Window Painting Guidelines

Type of Paint to Use
Tempera paint, sometimes referred to as “poster paint,” is the material of choice for painting windows. It handles well, dries quickly, and adheres effectively to glass. In contrast, it can be difficult to remove window chalk and frequently calls for scraping and high-pressure cleaning.

Some people use tempera paint with liquid soap or soap flakes to make cleanup easier. Never use detergent when painting on glass, though. Glass surfaces can be severely damaged by detergent, necessitating expensive repairs.

In conclusion, use tempera paint to decorate windows. If you want to clean up quickly, use soap or soap flakes; just avoid using detergent to protect your glass.

Soap vs. Detergent

It’s important to understand the differences between soap and detergent in order to understand why it’s imperative to avoid using them when working on glass surfaces.

Essentially, soap is a product made from lye and either vegetable or animal fats. As a surfactant, it helps reduce the surface tension of fluids like water. It is efficient in cleaning objects submerged in liquid due to its characteristic. In general, soaps don’t have any harsh chemicals in them.

Detergent, on the other hand, is a more general phrase that can refer to a variety of formulas. Detergents are essentially surfactants as well; they work by lowering liquids’ surface tension to improve cleaning performance. However, some detergents use extremely corrosive substances and highly caustic compounds to do this.

To get rid of hard water stains during the rinse cycle, automatic dishwasher detergent frequently contains acid wash ingredients. Despite being useful for dishwashing, these chemicals have the potential to corrode glass and damage its surfaces. Therefore, it’s essential to never use detergents when painting windows in order to avoid potential damage.

Here are some examples to help you distinguish between typical soap and detergent uses:

Typical Dishwashing Soaps (Safe for Painting Windows):

– Palmolive® degreaser dish liquid – Meyer’s® liquid dish soap – Ivory® concentrated dishwashing liquid and hand soap

Dishwashing detergents that are popular (never use on windows) include:

– Dishwashing liquid Cascade® – Dishwashing liquid Tide®

When painting windows, choosing soap over detergent will maintain the durability and spotless quality of your glass surfaces.


It is better for students to take the lead in guaranteeing a quick and effective process when it comes to cleaning up after a window painting endeavor. Here are some crucial factors to remember:

1. **Immediate Cleanup**: As soon as the widely publicized event is over, you should begin cleaning up. Quick cleanup makes it much easier to remove paint from windows.

2. **Pay Attention to Details**: Pay close attention to the silicone and concrete sealing around the window frames during cleaning. To guarantee that there is no paint residue left behind, thoroughly clean these areas.

3. Coordinating with Custodial Services: It is a good idea for students to work with the Housing & Dining cleaning crew to plan their cleanup efforts. This cooperation may be useful if more help is required.

4. Selecting the Appropriate Cleaning Agent: It’s crucial to use cleaning solutions that are safe for the job while employing them. Here are a few suggestions:

   Ivory® concentrated dishwashing liquid is **Safe to Use in Paint**.

   Cascade® dishwashing detergent has a “Do Not Use in Paint” warning.

Students may make sure that window painting cleanup is quick, easy, and secure for both the painted windows and the surrounding surfaces by according to these instructions and employing the proper cleaning supplies.

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