There are a lot of cool things out there that make us wonder — do they really work? In our I Tried It series, we set out to use them in the real world and have determined that, in fact, they really do.
Tester: Bridget Clegg, a fourth-floor apartment dweller who has been gazing out of dirty windows for far too long
The Brief: Cleaning the outside of my windows has never been a top housekeeping priority, but once I zeroed in on the accumulated grime blocking my views, I had to figure something out that didn't involve dangling outside my apartment building. Since I'm on the fourth floor and my landlord would never spring for professional cleaning, I took to the internet to figure out a solution. Architectural Digest turned me on to Tyroler's Bright Tools's Magnetic Glider, and the brand sent me one to test out on my scummy Brooklyn windows.
The device is a little intimidating until you dig into the brand's simple one-sheeter on how to use it. The two sides of the tool are squeegees attached by a powerful magnet that holds them together through the window while you're cleaning. To get started, I opened my window, slid the screen out of the way, and sprayed cleaning solution on the inside and outside glass. I slipped on the safety string ring (it’s attached to the side that goes on the outside to catch the tool if it falls), placed it on the outer pane, and held up the other squeegee to the glass on the inside.
Once the sides were in place, I turned the green plastic screws on the inside to get a stronger magnetic connection. Then I worked in the recommended S-shaped motion to wipe the muck away. I recommend more cleaning solution than you think you’ll need to get a smooth glide. For a streak-free finish, I followed up the first run with a swipe of the blue microfiber cloths that attach to both sides of the tool.
Warning: The magnets are STRONG. While I was prepping each window, I was careful to keep one side far away from the other because the pull snaps them together ferociously, and could potentially do some serious damage to fingers. This happened when I was getting started (no fingers were harmed) and the loud clapping sound shook me to my core. You should assemble the tool on either side of the window with the green screws loose, then dial it down while on the window.
The results are well worth the effort (and newfound fear of magnets). It felt like I was making viral ASMR content as I swooshed through dirt and left behind squeaky clean windows. It took an hour to clean five windows, and the process was a lot less messy than anticipated. I just needed a rag to wipe up the remaining drip of dirty liquid on the sill.
Before you add to cart, check out what type of window you have (single pane or double pane) and how thick the glass is. The double-pane tool I used costs $80 — about half the price of a professional window cleaning in my area, according to HomeGuide.com.
Closing Argument: Honestly, the glass is so clear right now that I'm scared birds are going to fly into it. As satisfying as this project was, I'll probably tackle the task only twice a year, so it's nice that the device is small enough to stash in my tool box and easily loan to fellow neat freak pals. Just please, say a prayer for the birds!
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