The Cleaning Experts at A Clean Streak answer your toughest cleaning questions.
Eric H. from Coupeville asks: Now that the holidays are upon us, I’m hoping you can help me with a seasonal cleaning question. Each year, my wife LOVES to beautify our windows with all of the kids’ holiday art projects — paper snowflakes, sparkly cut-out ornaments, cotton-ball snowmen, and even paper chains. While I appreciate the efforts of my budding Picassos, to be honest, I’m dreading the January clean-up so much that I’m thinking of placing a ban on any displays requiring tape on our windows! Do you have any tips you can share to help me remove stuck-on adhesives so I don’t turn into a modern day Scrooge?
A Clean Streak, The Window Cleaning Experts answer: Hi Eric. We understand your dilemma. When the holiday decorations only serve to remind you of unwanted chores, it takes a bit of the sparkle out of the whole season. Luckily, removing tape from window glass can be easily accomplished with just a few materials and not a whole lot of elbow grease!
- First, use your fingernails or the edge of a credit card to scrape up an edge of the tape. Pinch the exposed tape and gently, but quickly pull on it to remove it. If you think about removing a bandage, you’ll understand the technique – a quick pull won’t allow the adhesive to re-adhere as you’re working.
- When you’ve removed all of the tape you can, it’s time to raid the pantry. Pour some vegetable oil (yes, you read that correctly… we just suggested you wipe oil on to your windows) onto a paper towel or sponge, and dab it onto the stubborn adhesive until it has penetrated thoroughly (this may take a few minutes). Then, wipe the adhesive away with another soft sponge. Since many plastic and paper tapes are made with oil-soluble adhesives, this somewhat counter-intuitive approach is surprisingly effective.
- Finally, wash the glass with warm soapy water, squeegee it, and wipe with a lint-free cloth.
If you don’t have any vegetable oil handy, commercial products like WD-40 or “Goo Gone” can also do the trick. We’ve even experimented with white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Each has its own advantages, but we prefer the “vegetable oil” method since oil based adhesives dissolve so quickly when vegetable oil has been applied.
Thanks for your question Eric. We hope these tips will help you and our other readers embrace the beauty, fun, and family traditions of the holiday season without the worry of January clean-up chores.
We know that keeping all of your windows sparkling clean is important. The professionals at A Clean Streak provide the know-how and the manpower to get the job done the right way! Call us at 360-395-5748 for a free project estimate today.
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