Washing Windows In Cold Weather – Tidy Tuesday

Window in cottage websizeI’m getting a bit of cabin fever here.  We’ve had a pretty nasty winter and that could be part of the reason why I’m getting anxious to get going on my spring cleaning.

One of the spring cleaning chores that, in my opinion, yields the greatest reward is washing the windows.  After a few months of winter weather, the windows always look so dirty and there is nothing cleaner looking than a crystal clear view out of a window.

It may be another whole month before I can even think about attempting to wash the outside of my windows, but I was already contemplating the best way to go about washing windows in cold weather.  I did a little bit of research and came up with a couple rather bizarre suggestions and was wondering if anyone has actually tried them.  Here they are:

1)  Use automobile windshield washer fluid with anti-freeze for windows outside.  This makes sense, yes, but what are the negatives?  I can think of one right out of the gate, which is that anti-freeze is poisonous to animals.  So, if there are pets wandering around the yard, anti-freeze puddling at the base of the windows would not be a good idea.  You may be able to avoid that by putting down a tarp or papers to catch the drips and promptly removing them.  Has anyone had experience with this method?

2)  Adding alcohol to a regular vinegar and water solution is another suggestion.  I’m assuming that would be rubbing alcohol.  Aside from the odor, what would be the disadvantage to this method?

3)  Salt added to water may also work for cold weather window washing.  Dissolve a generous amount of salt in a spray bottle filled with water.  This method sounds reasonable, but I’m not convinced it would clean as well as the vinegar and alcohol mixture.  What do you think?

One thing that is agreed upon by everyone I’ve talked to is that hot water on cold glass is a no-no.  Glass expands and contracts with hot and cold so a blast of hot water on cold glass could cause damage like cracking.  As a rule of thumb, never wash your windows when it is below freezing (32 degrees F) outside.

It seems that, in order to avoid problems, you should wait for warm weather to wash the outside of your windows.  However, there are methods for washing your windows if you absolutely need to in temperatures that are cold, but above freezing.  Once the weather improves and reaches a reasonable temperature, I think I’ll give one of these methods a try on one of my smaller windows.  Not only am I curious, but I’m anxious to get my windows sparkling again.  Spring can’t come too soon!

p.s.  If you’re anxious to start scraping away the winter dirt, check out these Spring Cleaning Tips For Mom and start planning for your first warm day, too!

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6 Responses to “Washing Windows In Cold Weather – Tidy Tuesday”

  1. sindy Says:

    The antifreeze method works. Don’t worry about the critters-just use a spray bottle! No drips or slopping involved! I use it inside too on mirrors. NEVER streaks. Don’t let your pets up on the sink and allow them to lick the mirrors while you’re spraying and all will be good. :)

  2. Chris Says:

    One of my dearest memories of my husband’s late aunt involved my dirty windows. We were rehabbing our first home and at the same time I had just had our first daughter, 6 weeks premature, so we had a lot on our plates. Auntie came by to see our new home and her first comment was, “this would be a nice place if you’d just wash the windows”. We got a big chuckle out of it, and everytime I wash my windows I think about Aunt Esther.

  3. Heidi Says:

    I use a mixture of one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of water and one tablespoon of white vinegar for my window washing. Pour the ingredients in an inexpensive spray bottle. It also work great as a counter top cleaner and disinfectant. It work great. The alcohol evaporates quickly and leaves no streaks.

  4. Loretta Says:

    I wash windows all year around with just one simple method. Newspaper!!! Yes, wet one sheet of newspaper, crumple it up, and wash away. Inside or out. Then use another sheet of crumpled up newspaper to dry. Be sure to dry. Looks great, no streaks and when you are finished the whole thing can just be thrown in the trash. I use it on outside windows, inside winds, mirrors, etc.

  5. Boise Window Cleaning Says:

    Another thing about washing windows in extremely cold weather is that windows are not always a great insulator, therefore the windows put off a little heat and prevent freezing. We have a lot of experience with this in Boise Idaho.

  6. Harriet Hubbell Mike Says:

    What would be good for window that has calcium build up on them.

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