The first glass remains, found in Mesopotamia, go back to 3000 BC, but in his Natural History, our favourite gossip Pliny tells us that Phoenician sailors discovered how to make it. These hardy seamen were carrying natron as cargo. One dark chilly night, on a beach, they built a campfire but couldn’t find any stones to protect it. So, our clever sailors used some of their natron blocks. The following morning, totally flabbergasted, they found an alien materiel resulting from the fusion of sand and natron.
We thank the dear boys who brought glass into our lives and we also thank Julie Bousquet-Fabre, who shared her secret recipe to give your windows the “impeccable cleanliness and dazzling brilliance” they deserve.
Take a beautiful bucket and, with the utmost elegance, mix one teaspoon liquid black soap (or castile soap) in 2 litres of hot water, dip a sponge in it and take a deep breath. To do the job like a pro, start by washing the window frames with the solution, then the windows. Immediately squeegee, swiping only in one direction, horizontal or vertical, on the inside and the other direction on the outside. This fool proof technique instantly exposes the side with residues. No need to rinse. Just polish the windows with a microfiber cloth. Eliminate any water marks left in the process with vinegar. Spray it on, leave for 15 minutes and rinse with cold water.
Window cleaner residues can be eradicated with your special home-made mixture. Dilute one cup of vinegar in two cups of water, add a teaspoon of liquid black soap or Castile soap. Wash your windows with it and rinse. Dry and put on your sunglasses, if you don’t want to be blinded by the dazzle.
Window spray addicts can happily substitute it with a home-made recipe, just as efficient and eco-friendlier. Pick a lovely spray bottle and fill it with Julie’s water and soap mix.
As for the horribly lime-scale on the shower window, don’t worry. After your ablutions, when the windows are wet, take a dry light abrasive pad (Scotch-Brite® for example), generously dust it with soda bicarb (aka baking soda) and scrub, drawing nice circles to attack the clinging scale Fill up a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz without trembling. Give the bubbles 15 minutes to do their job. Rinse and wash with a tiny drop of liquid black soap or Castile soap on a clean sponge to get them squeaky clean. Rinse with vinegar first, then with water. Dry with a squeegee or a microfiber cloth.
To prevent future lime-scale attacks, squeegee your window after each shower.