Ocean breezes carry salty, moist atmosphere quite a distance, resulting in an eventual salt buildup on outdoor windows. If left uncleaned, this salt leaves a white residue on the glass, which makes windows seem dirty. Salt grows in crystalline form on the glass, meaning patches left for a while may require a little scrubbing to remove. A general, frequent cleaning lessens the severity of salty buildup on the windows.
Stubborn Spot Solution
Undiluted white vinegar poured into a spray bottle functions as a spot cleaner for salt that has been around the windows for a while. Rub on the vinegar liberally over the glass and straight over visible salt spots. After a few minutes, rub on the window using a nylon scrub sponge, such as the type used to clean nonstick pans, to eliminate the stuck-on salt. A second spraying of vinegar is useful in the event the window looks streaked or salty after the first cleaning. Dry the windows using crumpled newspaper, which helps produce a streak-free finish.
For a simple cleaning, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle or in a bucket. Spray the solution over the window glass, or dip a soft fabric to the bucket and rub the glass with it. A squeegee wiped over the glass prevents stripes.
If you can not remove some salt spots even after a thorough scrubbing, then a commercial lime removal product does the trick. These eliminate mineral buildup from toilet faucets and fixtures and also on glass. Spray the product directly on the glass, then rub with a moist cloth. This kind of product should not be used on plastic windows or painted surfaces, so rub away any drips on the window sill as you notice them.
An Ounce of Prevention
Since salt and general soil build up over time on a window, treating the window using a product made to repel water doesn’t give the water an opportunity to deposit salt as easily on the glass. This type of spray is sold in automotive supply shops and department stores for use on automobile windows; it also makes water bead up and run off glass.