How to Clean Window Clings

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A window cling is a flat or molded (gel-filled) decal or film that partially or completely covers a window, mirror or other flat, hard surface. It is made of vinyl or plastic. People use window clings in various ways, such as to decorate or to make a window opaque for security or shade reasons. A window cling attaches to surfaces via static cling or mild adhesive. Although many people use clings that have washable printed or painted surfaces, some also use clings that have non-washable printed images. The method of cleaning a window cling depends entirely on the size of the cling and the materials it's made of.

Things You'll Need

  • Window dusting or lint-free microfiber cloths
  • Mild detergent
  • Duster (optional)
  • Window film cleaner (optional)
  • Ammonia-based cleaner (optional)
  • Squeegee
  • Coffee filters (optional)

Washable Small Window Clings

  • Wipe the window clings--especially around the edges--with a soft, dry window dusting, or lint-free microfiber cloth once a week.

  • Peel your window cling from the surface to clean the window, or if you notice a stain or mold on the clings. Set the clings aside and clean the window's surface as desired.

  • Fill a sink with warm water and add enough mild detergent to make it soapy. Place your washable clings in the water.

  • Wash both sides of the first cling in the water with a microfiber cloth and then rinse with warm running water.

  • Remove excess water from the window cling with a lint-free cloth. Re-affix the cling to its original position on a surface.

  • Repeat the cleaning process with the other clings, as needed.

Washable Window Cling Film

  • Dust the film each week with a soft, dry cloth or a duster.

  • Wash the window cling film with a warm soapy cloth, or spray the film with window film or ammonia-based glass cleaner.

  • Rinse the film with damp cloths to remove all soap or cleaner residues, then wipe the film completely dry with lint-free cloths or paper coffee filters.

Non-Washable Window Clings

  • Dust non-washable small and film window clings as you would similar washable clings.

  • Peel any cling that has condensation or a fresh liquid spill stain on it away from the window or other area that it's attached to and lay the cling on a cloth on a flat surface.

  • Align a lint-free cloth or coffee filter on top of the wet area on the cling and then carefully place it on the printed image. Wait for the cloth or filter to absorb the moisture and then lift it straight up carefully from the cling.

  • Wipe a slightly damp, almost dry, cloth across any sections of the cling that aren't printed with ink and pat the areas dry with another cloth.

  • Reattach the cling to the surface when finished.

Tips & Warnings

  • Unless advised differently by the cling manufacturer, never leave any type of soap or commercial cleaner on a window cling for longer than 2 minutes.
  • Never wash the sticky side of clings that have low tack adhesive, as soap and water will rub away or dissolve the adhesive.
  • Always place a drop of water on the cling before washing it to test that the cling is washable and that the colors won't bleed or fade when wet.
  • If you're dealing with a washable cling that has mold growth, use a commercial cleaner to clean the cling rather than plain mild detergent and water.
  • Throw away non-washable clings that have mold growth or a sticky stain unless the cling material is reusable--for example, a homemade cling made from a page protector. If you can reuse the cling, disinfect it with a commercial cleaner, dry the surface and then reprint or paint an image on it.

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