How to Remove Stubborn Stains from Window Glass

by | Oct 11, 2023 | DIY Tips

Windows offers so much more than just a glimpse of the outdoors. They bring natural light into your home and transform every room from dark and dreary to bright and inviting.

However, over time, various stains can mar the clarity and beauty of your window glass. Stubborn stains, whether from hard water, paint splatters, grease, or mould, can be particularly frustrating to deal with.

Don’t let stubborn stains take over your windows and drastically reduce their shine! Especially before moving out if you want to keep your tenancy deposit. That’s why it’s essential to know how to clean them properly so that they stay sparkling for a long time.

The Different Types of Stains

Water Stains and Mineral Deposits

Water stains often result from the minerals present in hard water. It is normal for these stains to accumulate over time on your window glass, creating hazy spots on it.

Hard Water Stains

Hard water stains are a more stubborn form of water stains. It can be difficult to remove them because they can etch into the glass surface.

Paint Splatters and Residue

Paint splatters and residue can end up on your windows during home improvement projects or painting jobs. These can be unsightly and hard to remove without damaging the glass.

Grease and Oil Stains

Grease and oil stains can occur near the kitchen or if you live in an urban area with airborne pollutants. Typical cleaning methods may not be able to remove them, as they are known to adhere to glass.

Mould and Mildew

Mould and mildew stains thrive in damp environments. If your window frames or sills are exposed to moisture, these stains may develop on the glass.

Gathering the Right Cleaning Supplies

Basic Window Cleaning Tools

Before tackling stubborn stains, ensure you have the essential window cleaning tools, including a squeegee, microfiber cloths, a bucket, and a soft-bristle brush or scrubber.

Specialised Stain Removal Solutions

For specific stain types, consider specialised stain removers such as vinegar, lemon juice, citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, or commercial hard water stain removers. When using a cleaning product, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Safety Precautions

Always prioritise safety when cleaning windows. If you’re using a ladder, make sure it’s stable and placed on level ground. If you’re working with chemicals or climbing heights, wear gloves and safety goggles.

General Window Cleaning

Preparing the Area

Start by removing any items obstructing access to your windows. Lay down drop cloths to protect your floors from drips and spills.

Cleaning Debris and Dust

Prior to applying any cleaning solution to the glass surface, use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to clean the surface.

Washing with a Mild Detergent Solution

You will need to prepare a solution made up of warm water and a mild dishwashing detergent. Dip your scrubber or microfiber cloth into the solution, then gently scrub the stained area. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Rinsing and Drying

After cleaning, use a squeegee to remove excess water and prevent streaks. Dry the window with a clean, lint-free cloth to achieve a streak-free shine.

How to Remove Specific Stains

Water Stains and Mineral Deposits

  1. Use vinegar or Lemon Juice. Put some undiluted white vinegar or lemon juice on the stained areas and let it sit for a while. Rinse and dry after scrubbing with a soft brush or scrubber.
  1. Razor Blade Method. For stubborn water stains, carefully use a razor blade at a 45-degree angle to scrape off the stain. Keep the glass wet to prevent scratches, and lubricate with soapy water or a glass cleaner.

Hard Water Stains

  1. Commercial Hard Water Stain Removers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for commercial stain removers. Typically, you’ll apply the product, scrub gently, and then rinse.
  1. DIY Citric Acid Solution. Combine citric acid with water (2 tablespoons of citric acid per gallon of water). You need to apply it, scrub it, and then rinse it off.

Paint Splatters and Residue

  1. Softening Paint with Soapy Water. Soak a cloth or sponge in soapy water and gently rub the paint splatters. If the paint softens, remove it with a plastic scraper or your fingernail. Avoid abrasive tools that could scratch the glass.
  1. Gently Scraping with a Razor Blade. Use a razor blade at a low angle to carefully scrape off paint residue. Lubricate with soapy water or a glass cleaner to prevent scratching.

Grease and Oil Stains

  1. Dishwashing Detergent and Warm Water. Mix warm water with a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Scrub the stained area with a cloth or sponge, then rinse and dry.
  1. Baking Soda Paste. Make a paste with baking soda and water. Apply it to the stains, scrub gently, and rinse thoroughly.

Mould and Mildew

  1. White Vinegar and Water Solution. Put equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and mix well. Spray the solution on the mould or mildew stains, let it sit for a few minutes, scrub with a brush, then rinse and dry.
  1. Hydrogen Peroxide and Water Mixture. Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Apply, scrub, and rinse. Mould stains respond well to this method.

Tackling Stubborn or Older Stains

Stubborn or older stains can be a pain, but don’t give up! Keep at it – you might need to do a few cleaning sessions to get rid of them.

If all your scrubbing still doesn’t do the trick, it might be time to call in some experts. A window cleaning service could be your best bet.

Some Preventative Measures to Take

  • Regular Window Maintenance. To prevent stubborn stains from forming, clean your windows regularly. Cleaning regularly can help you catch and address stains early, reducing their persistence.

  • Using Protective Coverings. Consider using window coverings like blinds or curtains to shield your windows from potential sources of stains, such as grease in the kitchen or paint during home improvement projects.

  • Addressing the Source of Stains. Identify and address the source of stains. For example, fix leaky faucets to prevent water stains or take precautions to protect your windows during painting projects.

Final Thoughts

With the right know-how and the right tricks, it’s actually not that hard to remove those pesky stains from your window glass. You need to know what type of stain you are dealing with and use the right cleaning method and solution for it based on the type of stain.

Once you get that right, you can get back to enjoying the clear and beautiful view your windows provide, really sprucing up the look of your home. If the stain is really stubborn, you might have to hire a professional cleaning company.

Read through our useful guide for more information

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