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Windows could be overlooked surface for coronavirus germs, experts say

Windows could hold germs because they are usually not cleaned as often as countertops, doorknobs and light switches.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
horizontal background woman in isolation at home for virus outbreak or hypochondria .

SAN ANTONIO — Allergies are hitting us at the same time as COVID-19. Our windows, covered with pollen and allergens, are a trap for dust mites that aggravate allergies.

It turns out they could also hold germs for coronavirus. Research published in The Journal of Hospital Infection shows COVID-19 can live on glass for up to 4 days. Yikes!

While we’re spraying down our countertops, doorknobs and light switches, cleaning pros urge us to also wipe down our windows.  Yet, washing our windows is not just as simple as washing our hands. 

That’s why Fish Window Cleaning right here in San Antonio created the "Top 4 Window Cleaning Mistakes" you need to avoid during the COVID-19 pandemic – and any time of year.

Top 4 Window Cleaning Mistakes

  1. CLEANING AROUND WEATHER. Many people think a bright, sunny day will make it easier to see dirt and dust.  However, while our window Cleaning experts can work in sunshine, it might not be the same scenario for amateurs.  Too much sun can be tricky for DIY cleaners.  The sun can make your cleaning solution dry quickly, leaving behind streaks on the glass.  This is something our speedy window cleaner can easily overcome but can be very frustrating and time consuming for the average person.  It is often easier to clean windows on a cloudy day.  Also, do not be afraid of rain in the forecast, as it will not make the windows dirty. 
  2. RUSH THE JOB.  It’s never a good idea to wipe windows in a hurry.  You need to practice patience.  First, get rid of the dirt and dust.  Use either a brush to sweep it away or suck it up with your vacuum’s dusting attachment.  Next, spray on your cleaning solution. Remember a little solution can go a long way.   Let the cleaner sit on the glass for at least 60 seconds to give it time to lift any remaining dirt and dust off the surface, then start to wipe it away. 
  3. WIPE WITH NEWSPAPER . This might have worked for grandpa back in the day but cleaning glass with a newspaper is an old wife’s tale.  Newspaper contains some harsh chemicals, especially ink! A soft, microfiber cloth is a much better choice.  Microfiber is also super absorbent, leaves the glass shiny and is reusable.  You can toss a microfiber cloth in the wash and use it again. 
  4. SKIP SAFETY.   Just because you wash windows yourself, don’t skip safety. Wear gloves if your skin is sensitive to cleaning product. Turn on a fan of some sort while cleaning windows inside to make sure air is circulating while using cleaning supplies. Use the buddy system when using a ladder or step stool to clean hard-to- reach windows or second story exterior windows.

**The U.S.  leads the world in ladder safety deaths and most fatal ladder accidents are from falls of less than ten feet. 

  • Make sure the ladder is firmly fixed to the ground and wear slip-proof shoes. No flip- flops!    

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