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Spotless Windows Every Time: Choosing the Right Cloth for the Job

In the early days of window cleaning, the cloths generally used were chamois leather for washing and scrim for drying. The advent of squeegees largely replaced cloths, but not entirely. Scrim cloths are still important as a detailing or finishing cloth, and they’re still popular with window cleaners.

Scrim Cloths

Scrim had a long history before it was used for window cleaning. A lightly woven natural fibre, made from either cotton or jute, its earliest use was as a reinforcing material in construction, and it still retains construction functions. It’s also used in bookbinding, and for special effects in the theatre, as well as being a camouflage material.

For window cleaning purposes, scrim becomes highly absorbent when the oils are washed out of it. This makes it preferable to buy the cloths pre-washed – though, of course, you could wash them yourself before use.

Grade A scrim (also known as Grade 1) is thicker and more absorbent than Grade B/Grade 2. Its only downside is that it requires more washing, but overall we’d recommend it as the better choice.

We offer the 5 Star Premium Grade A washed linen scrim, an 80cm, fully hemmed square, while the Unger Grade A washed scrim is a 90cm square. Each comes in packs of 5 to 25, with the Unger also available in packs of 50.

Scrim is an almost uniquely UK material, while in the US and Australia, they tend to use cotton towels, known as Huks. We sell Bluewater Huk towels, at the convenient size of 55x37cm, in packs of 10, 50 or 100 – these are soft and absorbent.

Microfibre Cloths

The main alternatives to scrim are the various types of microfibre cloths. These combine capillary action with friction, making them durable and particularly effective when combined with a trigger spray bottle on leaded windows.

The Bluewater Microfibre Cloth and the Unger MicroWipe are both flat weave microfibre cloths that come in two sizes (40x40cm and 80x60cm), while the Unger Ninja MicroWipe is 15% thicker, with double-stitched hems for up to 500 machine washes and four fishscale “pocket” corners for removing stubborn marks on the glass.

Alternatively, both Bluewater Microfibre and Unger MicroWipe come in a terry weave form. The Bluewater is a thick weave for cleaning glass, windows and mirrors, while the Unger comes as the lightweight, economy MicroWipe 200 or the heavy-duty, ultra-absorbent MicroWipe 4000.

Sill Cloths and Chamois Leather

For wiping down frames, ledges and painted or plastic surfaces, sill cloths are the best choice. These are cheaper cotton cloths, which come either as the basic Standard Weave or the higher-quality Flat Weave Herringbone design.

On the other hand, Chamois Leather cloths are still a popular classic. Although, in practice, these are more likely to be used today for cleaning a car than for cleaning a window.

Whether you’re looking for detailing on glass, wiping down sills or cleaning your precious vehicle, at The Windowclean Centre we can supply all the window cleaning cloths you need. Give us a call to find out more.
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