I have a tough time cleaning my windows. When I bring up this subject with friends and relatives, they just look at me. Perplexed. Why doesn't she just use windex like the rest of us?, their expressions say.
Because they don't have windows that are 120 years old!
When we bought this house, we were just young pups. We hired some professionals to paint the exterior -- which included the window frames. So, they had to take the windows out -- and the workers wondered if I wanted to clean them while they were out. Sure, I gave them all a once-over with Windex. (I sometimes have to laugh at my young self.) That didn't seem to make much of a difference, so I probably tried a couple of other lame things before giving up. The glass may have looked a tad better, but all of them still had build-up.
Why do I have cloudy windows that would make a Windex salesperson weep? I mentioned before, that our house was either vacant, or neglected much of it's 120 years. Not a lot of exterior window cleaning being done during those stretches. Every time it rained, the water left behind mineral build-up. Multiply that by decades. That (and dirt) is why I have hazy windows. And let me tell you, windex doesn't touch it.
I had to resort to the CLR (Calcium Lime Rust Remover). I don't even want to know that it has in it, but it did the trick. I still had to treat each side with two applications, and then hit a couple of tough spots one last time -- but I ended up with sparkly storm windows. So now I am taking my show on the road (or on to the porch roof), and trying it on some of the old wavy 120 year-old glass windows. I personally do not have the technology to take out these windows, so they will have to be cleaned "on site."