Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Danger of Window Gels

It's a thing I do: whenever there are those gel window clings available in the $1 bin at Target, I pick out one or two and bring them home.

This started about a year ago, when I got some to decorate for Penny's Valentine's Day party, and not only did Alex enjoy them, he was enthralled by them. And not just him, but Penny as well. So when those little gel hearts were completely worn out and nasty, I replaced them with something else. And then something else. Et cetera. The kids like to play with them, and they're cheap, and when they start to look nasty or out of season, there's always something else in the $1 bin at Target.

So I'm working from home today (as evidenced by my lack of a post this morning) and in between work tasks, trying to clear out the living room as much as possible, because tomorrow morning the carpet cleaning service I hired is going to show up and -- please oh merciful gods -- Do Something About This Carpet.

I've schlepped a dozen or so boxes of stuff into other rooms, and when I moved a box from the living room into the play room, I paused, and opened the window shades there for some light. And I noticed the leftover Christmas clings still on the window. Which is not to say I hadn't noticed them before -- they're right in front of me every time I pull the car up to the house -- but today, I decided, it was time to get rid of them. (Past time, in fact, as I'd completely forgotten to put up the pretty new clings I'd bought on the Valentine's Day theme. Oops. And now we shall be gel-less until I get a chance to go to Target and find some spring flowers or St. Patrick's Day clovers.)

I peeled the clings off the windows and dumped them in the trash. Ah, the room looked better already.

Well, no, actually... it didn't. The clings had been there so long they'd left a sort of nasty residue/film on the glass. Well, I could take care of that! I grabbed a big wad of paper towels and my bottle of Formula 409.

Let me hasten to add here: I do not clean windows. I don't. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I've cleaned the windows since we moved into this house twelve years ago. The light comes in, I can see what's going on outside, and grubby little fingers are going to mess them up anyway, so... I just don't bother. But for some reason, that residue from the gel clings was bothering me, and that's why I keep 409 in the closet. Just in case.

So I cleaned the windows. Had to actually put some elbow grease into getting the gel residue off, but not so much I had to go in search of my scrapey thing.

There. Now the windows are looking great! ...Well. No. Not really. Because the glass is clean, but all around the edges, they are completely nasty. But hey, that's only another spritz or two of 409 and another few swipes with my paper towels! And hey! Gorgeous windows!

But only on the inside. The outside of the glass is actually pretty nasty, especially in the living room (because those windows have 12 years of accumulated muck on their exteriors, whereas the play room windows only have 4 years of accumulated muck). But even though I think I've only ever done it once before, I know how to clean the exterior of these windows: You open them halfway, and then there are these little tabs that you pull, and the window tilts open! You don't have to take the screens out or go outside! (Granted, this only cleans the bottom halves of the windows. But I am not feeling energetic enough to get a stepstool and go outside to clean windows, so this is all we're getting! I'm cleaning the outsides of the bottom halves, and that's IT, I'm DONE.

Only, possibly on account of their only having been used once in 12 years, the little tabs that you pull so the window tilts open? Slightly stuck.

My hand slipped on one of them, and banged slam into the little lever that you use to lock the windows. Took some skin off the side of my hand. It bled sluggishly for a few minutes, and then subsided, but it hurts like a... a thing that hurts a lot. And it's exactly on the spot where the heel of my hand rests against the edge of the computer when I'm using the trackpad.

I told Twitter it was a window-cleaning injury, but then Matt messaged me immediately, worried I'd cut some glass and was even now bleeding to death on the sofa, tapping away on Twitter rather than going to the emergency room for stitches. So rather than worry you like that, I figured I'd trace this one back to its true root cause: those dang window gels.

I'm telling you guys to watch out. Those window gels are dangerous.


stopdroprecycle said...

Hey! I found your blog after I googles how to get gel cling residue off my windows. I put patriotic gel clings for the summer for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. I found those $1 Halloween clings the other day and decided to finally take the patriotic ones. They were just as you described. I had to use Dawn to get the residue off my hands. Do you have any recommendations on how to get the rest off? I used windex but there is still some gross, dry residue on one of the windows. Thanks for the help!

Liz said...

I'd recommend one of those plastic scrapers or scrubbers you use on teflon pots.

Irene said...

I use a combo of goo-gone, razor blade and windex. First razor, then goo-gone, then windex. Repeat. :)

Anonymous said...

if this ever happens to you again. purchase some mr clean magic erasers. they will easily remove it :D

Anonymous said...

oh oops I forgot to say I just took gel clings off my windows that were on there since before easter... so many months ago. some I had to get off with a paper towel because they were goopy. but after removing that initial portion I then used the mr clean magic eraser easily removed the rest of the goo and residue :)

http://www.mrclean.com/en_US/magic-eraser-bath-scrubber.do though youdon't have to get the bath variety.

Anonymous said...

my child just ate the remains of one, anyone know if theyre poisonous, i'm on poison control right now

Anonymous said...

Did you find out if they are poisonous?