I remember the first time I saw a commercial on TV for this product. They showed how you could wash your second story windows simply by attaching a hose to this bottle and spraying them. I thought it was a ingenious idea, but never purchased the product. Now that I've finally had a chance to use it, I'll share my experience with you.
Recommend this product?
The cleaner comes in a large 32 ounce plastic green bottle, with large letters reading "Windex" in red and "Outdoor" in yellow. It pictures a man spraying the second story windows of his home, and a woman spraying off her outdoor dining set, composed of plastic. The bottle reads that this is a concentrated cleaner.
How To Use
First and foremost, the directions say not to use this unless it is at least 55 degrees outside. It was 67 degrees at the time I used this product.
The cap has an extension that connects directly to your hose. The top of this area has a white dial with three choices: clean, rinse and off. You simply line up the dial with the lines going to these options. Another reviewer mentioned she thought this would be more useful had the words been printed in black, instead of white on white, but honestly, I had no problem reading them.
There are two holes that the cleaner sprays out of, and attached to the neck of the bottle is a yellow tag that has two little spike style plugs, and these fit into the holes when the cleaner is not in use.
The first step is to stand at least 5 feet away from the window or items to be cleaned, and wet it thoroughly with the rinse option, just plain water will come out of the sprayer. Then you turn the dial to the clean option, and spray the items for 20-30 seconds, or until covered with suds.
After sudsing up the window, I again referred to the directions, and let the suds sit on my window for 15 seconds, then rinsed them off. You are supposed to continue rinsing for an additional 10 seconds after the suds disappear.
I followed the directions and sprayed my windows for 30 seconds, but this seemed like an awfully long time and a waste of the product. They were covered with suds long before this time!
The first window I washed was a first floor bedroom at the back of the house. This window doesn't get quite as much road dust, and wasn't extremely dirty, yet it needed a washing. The product worked fine, and was very easy to use. The bottle isn't too heavy and was easy to grip and hold.
Next I went to the south side of our home and attempted to wash a bedroom window on the second story. What a mess this was! First, the spray barely reached this height! Let me preface that statement by saying we are on a well, and have excellent water pressure.
I found that I had to get closer than the five feet, about 3 feet from the side of the house, in order to reach this window, and as I sprayed a good amount of the product was splashing down on me. Luckily it didn't have much odor associated with it!
The cleaner makes a good deal of suds when you are in the "clean" mode, and they rinsed off fairly easily on the lower windows, but I really struggled to get all of these suds off the higher windows. I bet I spent a good 10 minutes cleaning this one window because it was such a hassle. However, I felt it would be worth the hassle if this cleaned my windows! My only other option was to get out our ladder and climb up there and clean them the old fashioned way, and that was not an appealing option.
When I finished cleaning and rinsing, the water did seem to sheet off of the window, and I thought they looked clean from the outside. However, after two hours I went into the bedrooms to inspect the windows, and they were covered with spots! Water spots graced every corner and area of my windows, they actually looked worse than before!
I can understand how someone with hard water might have a problem with water spots, but we have a water softener, so water spots should not have been a problem.
We had a folded up plastic picnic table laying against the back of the house, which was directly under the first window I cleaned. As long as cleaner was dripping down on it, I gave it a good washing as well, but you wouldn't know it, as the dirt is still there. I read the directions which say you will need to wipe sudsy area to loosen stubborn dirt.
The bottle gives some hints for better cleaning. These are:
1) Wipe sudsy surface with cloth or sponge.
2) In hard water areas, dry windows with a dry cloth or squeegee to remove hard water deposits.
Huh? I thought the whole idea of this cleaner was to clean those hard to reach second story windows, (as shown on the commercial and on the front of the product!) Doesn't having to wipe or squeegee the surface pretty much defeat the purpose?
The company website says this about their product: Windex ® Outdoor Window & Surface Cleaner comes in a special package that attaches to your garden hose, so you can safely clean windows, even second-story windows-to a great Windex ® shine in no time! No more climbing ladders or leaning out open windows. Windex ® Outdoor uses a sheeting action to get surfaces really clean.
The site also says Do not use sprayer while standing on a ladder or elevated surface. I guess if you want to really get your windows clean, you need to spray them with water, spray them with the suds - then climb up the ladder and scrub them. Then climb down the ladder and spray again with water to rinse, then climb back up the ladder to squeegee the window! At least I'd be getting my exercise!
Sorry Helene Johnson, (makers of Windex), this product is a bust. It seems like it's all hype to me. A great idea if it works, but it didn't.
This retails for around $8 a bottle.
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