So, do magnetic squeegees really work for washing windows and if so where can I get one?
Uh… only if your window is covered with iron filings.
I think I tried one a long time ago, and it was pretty worthless. But if you’re truly desperate and it doesn’t cost too much, you could give it a try.
I tried one to get the algae off the insides of the fish tank, and it didn’t do a particularly good job. Of course, it was pretty cheap, and I suppose in theory if you had a stronger magnet it probably would have worked.
Magnets only attract certain metals, like iron, steel, nickel, chromium, and to a lesser extent aluminum. They do not attract living things, dirt, or anything else non-metallic.
They don’t attract aluminum, nickel, or chromium either. Perhaps you’re thinking of iron alloys with nickel and/or chromium.
No no no, a magnetic squeegee (or magnetic sponge) has two parts EACH with a magnet. One part is the washer part - the other is the one you move with your hand. Each part goes on one side of the window pane. It should allow you to wash the outside of a window from the inside. It SHOULD be very handy for apartment windows if you don’t have access to a ladder. I haven’t been able to find any - even looked at Home Depot.
I’ve never seen one, robo, but I can’t say the idea strikes me as very practical. If I understand your description correctly, it would be necessary to get the wiping element on the outside of the glass if you want to manipulate it with the control element from the inside. If you can get your hand on the outside to set the wiping element in place, can’t you just use your hand directly with a normal squeegee?
That aside, it seems to me that there would be no control over the angle of the wiping blade (to the glass surface) nor the pressure applied to it. It could also be a major disadvantage to not be able to lift it off the glass and reposition it. I’d sure want to try one in my own hands before putting much faith in it.
This site describes how to make a magnetic toy with a piece of nickel. Scroll about 1/3 down the page.
This sitediscusses magnetism: “…the five simple magnetic elements, manganese, nickel, chromium, iron and cobalt…” are ferromagnetic, meaning that they magnetize strongly in the direction of an applied magnetic field. Aluminum is paramagnetic, and magnetizes weakly in the direction of a field. Everything else is diamagnetic, and magnetizes weakly in the opposite direction, and is therefore slightly repelled by magnets. Scroll about 1/2 down.
We used to live in a flat when I was a kid (15-20 years ago). My mum had one to do the windows and balcony shield (which was glass). If I remember correctly, she was quite impressed with it. That doesn’t mean that they work great, just that it beats having:
(a) dirty windows; or
(b) leaning out the window 100 feet above the ground.
I’m not certain of this, but I think that the windows were double-glazed. The two sponges should be connected by a string, to stop the lawsuits that would otherwise follow.
sturmhauke, I stand corrected. My apologies.
No problem, Mr. T. Although I should add that alumnum isn’t the only paramagnetic substance, just one of the more common ones.
robo - I see what you mean now. You may be able to rig up your own contraption with a strong magnet, a sponge, a piece of steel, a piece of cloth, and some string. Tie the magnet to the sponge and wrap the steel in the cloth so it doesn’t scratch your window.