Last Updated on October 2, 2023
Window clings can transform your windows into a creative canvas and brings a dose of creativity and color to any room. They come in all kinds of sizes, providing endless artistic possibilities and added privacy protection from sunshine too.
But, like all decorations, window clings need regular cleaning and maintenance in order to keep them looking their best. Often made from plastic or vinyl, these can accumulate dust, dirt, and even pollen over time.
Also, window clings that are not cleaned regularly will eventually become brittle and crack due to sun exposure, leaving them unable to stick to the window surface properly. However, you shouldn’t just throw them in the washer and hope for the best.
Proper care needs to be taken when cleaning your window clings, or they may be damaged in the process. There are several safe methods you can use that won’t harm the material yet still get your window clings looking good as new.
From mild detergent-water solutions to store-bought cleaners or even rubbing alcohol or vinegar, these cleaning tips will help you keep your window clings clean and beautiful for years. Here, we will explore how to clean window clings and provide some tips to do it safely and efficiently.
Learn the Material of Your Window Cling
The first step to properly cleaning your window cling is understanding what it’s made of. Some window clings are made of plastic or vinyl, while others may be made from paper.
Knowing the material type will help you decide which method and products are best for cleaning it safely and efficiently. For plastic or vinyl window clings, mild soap and water, along with a soft cloth, can gently remove dirt or grime build-up.
Be sure not to use products containing ammonia or harsh chemicals that may damage the material. For paper window clings, a dry microfiber cloth should be used to gently wipe off any dirt particles without damaging the paper’s surface.
Also, a light dusting with a feather duster will help keep it looking new and vibrant for years to come. Finally, never apply pressure when wiping down your window cling, as this could result in damage or discoloration caused by stretching out the material.
Preparing for Cleaning
Cleaning window clings a simple task that requires the right materials, a few minutes of your time, and some elbow grease. Window clings are delicate, so you should be sure to use gentle cleaning methods.
Avoid scrubbing or using abrasive cleaners that could damage the cling material. It’s best to remove the cling from the window before attempting to clean it.
Vacuum First and do a Little Dusting
Before you begin cleaning the window cling, it’s important to remove any large particles of dust or debris that may have accumulated. This can be done by lightly vacuuming the surface with a brush attachment.
This will make the actual cleaning process easier and more effective.
Choose a Cleaning Solution:
- Detergent and water
- Window cleaner
- Rubbing alcohol or vinegar
Choose an appropriate cleaning solution depending on the material of your cling. For example, detergent and warm water are often safe for most types of clings.
If unsure, test out a small area before using any cleaning solution on the entire surface. Window cleaner or rubbing alcohol can also be used if necessary to fight tougher stains.
Gather Other Materials Needed for Cleaning:
- Soft clothes or sponges
- Use a Bucket or bowl to mix detergent and water (if needed)
How to Clean Window Clings? The Best Cleaning Tricks
Cleaning With Detergent and Water
Step 1: Prepare a Mild Detergent Solution
Fill a bucket or bowl with lukewarm water and add a few drops of dish soap. The temperature should be neither too hot nor too cold; warm water helps dissolve and activate the cleaning agents in the detergent.
Make sure the cloth or sponge you use is completely soaked in the mixture but not saturated. Excess water can cause your cling to become stretched or torn during cleaning, so it’s important to get the right balance with your cleaning solution.
Step 2: Scrub without Damaging the Cling
When scrubbing off dirt and dust from window clings, take care not to rub too hard or scrub vigorously, as this could damage the cling itself. Use circular motions around all edges of each side of the cling, starting from one corner and working your way around until all surfaces have been treated equally.
Be sure not to miss any spots where dust may have accumulated in order to avoid leaving dirt streaks on your surface after drying is complete.
Step 3: Rinse Off the Soap Residue
After completely wiping down both sides of your window, cling it with a damp cloth, and rinse off any soap residue that may remain on its surface before drying. Use clean, clear water (not detergent) and gently wash away any remaining soap that might be present on either side of your cling.
This will help ensure that no streaks are left behind after you finish cleaning up!
Step 4: Air Dry Properly
Once you’ve finished rinsing off both sides of the window cling, allow it to air dry completely before replacing it onto its intended surface. Do not try using a hairdryer or other heating appliance, as this could potentially cause damage due to excessive heat exposure and shrinkage of the material itself.
