Blog > Category > Posted: 2022-Aug-27, Updated: 2023-Nov-20

Debunking 31 myths about window cleaning

Debunking 31 myths about window cleaning - for a brighter home
Sparkling clean windows not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of a home, but they also allow natural light in, creating a bright and inviting atmosphere. Unfortunately in the world of window cleaning, there are plenty of misconceptions that can inhibit the effectiveness of your cleaning, or even damage the window glass or sash.

In this story, we'll debunk some of the most prevalent myths surrounding window cleaning.

Cleaning solutions

By understanding the specific needs of your windows, you can choose the right cleaning solution and technique for optimal results without risking damage to your glass or coatings.

Myth 1.
Ammonia is always a good ingredient in window cleaners.

  • While ammonia can be effective for cleaning glass, it's not suitable for all types of windows.
  • Ammonia-based cleaners can damage tinted windows and certain coatings.
  • It's essential to check manufacturer recommendations and avoid ammonia on sensitive surfaces.

Myth 2.
Vinegar is the best all-purpose window cleaner.

  • While historically vinegar is a popular DIY cleaner, it may not be suitable for all windows.
  • Certain types of window frame materials, glass or coatings may be sensitive to acidic solutions.
  • Commercial window cleaners formulated for specific glass types can be more effective and safer.
  • Some people find the strong odour unpleasant.

Myth 3.
More detergent means better cleaning.

  • Using too much detergent in your cleaning solution can leave a soapy residue on the windows, leading to streaks and attracting more dirt.
  • Follow recommended dilution ratios and use a mild detergent for optimal results.

Myth 4.
Homemade cleaning solutions are always safe.

  • DIY solutions may work well, but not all homemade cleaners are suitable for all types of windows.
  • Be cautious with ingredients like vinegar and ammonia, and always test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure compatibility with the specific glass and coatings.

Myth 5.
All cleaning solutions are interchangeable.

  • Different types of glass and coatings may require specific cleaning solutions.
  • Low-E coatings, for example, may have unique cleaning requirements.
  • Always refer to manufacturer guidelines for the recommended cleaning solutions for your windows.

Myth 6.
Cleaning windows with hot water is always better.

  • Extremely hot water can cause cleaning solutions to evaporate too quickly, leading to streaks.
  • Use lukewarm water for cleaning, especially in sunny conditions

Cleaning materials

It's important to adapt your cleaning tools based on the type of glass and coatings on your windows. Always check manufacturer guidelines and test new tools or materials in inconspicuous areas to ensure they won't cause damage.

Myth 7.
Razor blades are safe for all window surfaces.

  • While razor blades can be effective for removing stubborn debris, they should be used with caution.
  • Using razor blades on certain coated or tinted windows can cause damage.
  • Always check manufacturer recommendations and avoid using razor blades on sensitive surfaces.

Myth 8.
Steel wool is a safe abrasive for cleaning windows.

  • Steel wool can scratch and damage glass surfaces, leaving permanent marks.
  • It is not recommended for window cleaning, as it can compromise the clarity of the glass.

Myth 9.
All sponges are suitable for window cleaning.

  • Some sponges may be abrasive and can scratch the glass surface.
  • Choose soft, non-abrasive sponges or microfiber cloths for effective and safe cleaning.

Myth 10.
Any towel can be used to dry windows.

  • Certain towels, especially those with coarse fibres, can leave lint on windows, creating a hazy appearance.
  • Microfiber towels are a better choice for drying, as they are lint-free and provide a streak-free finish.

Myth 11.
Metal scrapers are always necessary for window cleaning.

  • Metal scrapers, like razor blades, can be effective for removing paint or stubborn debris.
  • However, they should be used carefully to avoid scratching the glass.
  • Plastic or rubber scrapers are often safer alternatives for general window cleaning.

Myth 12.
Newspaper is the best material for wiping windows.

  • While newspaper was historically used for window cleaning, modern newspapers may contain inks that leave streaks.
  • Microfiber cloths or squeegees are often more effective in providing a streak-free finish.

Myth 13.
All commercial window cleaning solutions are the same.

  • Different formulations are designed for specific types of glass and coatings.
  • Always choose a commercial cleaner that is compatible with your windows, and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.

Glass sensitivity

By understanding the characteristics of different glass types, homeowners can make informed decisions about the appropriate cleaning methods for their windows, ensuring longevity and clarity.

Myth 14.
All windows are resistant to scratching.

  • Some windows, especially those with coatings or treatments, may be more susceptible to scratching.
  • Using soft cleaning tools and materials is crucial to prevent damage.

Myth 15.
All windows, regardless of glass type, require the same frequency of cleaning.

  • The frequency of cleaning may vary depending on the type of glass.
  • For instance, self-cleaning glass may require less frequent cleaning compared to other types.

