learning the basics of home septic systems
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learning the basics of home septic systems

A septic system is something that is easily forgotten until something goes horribly wrong. What should you avoid running down your kitchen sink? Is one type of toilet paper safer to use than another? How often does your septic tank really need to be cleaned? These were just some of the questions that I had about my septic tank after it had backed up and filled my yard with raw sewage. Since then, I have spent hours researching septic systems so that I would not have to go through that again. I have developed my website to make learning about septic systems a little easier for others like me.

learning the basics of home septic systems

Live By The Sea? How To Keep Your Windows Clean

Matthew Young

If you are fortunate to live along the coast, you enjoy all the advantages of being in proximity to the ocean – shell hunting, surfing, snorkeling, and hearing the soothing sound of ocean waves at night.  If you're lucky, you may even have a view of the sparkling sea.

Unfortunately, the salty sea air can be hard on your beautiful picture windows. That gentle ocean breeze can carry salt far inland depending on your climate, wind patterns and presence of any mountains. The result is an ugly residue that makes your windows cloudy. Sea birds that live along the coast seem to be attracted to glass windows, leaving plenty of droppings. Don't let the salt and the birds keep you from enjoying the privilege of living along the coast! Here's what you can do to keep your windows clean and sparkling.

Clean Regularly

The best way to keep salt buildup off your windows in the first place is to wash them regularly. Here are a few different cleaning remedies you can try:

  1. Many homeowners swear by a simple mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Spray this solution over the glass once a week, and rub the glass with a soft cloth. Follow up with a wipe of a squeegee.
  2. Substitute dish soap for the water and spray your vinegar/dish soap mixture on instead.
  3. Don't like the smell of vinegar? Try mixing a couple tablespoons of plain dish soap with water. Spray this mixture on the glass, but skip the soft cloth. Run a squeegee directly over the spray mixture to swipe it clean.

Tougher Spots

If you let your windows go too long between cleanings, you may have a tougher mess on your windows. First, brush off any visible dirt first with a soft bristled brush. If there are solid bird droppings, soak them by spraying them with plain water to loosen them up. Don't scrub the dropping; any grit will scratch your glass. Spray plain vinegar thoroughly over the pane and visible salt spots. Wait a few minutes. Using a nylon scrubber, rub the glass clean. Run the squeegee over the glass to dry it.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Labors

It's discouraging to go through the work of cleaning your windows only to end up with streaks.  However, there are some ways to get your windows streak free each time.

  • Don't clean your windows on a sunny day. Wait for a cloudy day where there is no sunshine to dry your cleaning solution onto the glass, which makes water spots and streaking. Keep in mind, though, that it may be more difficult to properly spot dirt or grime.
  • Skip the paper towels and dry with a chamois cloth.
  • Dry the windows using crumpled newspaper. Don't use colored ads, only black print. Your hands may get grubby, but your windows will look wonderfully lint-free.
  • If your area has hard water, use distilled water in your cleaning mixture. There are no minerals present in distilled water that lead to streaking.
  • If using dish soap, only use a fraction of the amount you think necessary. Too many suds can end up making streaks.
  • If you do decide to use a squeegee to dry the window, the best way to avoid streaks is to keep the squeegee in constant contact with the glass as you wipe.
  • Consider "waxing" your windows. Much like waxing your vehicle, you can dilute a tiny bit of cornstarch into water, spray it onto the glass and wipe off the excess. Then, use a clean dry cloth to polish the glass. Try 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a half quart of water.

Once your windows sparkle once again, you can treat your window with a water repellent found in automotive stores. When water beads up and runs off the glass, it cannot deposit salt on your windows. Your windows are still likely to deteriorate over time, so it's a good idea to get in touch with a company that specializes in residential glass, such as Central Glass Company, when replacement time comes.