Window film can enhance the beauty of your windows but can become unsightly once it becomes scratched, faded and dulled. Window film is made of several layers, including a mylar outer layer which can easily be scratched by paper towels or ruined by ammonia or vinegar. If you use the wrong cleaner on your film, it's possible to break down the adhesive layers and cause the film to peel, crack and deterioriate. Proper cleaning takes a little more time and the right cleaners, but it will result in a longer, brighter and cleaner life for your window film and your windows.
Step 1-Prepare Your Cleaner
In many parts of the country hard water is a problem. "Hard water" means water with excessive trace elements of lime, calcium, iron and minerals. These elements can build up over time, leaving scale or deposits that will slowly and permanently scratch your film. It's worth the extra expense to buy bottled water for cleaning your windows. Use the gallon sized water of distilled water available at most grocers. Minerals and other contaminants are filtered out so it can be used in irons and other appliances. Use this water and a few drops of baby shampoo in one of your spray bottles. Fill the other bottle with just the distilled water for rinsing.
Step 2-Clean Your Windows
Spray your windows with the distilled water and baby shampoo solution. Use a soft, 100-percent cotton (300 thread count or higher) cloth dampened with distilled water to clean any spots on the window. Don't rub, but use the cloth to loosen any spots on the window. Use your rubber or gel-edged squee-gee to squee-gee the water from the top to the bottom of the window. Use a vertical as well as a diagonal movement to squee-gee the window. Use the cloth to wipe up the water and soap mixture as it puddles at the bottom of the window.
Step 3-Rinse Your Windows
Once you've cleaned the windows with the spray mixture of soap and water, return again with clear water and rinse. Squee-gee the water to the bottom of the window and use your cloth to wipe up the water as it puddles at the bottom of the window. Do not allow water to sit or collect at the bottom of the window.
Tips For Cleaning Tinted Windows
- Clean in the morning or evening before the windows get warm. The Mylar is softer when it is warm and more likely to scratch.
- Use only distilled water to clean your windows to prevent microscopic scratching by minerals.
- Do not use ammonia or vinegar based cleaners. They will dissolve the adhesive and ruin the Mylar coating on the film.
- Do not use paper towels to clean windows. They contain wood fibers and will scratch your window film.