Tinted window films are changing the landscape of residential and commercial buildings alike. They are a cost-effective way to upgrade your home or office without the need for a full window replacement but cleaning tinted windows can quickly turn into a nightmare. Fear not! In this guide, you’ll find useful tips and tricks on how to clean tinted windows in your home.

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But before we get into the cleaning details let’s see what are the pitfalls of cleaning tinted windows.

A word of caution

When cleaning tinted windows, one should be a notch more careful and selective about what cleaning products and equipment to choose for the job. You should avoid using sharp blade squeegees, paper towels and newspapers because they can leave scratches on the tinted glass surface. Also, you must avoid using an ammonia-based cleaning solution. It breaks down the adhesive layers of the window tint or the solar control film which are made of a polyester base or more specifically from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The film will start to fade, crack, shell off and disintegrate.

The deal with ammonia and tinted windows

Ammonia is a substance found in a lot of glass cleaners. However, it’s not advisable to buy and clean with them not only for the reasons mentioned above but also because the chemical is harmful to your health. When cleaning your windows inside, ammonia fumes will accumulate in the enclosed space and can cause coughing, nose and throat irritation or even burning of the respiratory tract.

Another rather key factor and negative aspect of these glass cleaners is that they will not exactly make your windows smear-free. The ammonia solutions tend to leave streaks across the glass. Then, you will need repeatedly to wash the same window only, so you can achieve the shining effect you are striving for.

Is it safe to use a commercial window cleaner on tinted windows?

When shopping for commercial window cleaning solutions, like Windex for example, look carefully at their contents, avoid strong cleaning agents, go for the mild ones and for the ammonia-free glass cleaners. A preferable and budget-saving alternative is to make your own homemade eco-friendly window cleaning solution with the help of distilled water, white vinegar and mild dishwashing liquid. To find how to prepare the solution and what techniques to use to clean your windows, read our helpful blogpost on how to clean your windows.

But let’s get back to our effective method on how to wash tinted window glass and see what supplies you’ll need to get the best result.

Tools you’ll need:

  • 2 Microfibre or soft, lint-free cotton cloths;
  • 2 Spray bottles;
  • A rubber squeegee;
  • A telescopic pole;
  • A stepladder;
  • Distilled water;
  • Mild dishwasher liquid;
  • White vinegar.

How to clean tinted house windows step-by-step:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with a solution made of 2 cups of distilled water, 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.
  2. Spray the tinted glass surface with the solution and wipe with a microfibre cloth. This will loosen the accumulated dirt.
  3. Wipe away the soapy water off the tinted glass using a squeegee. Move the tool vertically and horizontally from top to bottom to squeegee the window. Remove any suds from the windowsill and frames with a dry soft cloth.
  4. Rinse the glass surface by spraying it with a clean distilled water. Use the squeegee to remove the excess water and then, wipe the glass surface with the dry microfibre cloth. Be careful not to leave any wet spot behind, especially on the frames and on the sills.

Use a telescopic pole or a stepladder if necessary for high and out-of-reach windows. For an easier time, attach a two-way squeegee or a sponge to the extendable pole to clean your tinted window.

A few handy cleaning tips

  • Newly tinted windows need time for the tint/ film to set. Usually, 30 days after installation is enough time. Still, the weather conditions should be taken into consideration. If it is a cooler period with high humidity, it’s advisable to wait a bit longer before cleaning the windows.
  • Condensation and water bubbles under the film are not a sign of installation gone wrong or that the film is of low quality. This is a normаl effect for a newly tinted window glass. It usually takes up to three months for the underside of the film to dry completely. However, you can still clean the window after 30 days post the installation.
  • Tinted glass windows reduce the amount of heat that is transferred through the glazing and during the day they tend to heat up. That is why it is preferable to clean them in the morning or in the evening before the window panes get warm.
  • Cleaning your tinted film windows regularly and safely will extend their lifespan. High-quality window films can last up to 15 or 20 years if they are properly treated and maintained.

How to get nicotine off tinted windows using vinegar

Vinegar is known as a universal cleaning agent and it’s a really good solution for window cleaning. As mentioned above, when you wash your tinted windows, you should be careful not to damage the tint/ film. Although vinegar is acidic, it’s safe to use for this type of windows. It’s the perfect cleaner when you have to tackle nicotine stains on the tinted glass.

Here’s the detailed process step-by-step:

  1. Mix in a spraying bottle equal parts water and white vinegar. If you would like to neutralise the smell of vinegar, add into the solution 3 lemon rinds and a few drops of an essential oil of your choice. Close the bottle and shake it. Leave the mix to infuse for a week.
  2. Spray the tinted window with the mix and leave it for a couple of minutes. During that time the nicotine from the tinted glass surface will disintegrate. Afterwards, it would be easier for you to rub the glass with a non-abrasive sponge or with a microfibre cloth and to break off the stains.
  3. Clean off the solution with a squeegee. Then, polish the tinted window with a microfiber cloth and remove any wet spots left behind on the sill and the frames.

All these cleaning and maintenance tips are also very helpful if you want to remove nicotine stains from your window frames. But what if the tinted film has been damaged and needs replacement? How do you get rid of the glue that’s left on glass? Here’s the answer:

How to clean tinted window glue

Before you put the new film layer you have to clean the glass to perfection from the glue residue. How do you do that? By following this simple procedure:

  1. Remove any furnishings in front or around the window and cover the carpet to avoid any damage from the cleaning process.
  2. Take a clean microfibre cloth and soak up the cloth with acetone (nail polish remover).
  3. Wipe with circular motion the glue off your window. Be patient as it might take a little more elbow grease to get rid of the glue.
  4. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you get to a sparkling clean glass.

Professional window cleaning by Fantastic Services

Well, all the above methods are pretty straightforward to apply. But if you don’t have the time to clean your tinted windows or you’re too apprehensive about causing damage to the film, why not entrust the job to the Fantastic window cleaning experts?

We employ proven and effective techniques, which never fail to bring the following benefits:

  • Professional results by qualified, experienced and insured local pros;
  • Streak-free glass by using an advanced water-fed extension pole window cleaning system with purified water only;
  • No risk of damage and scratches, as we employ a natural drying technique and no abrasive chemicals and tools;
  • Always saving you time and effort, and the risk of injury, so you can enjoy some extra minutes to yourself.

Let the window cleaners from Fantastic Services take care of your tinted windows. Click more to see how they can help you out.

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Takeaways

  • Always try to go natural and avoid using harsh chemicals, such as ammonia, when cleaning tinted windows.
  • Fresh-tinted glass should not be cleaned for at least 30 days after installation.
  • Never wash your tinted windows in hot weather but choose the cooler hours of the day.
  • To ensure the long life of your tinted window, clean the glass regularly and in the right way.

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Do you think our post is worth sharing? Then, please, do! And if you have some extra tips on cleaning tinted windows, then, let our readers know about them in the comments below!

Header Image Photo Source: Shutterstock / Author Stephen Finn

  • Last update: June 20, 2019

Posted in Window Cleaning Tips

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