Myth 16.
All glass types can be cleaned with the same solutions.

  • Different types of glass may have specific cleaning requirements.
  • Using a one-size-fits-all approach can lead to damage, especially for coated or speciality glass.

Myth 17.
Any cleaning cloth is suitable for all glass surfaces.

  • Some glass surfaces are more sensitive than others.
  • Using abrasive materials or rough cloths can scratch and damage certain types of glass, diminishing their clarity.

Myth 18.
All tinted windows can withstand harsh cleaning solutions.

  • Tinted windows can be sensitive to certain cleaning agents.
  • Using harsh chemicals can compromise the tint and clarity, so it's important to choose appropriate cleaning solutions.

Myth 19.
All Low-E coatings are applied to the same side of the glass.

  • Low-E coatings can be applied to different surfaces of the glass, depending on the intended purpose. Cleaning methods may need to be adjusted based on the location of the coating.


The approach to window screens can vary based on climate and personal preferences. Regular inspection, cleaning, and maintenance contribute to the longevity and effectiveness of window screens.

Myth 20.
Screens are maintenance-free.

  • Screens may require occasional maintenance.
  • Inspect for damage, repair tears, and replace damaged screens to ensure their effectiveness in keeping out insects.

Myth 21.
Screens don't need cleaning.

  • Screens can accumulate dirt, pollen, and other debris.
  • Cleaning screens is essential for maintaining a clear view and preventing dirt from transferring to windows during windy or rainy weather.

Myth 22.
Screens can be cleaned along with the windows.

  • It's more effective to remove the screens and clean them separately.
  • This allows for a more thorough cleaning and prevents dirt from falling onto freshly cleaned windows.

Myth 23.
Screens don't affect window clarity and crisp, clean viewing.

  • Dirty screens can obstruct the view and reduce the amount of natural light entering your home.
  • Regular cleaning contributes to a cleaner and brighter interior.

Myth 24.
Screens should be left on during winter.

  • Depending on the climate, removing screens in winter can allow more natural sunlight to enter the home, increasing passive solar heating.
  • External screens (hung and slider windows) are vulnerable to damage from strong winds, heavy snow, ice build-up, and freezing rain during extreme winter weather conditions.
  • Internal screens (casement and awning windows) may be prone to the effects of condensation and mould buildup during the winter season.

Handles & locking mechanisms

Myth 25.
Window handles don't require cleaning or regular maintenance.

  • Window handles can accumulate dirt and grime over time, neglecting cleaning can lead to stiffness and difficulty in locking or unlocking windows.
  • Cleaning window handles and locks is crucial for preventing corrosion and ensuring their smooth operation.
  • Regular cleaning of hardware and occasional lubrication is essential to ensure smooth operation and longevity.

The weather

The key to successful window cleaning is adapting your approach to the specific conditions on the day you choose to clean. With the right tools, techniques, and awareness of these myths, you can achieve sparkling clean windows in various weather conditions.

Myth 26.
Rainfall automatically cleans windows.

  • Rainwater can leave mineral deposits and dirt on windows as it dries, resulting in unsightly water spots.
  • Waiting for rain to clean windows is not a reliable strategy for maintaining a clear and streak-free appearance.

Myth 27.
Windows should only be cleaned on sunny days.

  • While sunshine is often associated with cleaning, it's not always the best weather for window cleaning. Cleaning solutions can dry too quickly, leading to streaks and an uneven finish.
  • Overcast days provide a more forgiving environment for effective cleaning.

Myth 28.
Window cleaning should be avoided in extreme heat.

  • Extremely hot weather can cause cleaning solutions to evaporate quickly, leading to streaks.
  • However, working in the early morning or late afternoon and using the right tools can help overcome this challenge.

Myth 29.
Humid weather hinders window cleaning.

  • Humidity can affect the drying time of cleaning solutions, potentially causing streaks.
  • However, with the right techniques and tools, it's still possible to achieve clean and clear windows in humid conditions.

Myth 30.
Window cleaning should be avoided in extreme heat.

  • Extremely hot weather can cause cleaning solutions to evaporate quickly, leading to streaks.
  • However, working in the early morning or late afternoon and using the right tools can help overcome this challenge.

Myth 31.
Window cleaning should be avoided in winter and cold weather.

  • While extreme cold can lead to freezing issues, generally, window cleaning can be done in cold weather.
  • Use appropriate tools and cleaning solutions that won't freeze, and work efficiently to prevent water from freezing on the glass.

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Need more information?

Regularly cleaning your windows is crucial for enhancing your home's visual appeal, creating a bright interior, and promoting a healthy living environment. Clean windows not only make a positive impression but also prevent the buildup of dirt and pollutants, contributing to the longevity of your windows and reducing the need for costly replacements.

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