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Gardening is a cherished and enduring pastime for many Brits. For those of you fortunate enough to possess a greenhouse, your green-fingered hobby can be enjoyed all year round, and this means that a lot of work goes into maintaining the health of not only the plants but also the greenhouse itself. Maintaining the condition of your greenhouse is paramount to ensure your cherished plants flourish. Often overlooked, cleaning the glass panels is an essential task. This guide aims to give the best advice on cleaning your greenhouse glass for brilliant results. Additionally, it highlights the most suitable products while emphasising eco-conscious choices.
When should you clean your greenhouse glass?
The schedule for cleaning greenhouse glass is of seasonal importance. Ideally, you should do it biannually – once during the spring and once in the autumn.
Spring cleaning: As the days lengthen and the temperature begins to rise, the onset of spring presents the ideal interval for preparing your greenhouse for the impending growing season. Early spring cleaning, marked by removing winter grime and dirt, helps sunlight to penetrate. Additionally, a spring clean reduces the potential for pests and diseases to linger within the greenhouse.
Autumn cleaning: Equally essential is the autumnal cleaning of your greenhouse. As the gardening season draws to a close, cleaning the glass prevents the accumulation of dirt and algae during the colder months. This preparation ensures your greenhouse stands ready for the forthcoming winter growing season without requiring extensive cleaning.
The best products for cleaning greenhouse glass
- Warm soapy water: The most environmentally friendly and economical solution is warm soapy water, prepared by mixing a few drops of mild dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Use a soft sponge or cloth to rub the glass. This method is both plant and environmentally friendly.
- White vinegar: In cases where hard water stains or mineral deposits smear the glass, a mixture of white vinegar and water (in equal proportions) is an effective natural remedy. Apply this solution with a sponge and ensure thorough rinsing to ensure no odour is left behind.
- Glass cleaner: Commercial glass cleaners are an option, but approach with caution. Opt for environmentally friendly, ammonia-free variants and adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines. Thorough rinsing post-application is imperative.
A squeegee proves essential for removing excess water, leaving your greenhouse glass free of streaks. This tool is particularly beneficial after applying soapy water or a vinegar solution.
What to avoid using when cleaning your greenhouse glass
While cleaning your greenhouse glass, it is important to avoid products or practices that could jeopardise both your plants and the environment:
Harsh chemicals: Avoid using bleach, ammonia-based cleaners, or any substances likely to leave plant-harming residues or pose an environmental hazard.
Abrasive tools: Avoid the use of abrasive tools, as they may cause surface damage, leading to the accumulation of dirt and algae over time. Stick to soft sponges and cloths.
Pressure washers: High-pressure water has the potential to damage the seals of your greenhouse and force water into undesired areas. Gentle hand cleaning methods are the better option.
Excessive cleaning: While cleanliness is essential, excessive cleaning can disrupt the delicate balance of your greenhouse’s ecosystem. Avoid disturbance to your plants, focusing primarily on glass cleaning.
How to clean your greenhouse glass
- Clear the space: Relocate all plants, equipment or tools that may obstruct the process. This approach enhances efficiency and protects your plants from cleaning solutions.
- Pre-rinse: Firstly, rinse the glass with clean water to eliminate loose dirt and debris. A garden hose or a bucket of water will suffice.
- Start cleaning: Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the cleaning solution and gently rub the glass. To prevent unsightly drips and streaks work your way down from the top.
- Rinse again: After cleaning ensure the glass is thoroughly rinsed with clean water.
- Dry with a squeegee: Start from the top and work down in horizontal swipes from left to right.
- Put your plants back: Once the glass is spotless and dry return your plants to the greenhouse.
Clean greenhouse glass is a cornerstone for fostering optimal plant growth and creating an inviting gardening environment. By adhering to the timing, using simple products and gentle cleaning techniques, you can ensure the longevity of your greenhouse while preserving the well-being of your cherished plants.
So, set aside some time this spring or autumn to give your greenhouse the TLC it deserves, and watch your gardening efforts flourish in the beautiful, sunlit haven of your greenhouse.