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A Complete Guide To Cleaning Jalousie Windows

Windows provide an entryway for fresh air and light into the interior while contributing to the house’s aesthetics. The jalousie windows effectively achieve these functionalities due to the unique design that allows for adjustments to meet different air circulation requirements.

However, the efficiency of the windows for the highlighted functionalities depends on the state of the windows. Dirty and streaky jalousie windows block out light and look unsightly, regardless of the state of the interior of the house. 

Read on for insight into what jalousie windows are, their features, benefits, tips, and, most importantly, a guide on cleaning the jalousie windows.

What are Jalousie Windows 

Also known as louvered windows, jalousie windows have been used since the 1900s. However, widespread usage peaked in the 1960s, especially in the south, where homes needed cooling during the hot summers. The window type features layered horizontal slats akin to the popular Venetian blinds. 

The slats are typically made of glass, though acrylic, wood, and metal variants exist. Using the integrated crank mechanism, you can control the opening, closing, and even the slat angle to control airflow or keep out the rain.

How to Clean Jalousie Windows

The Jalousie windows’ unique design requires a different cleaning approach than standard window panes. A hose down or scrubbing using soapy water, as you would with regular windows, introduces dirt to the planes below or into the crevices. The smart design of these windows enables you to remove the individual panes for a more thorough cleaning easily. However, you can wipe the slats while in place for dust and smudges.

Thus, the cleaning style of the windows depends on the amount of dirt and level of cleaning required. The cleaning levels range from light dusting to scrubbing using detergents and other solutions. Regularly used rooms or facing open spaces such as the driveway require more intensive cleaning than those in more enclosed spaces.

How to Light Clean Jalousie Windows While in Place

For cleaning smudges and dust without removing the slats, use the following methods;

Water and Soap

For this method, with the slats in place, follow the following process:

  • Fill a bucket halfway with water. Add detergent solution and swirl to form a foam.
  • Dip a microfibre cloth in the soapy water and wring it out.
  • Wipe the outside frame
  • Fold a putty knife with the cloth, pass it between the louvers from the top, and work your way down to the other panels.
  • Wipe the glass panels.
  • Replace the soapy water with fresh water, rinse the rag and wipe the window.

Duster and Vacuum

A feather duster or a small handheld vacuum attachment should work for simple dusting, especially if you clean the windows regularly. Start with the window frame and lightly dust or vacuum it. The vacuum should ideally be in a low setting. Adjust if required, especially for caked dirt.

Starting with the top glass panels, tilt the pane and dust between the louvers using the feather duster. If using the vacuum, select the thinnest attachment to access the narrow sections for this step.

Once finished, wipe the window and panels with a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth or let them air-dry.

Water and Denatured Alcohol

Also known as methylated spirit, denatured alcohol is available at hardware stores and contains 70% alcohol, carbonol, methyl alcohol, water, and other additives. When cleaning the window, mix the denatured alcohol with equal parts water to attain a concentration that evaporates slower.

This provides a quick and easy way to clean jalousie window screens. Spray the mixture on a clean microfiber towel and wipe the window. Denatured alcohol dries fairly quickly without cloudy hazing or streaking. For that extra buff, use a crumpled newspaper or paper towel.

Plain Hot Water

Very hot water and a microfiber towel clean the jalousie windows effectively. You do not require any detergent solution, as the water removes most types of dirt, including grease and smudges. All you need are rubber gloves to protect you from the heat. Dip the clean cotton rag in the water and wipe down the slats on the window.

For regular cleaning, especially if your windows face an open area such as a field or driveway, you might consider a steam cleaner for the windows. This method neither requires chemicals nor other additives.

First, prepare the steam cleaner by checking the functional parts, then add distilled water. Turn on the steam cleaner and as the water heats up, prepare your lint-free microfiber cleaning rag and place several over the sill to catch run-off water.

Once the water is ready, using long passes, apply the steam using the pressure washer on the glass panes, either side to side or top to bottom. Finally, wipe down with a rag. If the frames and sill need cleaning, use the jet setting to coax out any trapped debris including vegetation matter before wiping them dry.

