Clean sparkling streak-free glass on your bifold doorsPosted 23rd March 2016 in Blog
Your new bifold doors look stunning. The uPVC, aluminium or timber frames you have chosen complement your home perfectly, and the natural light that comes streaming into the room makes the whole house feel airier and somehow bigger. Even on this cold day, the energy-efficient glazing is keeping you room perfectly cosy, and you can’t wait for the weather to warm up to open those doors for superb access to the garden.
Naturally, you’ll want to keep your doors looking as fabulous as the day they were installed.
Previous blog articles have looked at just how easy-to-maintain bifiold doors really are. Treated with a little TLC, a short simple service of the hinges and runners once or twice a year, and cleaning the door frames with mild washing up liquid solution every now and again will see your doors retaining their good looks and trouble-free service for years to come.
But this article will focus on how to keep the glazing on your doors tip-top condition and looking their best.
Any supermarket will be well stocked in window cleaning products: a vast array of solutions and sprays promising perfect windows. These supermarket spray and wipe products can certainly seem a convenient solution, if often overpriced. But a common complaint is that the off-the-shelf products very often contain soaps and minerals. These leave traces of suds and scum which result in your windows having annoying streaks and smears on the glass.
The following guide features some incredibly cheap, simple, tried-and-tested methods and tips that will keep all your glass surfaces looking faultless, not just your bifold doors.
- Choose your time of day. A leading cause of streaky windows is cleaning them in direct sunlight. Sunny days make the windows dry too quickly, leaving those wretched streaks and smears. Best to clean on a cloudier day or at a different time of day; out of direct sunlight.
- Clean the interior side of the bifold doors first. Exposed to the elements, the outside (exterior) of your doors will inevitably be dirtier than the inside. Cleaning the interior glass first will help prevent your cleaning tools contaminating the inside panes with dirt from the outside.
- Brush the worst off. Using a clean, soft-bristled hand brush, gently brush off any surface dust.
- Use soft water. If you live in a hard water area, consider cleaning windows with softened / filtered water or even distilled water. The limescale and minerals present in your tap water can be a leading cause of the deposits and streaks you see on your glass.
- Clean the glass with an ordinary vinegar solution. Mix one part white distilled vinegar with one part (softened) water and put in a (clean) spray bottle. Spray onto the glass and rub glass clean with a new sponge or 100% cotton cleaning cloth or rag (synthetic cleaning cloths are far less effective). This old housewives trick is incredibly effective at cleaning glass.
However if the smell of vinegar puts you off this idea, try a solution of cornstarch (one teaspoon dissolved in a mug of soft water). If your windows are particularly dirty, try a borax solution (approx. 2 tablespoons dissolved in 3 cups of water).
- Wipe off solution with a clean squeegee blade. Using either consistent horizontal or vertical strokes (each overlapping by about 2 inches), use a good quality 10-12” squeegee blade to wipe off the solution. The squeegee rubber blade should always be soft and in good condition (no nicks or warping); so clean it every few strokes, rinse it well after use, and store it carefully.
- Buff the windows dry. Once you have finished using the squeegee to remove most of the cleaning solution, buff the glass dry. Many people swear by using crumpled up dry newspaper to buff their windows to a lovely shine – black and white print works better than colour print for some reason. Large coffee filter papers (unused of course) are a more expensive alternative here, as is a clean microfibre cloth or chamois leather - although at least you won’t get newsprint on your hands.
- Use toothpaste on scratches. The highly-rated Staycool glazing we feature on our bifold doors is incredibly tough and resilient to the harshest weather conditions. However, should you ever notice any slight surface scratches, try rubbing some mildly-abrasive toothpaste on the area with a clean cloth, then wiping the excess away. The toothpaste acts as a filler, magically removing the appearance of the scratch.