Window washing without streaks isn’t as tricky as you think. Take a look at this step by step guide to gaining clarity on the job and with clean windows, too.
Our home has quite a few large windows. Great for letting the light in but not so great to clean! But Spring is here – the flowers outside are blooming and the sun is shining in so it’s time to tackle them.
You may think that if you don’t use a window often, maybe one in a garage or one that looks right into the fence or building next door, it’s not worth the time and effort to wash it. Think again! Not keeping your windows clean can damage them over time. Dirt, sea salt, minerals from sprays or fertilizers in the air and other pollutants sit on windows and can slowly break them down, making replacement necessary a lot earlier than usual.
Years ago I was taught to use a spray bottle with window cleaning solution and wadded up newspaper to wash my windows. It turns out that all this does is spread the dirt around and usually leaves a film or streaks. A friend who used to work for a cleaning service recently tipped me off to an awesome new way to do it!
Tools you’ll need
Leave the newspapers and bottles of window washing solution right where they are and instead invest in a squeegee and a large bucket to fill with water and just a small dash of dishwashing detergent. You don’t want it too sudsy – add more water if it is. If green cleaning is more your thing you can substitute vinegar for the dishwashing detergent.
For small windows or panes find a smaller squeegee, or simply chop off the end of a regular sized one to fit.
Grab a sponge and a soft linen rag (old linen napkins work great) and you have everything you need to start cleaning.
Time to do the job
It’s best to clean your windows on a day that is overcast and cool. Bright rays of sunshine can quickly dry the soap solution to your windows making it harder to work with. Also having the sun reflecting on the window can make it harder to see where the dirt actually is.
Techniques to use
Use your sponge to apply your soap (or vinegar!) mixture to your windows. Ring the sponge out a bit first so it’s not sopping wet and give the whole window a good scrubbing. Don’t be afraid to use a bit of elbow grease if the window is extra dirty.
Pick up your squeegee and start drying. Start at the top corner and go across, row by row – wiping your squeegee off with the linen rag in between each row – until you get to the bottom.
Use your rag to clean up any wet edges and to wipe away drips from the window frames and sill.
You should be able to look clearly through your windows and see no streaks or leftover dirt or film.
Windows should be washed two to three times a year to keep them at their best, more if they are noticeably dirty.
Have you washed your windows this year?