Cleaning With a Window Cleaner
Step 1: Spray Window Cleaner Onto a Soft Cloth
Choose a product specifically designed for glass surfaces and make sure that it is safe to use on window clings. Take a soft microfiber or lint-free cloth and dampen it with the window cleaner.
Make sure that the cloth is not too wet, as this may cause streaks after drying. Gently apply the window cleaner to both sides of the cling using circular motions and overlapping strokes.
Step 2: Wipe Down Both Sides of the Cling
Once you have sprayed both sides of the cling with window cleaner, use a dry part of your cloth to wipe off any excess moisture and dirt from each side of the cling. Start at one end and slowly move back in overlapping strokes until all areas are wiped clean.
Ensure that you do not press too hard, as this can cause damage to the cling or leave residue behind on its surface. Also, make sure that you change your cloth if it becomes too saturated with dirt or window cleaner.
Step 3: Rinse and Air Dry
Rinse off any remaining dirt or products used for cleaning using fresh, clean water. For best results, use a spray bottle filled with room temperature water and mist evenly over both sides of your cling, avoiding saturating them completely.
After rinsing off all areas, gently pat them dry using a clean cloth or paper towels to remove any excess moisture without leaving smears behind on their surface. Once finished patting down all excess moisture from your window cling surface area, allow time for air-drying before sticking it back onto windows or other glass surfaces again.
Cleaning With Rubbing Alcohol or Vinegar
Step 1: Dilute the Cleaning Agent
Choose either rubbing alcohol or white vinegar as your cleaning agent and dilute it with equal parts of water in a spray bottle. Make sure that the concentration of the solution is mild, as strong concentrations could potentially discolor or damage window clings over time.
Fill the bottle half full of warm water and add ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol or white vinegar to the mixture. Shake the bottle to activate the solution before use.
Step 2: Spray and Wipe Down the Cling
Spray the solution evenly onto both sides of your cling, taking care not to saturate it completely. Use a damp cloth to gently clean both sides of the cling film, and make sure that all areas have been treated equally with the cleaning agent.
Pay special attention to corners and crevices as they are more prone to dirt accumulation.
Step 3: Rinse Off the Residue
Once the cling has been wiped clean, rinse it off with clear water to remove any remaining dirt or debris before drying it with another clean cloth or towel. Take another dry paper towel or cloth (one that has not been dipped into any cleaning solutions) and gently pat down the area so that any remaining liquid gets absorbed into the towel instead of pooling onto your flooring surfaces below.
Cleaning With Warm Water and Lemon Juice
If you’re trying to avoid harsh chemicals altogether, plenty of natural solutions can make your window clings look as good as new. For instance, you could try mixing together one part lemon juice and four parts a little warm water for a natural alternative to vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
The acidity in lemon juice will work to break down dirt and grime without leaving behind any residue. If needed, you can add some baking soda to the mixture for added cleaning power.
Follow up by rinsing off the cling with clear water and drying it completely before rehanging it on the window. Once your cling has been cleaned and fully dried, you can rehang it on the window or any other chosen surface.
Make sure that the surface to be hung is clean and dry first, and use a soft cloth to wipe away any dust or debris that may have collected on the area. Taking these steps will ensure that your cling is clean and ready for use! Once you’re done, enjoy your newly refreshed window cling with pride.
Repeat this process every few months to keep your cling looking new and vibrant.
Tips on Preventing Dirt Accumulation on Window Clings
1. Regular Wiping
To keep your window cling looking its best, you should wipe it down at least once a week. If it’s an area with high humidity or dust levels, then more frequent cleaning may be required.
When wiping the cling, use a gentle circular motion and make sure you don’t scrub hard, as this may damage the adhesive. Also, never use any abrasive cleaners on window clings, as they could cause irreparable damage.
Before giving it a wash, test your cling with a drop of water. If the colors don’t bleed or fade, then you’re good to go. If there’s mold growth on your reusable cling, use commercial cleaner and get rid of non-washable clings unless they can be reused like homemade ones from page protectors.
Disinfect them afterward and reprint/paint another image for reuse.
2. Removing Stains
If you notice any stubborn stains on your window cling, there are several ways you can remove them without damaging the material or destroying the adhesive backing. For light stains, apply some warm water and dish soap using a soft cloth or sponge and gently rub in a circular motion until the stain has been removed.
