer plenty of time to dry (at least two hours) and open the windows every 20 minutes or so to prevent it from sticking. After that you are ready to apply the paint. Make sure to use thin, even coats to avoid globs of paint forming, especially if you are painting the window jamb. It is also a good idea to paint the jamb and the window tracks first so that they have more time to dry. Like before, open and close your window a few times while the paint is drying to prevent it from sealing. Once the bottom coat is completely dry, apply another even coat of paint, once again being careful not to use too much paint. If you discover that your window is slightly stuck after the paint has dried, run a thin razor between the frame and the sash.

Windows that are unable to open really aren’t windows at all. If you follow these simple tips, you can enjoy great looking windows that actually open and close when you want them to.

How to Open a Stuck Window

Clear Window Restorations is a Portland home window repair company that has been fixing, cleaning and restoring windows in and around Portland since 2006. We know just about all there is to know about windows. Below, we have written some helpful tips that you can use to open those stubborn, painted-shut windows.

If you have wooden, sash windows, chances are you have tried to open one of them at one point to no avail. No matter how hard you push and pull, you just can’t get the window to open. This is most often caused by careless painting. Luckily, it is usually not too difficult to get those stuck windows open again. All you need is a putty knife, a small hammer, a pry bar, a small block of wood and some sandpaper. Start on the interior of the window and work your putty knife between the sash and the window frame. Run the putty knife around the entire frame. If the window still won’t budge, try gently tapping the end of the putty knife with a hammer as you work it around the perimeter of your window. If you try this and your window still won’t open, you may have to try a different approach. If it is accessible from outside, put a pry bar under the sill on one corner of the window. Tap the bar lightly with a hammer to wedge it under the sill. Once the pry bar is in place, put a piece of scrap wood underneath it to prevent damage to your window sill. Gently try to lift the sash with the pry bar, applying even pressure on each corner of the window. Once the sash is lifted, examine the tracks and look for any paint buildup. Sand away any rough spots. This will make it easier to open the window in the future.

Tips for Better Windows

Just imagine living in a house with no windows. No natural sunlight, no view, and no natural heating in the summer. It would be like living in a cave. However necessary they may be, there is a downside to having windows. They account for about 10% to 25% of your heating bill by allowing heat to escape from your home during the colder months. In the summer, your air conditioner has to work extra hard to cool the hot air emanating from your windows. There are plenty of things you can do to make your windows more energy efficient.

One thing you can do in the summer months to ease the load on your A/C unit is to use shades and curtains to keep your windows from getting heated by the sun. You can also tape a clear plastic sheet over the inside of your windows to prevent heat loss. Installing exterior or interior storm windows also helps, and can reduce heat loss by as much as 50%. If you live in a home with single-pane windows, you may want to consider upgrading to double-pane. They are much more efficient and look just as good. If you live in a colder climate, it’s a good idea to get gas-filled windows because they are great at reducing heat loss. For warmer climates, you can buy spectrally selective windows that reduce heat gain.

Clear Window Restorations is a highly trusted company that specializes in Portland residential window replacement and restoration. Replacing old and worn windows can actually save you money over time in energy bills, and can also make your home a more comfortable place during any season.