Why Are There Streaks on my Window?

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You imagine your ideal Portland area home with sparkling clean windows. However, despite how well you think you’ve cleaned your windows, you still end up with streaked with unsightly spots. These window streaks are caused by washing your windows with hard water. Hard water in Portland can cause damage to your windows, especially if they are tinted.

Many people think that water is just water. However, there are actually two basic kinds of water, hard water and soft water. The words “hard” and “soft” when applied to water have nothing to do with the way the water feels. Whether the water is hard or soft is dependent upon the mineral content of the water.

Hard Water

Hard water is the most common type of household water. As rain falls, the water seeps into the ground and makes its way into an underground aquifer. The water from the aquifer eventually emerges as part of a well or spring. On its journey through the ground, the water picks up minerals from rocks, typically calcium, lime, magnesium, and sulfur. After these minerals reach a concentration of at least one grain per gallon (gpg), the water is classified as hard. Cleaning your windows with hard water will result in window streaks.

Soft Water

Soft water has very little mineral content, less than 1 gpg. Soft water does not come from underground and therefore has not come into contact with minerals. Soft water is rather surface water found in rivers and lakes, or collected as rainwater.

Hard Water Portland?

Hard water in Portland is not a major problem if you live in the greater Portland area as your tap water likely comes from the Bull Run Watershed where the water is typically ¼ to ½ gpg. However, if you live in an area outside of the city, you may have more of a hard water Portland problem if your tap water comes from a different source. Even if your water is soft, reduce the chance of window streaks and damage to your tinted windows by cleaning them with demineralized bottled water.

The Best Way to Clean Your Tinted Windows

Avoid using hard water which will leave mineral deposits in the form of window streaks on your tinted windows. Also, do not use popular cleaning products, especially those containing ammonia. Tinted windows should be cleaned with a soft cloth and demineralized water. You may add a small amount of baby shampoo. There are cloths on the market specially designed for use on tinted windows. With the right cleaning products and techniques, your home will remain bright and free from window streaks.

Window Tinting Portland

Tinted windows add comfort and value to your home. They cut down on glare and energy costs, protect your furniture from the sun, and come in a variety of color tints to enhance your décor. Pacific Window Tinting is the premier Portland window tinting expert for both residential and commercial properties. Contact us today to learn how tinted windows can improve your home or office.