For tougher stains, you can opt for white vinegar, which is known to be effective at lifting dirt from surfaces without causing damage or discoloration. Simply mix one part white vinegar with three parts warm water, apply to the stained area using a soft cloth, and let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with clean water and drying thoroughly with another cloth.
3. Different Materials May Require Special Treatment
Be sure not to rub off too much because gel clings tend to shrink when they get wet.
Rubbing alcohol is great for removing dirt and residue from window clings, but it’s important to use this cleaner sparingly because it can also strip away a color from some materials. When using vinegar as a cleaner instead of rubbing alcohol, opt for white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, as the latter may leave behind an unpleasant smell after cleaning.
Make sure to use lukewarm water when creating your cleaning solution; too hot of water could damage delicate window clings that are made from fabric materials such as lace or velvet.
4. Preventing Future Build-Up
The best way to prevent future build-up of dirt is by regularly inspecting your window clings for signs of wear and tear so that any problems can be addressed promptly before they lead to further damage. You should also avoid placing them in direct sunlight as this can cause fading over time, as well as keeping them away from moisture sources such as showers and sinks, which can cause mold growth.
5. Proper Storing
To keep the clings in proper condition until they are next used, you can stick them onto a piece of wax paper or another similar surface. This is if you won’t be using them for some time.
This will keep their clinging surface clean until you use them again. Ensure the wax paper is flat against the pieces. Furthermore, if you have a lot of sunlight where your cling is placed, be aware that strong UV rays from direct sunlight can cause fading or discoloration in most window clings, affecting their performance over time.
To prevent this issue altogether, make sure to rotate your window clings regularly so they don’t get exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
6. Avoid Harsh Chemical Cleaners
It is also important to note that certain window cleaners can degrade window clings over time, so avoid using ammonia-based cleaners on surfaces where your cling is applied.
Can You Reapply the Window Clings After Removal?
Yes, you can reapply a window cling after it has been removed. However, you should be aware that some window clings may not stick as well the second time around due to their adhesive backing becoming less effective over time.
If possible, avoid removing and reapplying your window cling multiple times, as this can significantly reduce its lifespan. Additionally, make sure to clean the window surface thoroughly before reapplying the cling, as any dirt or dust particles can prevent it from sticking properly.
If your window clings don’t seem to be sticking as well as you’d like, you can do a few things to help. First, make sure the surface you’re applying them to is clean and free of any dust or debris.
You can also try wetting the surface slightly before applying the cling, which can help them adhere better. For larger clings, it’s also a good idea to apply them using moisture, as this will give them a better chance of staying in place.
To wet the surface before applying the cling, mix a little dish soap with cool tap water and shake well. Then simply spray the area where you want the cling to go and carefully slide the cling into place.
If there are any air bubbles trapped behind the cling, use your fingers to smooth them out. If you need to reposition the cling, just spray the new area with the soapy solution and then lift and move the cling to its new location.
You can also spray the back of the cling itself if you prefer. Additionally, if there are areas of your cling that don’t seem to stick well enough, try using a blow-dryer on low heat near the periphery of these areas – this will help create suction and make sure your cling stays in place securely.
What is the Best Way to Maintain Gel Clings Performance?
The best way to maintain gel clings is to keep them away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture, as these elements can cause fading or deterioration of the material. Clings should be stored in a cool, dry place when not being used.
Before putting the cling on your window or another surface, make sure it is clean and dry. When removing the cling from your window, use gentle pressure and try peeling it off slowly.
Make sure you hold onto the cling so that it does not rip or tear during removal. To reuse the gel cling multiple times, simply apply a thin layer of adhesive to both sides of the cling before placing it on your desired surface.
Be careful not to touch the adhesive with your fingers, as this can contaminate the glue and leave smudges on your cling. This method will help keep your gel clings looking bright and vibrant for longer.
Keep Your Window Clings Looking Spotless
Window clings are a great way to liven up your windows and make them more secure. To get the most out of them, they need care.
Give your window cling regular cleanings with mild detergents or special cleaners designed specifically for use on these adhesives, but handle with caution as susceptibility to damage is high.
For extra longevity, consider applying an appropriate protective film or coating that will block dust and dirt from sticking around too long; plus, try keeping it away from direct sunlight when you can.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to be able to keep your window clings looking spotless no matter what kind of messes occur.