Waterless Cleaning

Sometimes you dedicate hours to clean jalousie windows, only to end up with streaks. This happens mostly during the hot weather season or if cleaning under direct sunlight. As water is the primary cause of the streaks, you may opt to use waterless methods for cleaning the windows.

Opt for a warm but humid day to clean the windows. The extra humidity comes in handy to replace the water and aids in the gradual air-dry. The common waterless methods are described below.

Paper Towels and Newspapers

For light cleaning and dusting, paper towels and newspapers provide a shiny and streak-less window finish, crump them and, using medium pressure to avoid breaking the slate, wipe using a circular motion technique. If you have dirt stains, spray using a cleaning solution, then wipe the stain off with the paper.

However, avoid wetting the paper too much, as it will either come apart or leave ink stains on the glass window. For this method, choose a warm, humid day to avoid excess moisture on the surface and rapid drying, which causes streaks.

Commercial Window Cleaners

Commercial cleaners come in handy if you want to avoid delving into a DIY windows cleaning job. While a good number do suffice, the demand for the products has resulted in variants that can damage windows and burn your hands due to the high acidity concentration. Nonetheless, the results can be stunning with the right quality product, amount, and a lint-free soft rag or squeegee.

Deep Cleaning Jalousie Windows Glass Panels

Before cleaning, assess the slats for any signs of damage, such as cracked glass or loose screws. These may damage the assembly or injure you as you disassemble. Then remove the slats by angling them at approximately 45 degrees, then ease them out of the holding tracks. Avoid stacking the slats-relocate them one by one, with each separate from the rest of the other panels to the cleaning area. The best areas to clean them include:

Bathtub and Large Basin

Carefully place the slats in a tub full of warm water and detergent and let them soak for a while. If there are stains or stubborn dirt, use a microfiber rag to wash by scrubbing gently. Rinse panels separately with running water. Either from the tap or shower and wipe with a clean and dry cotton rag.  

A large basin does suffice if you do not have a bathtub. Repeat the process as you would in a bathtub starting from the soak stage. However, ensure you have a clean and carefully place on a flat surface, such as countertop or clean floor nearby to place each slat during the process.

Once clean and dry, tilt the glass holding track at a 45-degree angle and push the slats back into position properly. Recheck all the screws, ensure the edges are flush and test the window mechanism by tilting the panels at different positions.

Spray Bottle and Vinegar Mix

White vinegar is a handy cleaning solution and works especially for grease and mineral deposits, for example, calcium deposited during construction and bird droppings, without the effects of harsh chemicals such as reacting with the metallic parts of the windows.

The white vinegar mixed with distilled water accords a sparkling streak-free shine-using any other type of water may cause chemical reactions with the vinegar, leaving deposits and streaks on the window.

Experts recommend cleaning the jalousie windows using this mixture over spring and fall when the temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter conditions, especially over summer, lead to rapid drying and, consequently, streaking. 

For starters, mix a quarter cup of vinegar with two cups of fresh water and a half teaspoon of dishwashing detergent in a spray bottle. If you find the vinegar smell repulsive or prefer a particular smell, add 10 to 15 drops of the scent and shake the spray bottle thoroughly.

If you plan to clean immediately, use lukewarm water rather. Consider labeling the bottle as the mixture is storable for a long time for later use. Secondly, remove the window slats and lay them on a flat surface. Spray with the mixture and scrub with a microfiber clean cotton rag or soft brush. Rinse down with a hose and allow the slats to dry completely.

Conclusion

While the highlighted methods and tips mostly focus on a guide to cleaning windows’ slates or panels, the frames and sills also require attention. Bird droppings, insects, dirt, and small bits of vegetation often find their way into the crevices. Wiping does not work for these narrow crevices.

A vacuum cleaner on the narrow brush attachment helps agitate the dirt, or a putty knife wrapped in a cloth to pry out any caked dirt and other debris. All in all, the secret to clean jalousie windows with or without water primarily depends on the cleaning solution, the tools used, the cleaning method, and other factors such as the state of the weather.

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