Boy we have hard water where I live. How hard is it, you ask? Our water is so hard that rocks tremble when the pump in our well starts. Our water is so hard that when I turn on the faucet water comes out but by the time it hits the bottom of the sink it turns into pebbles. Our water is so hard—well you get the idea.
After years of not cleaning windows I just gave up. That seemed fine with my hermit type husband who would have a house without any windows. How depressing would that be? But then one day I got brave, deciding to tackle those snippets of double sided looking glass. Windows are our link to the world letting in sunshine and keep us up on the happening of our neighbors. The outside panes of our windows had been “washed” by sprinklers for years and were so covered with hard water spots they looked like they were painted white-needing a jack hammer to remove the deposits! Guilt finally forced me to screw up my enthusiasm slap on determination and face the music.
First; decide on a cleaner use, or which old wives tale concoction to whip up. There’s the ever popular straight vinegar. Half vinegar half water. Half window cleaner and half vinegar. Maybe vinegar and clothes soap. Possibly vinegar and some baking soda to bubble off the hard water. Do you get the feeling that vinegar is a staple in the window washing process? I’ve tried them all. What I finally found worked for me was a little lime dissolving stuff I bought at a hardware store mixed in water, and an SOS pad. In my case SOS stands for scrub off scales! Wet the window with a hose, soak the SOS pad in bucket of cleaning concoction then lightly, ever so lightly scrub at the white muck of lime. Go lightly as to not scratch the glass or the next time the lime deposits start to grow they hang on for dear life and you really will need a jack hammer. You can probably guess how I know that.
Next; drying. Again going with an old wives tales I tried newspaper. Don’t try newspaper. When you crumple up newspaper you get a big gob of yuck and black hands. After that fiasco I went to my old standby; paper towels. It takes a lot of paper towels to wash windows. The sad thing about using paper towels on windows is that you can’t reuse them. Come on now, who out there uses paper towels then saves them for just one more use? People, they are paper towels, one use then toss’em. My squeaking tightness hates to use them just once too, but be strong. Unless you buy stock in a paper towel company find another way to dry those portholes.
I learned from a friend that squeegees are handy tools. I thought squeegees were just for professionals. Well you have got to get a squeegee. They make washing windows as easy as falling off a log. After scrubbing, the window feels smooth. Yes–smooth as glass! Then spray whatever normal cleaner you use, squeegee it off and wha-la you can see outside. Yes outside, where weeds are growing, the lawn needs mowed, neighbors have let their dog use your grass as a bathroom-again. Ah!! Now I see why my husband wants a windowless house.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.