Cleaning windows in your home isn't a difficult task, but it is an important one. Your windows are exposed to dust and external dirt daily. They form a protective barrier between the outside elements and your home – which is even more reason to keep them clean and sparkling.
The best condition to clean windows in is on a cloudy day, or in the early evening when it is light enough to see the windows properly, but not too hot that the panes will dry while you are still cleaning.
If you have the correct tools on hand and master the simple window cleaning method we recommend, it will be easier and quicker than you think. Plus, you’ll get it done right the first time, which means no marks or streaks to fuss about afterward!
Your window cleaning checklist:
- Bucket – choose one that is strong with a wide top that can fit a squeegee and has a handle for easy carrying.
- Store bought cleaning products or a vinegar & water solution.
- Clean, dry dusting rag.
- Sponge – this is what you will use to apply your cleaning mixture to the window and wash off marks.
- Squeegee – this is used to clean and dry your window and get that streak-free finish. Be sure to choose one with a removable blade because they can crack or get nicks in the rubber with use and may need replacing.
- Microfibre cloth – use this to neaten up the edges if there are small streaks left. You may also want to uses some old newspaper for buffing.
5 easy steps to clean your windows effectively
#1 Start with Dusting
Wipe the windows on both sides using the dusting rags. Don't skip this step. Once the dirt mixes with water it will smear all over the window making your task a nightmare.
Make sure you clean the corners and sides of the window frame too. This is where debris often collects and can be blown into the house by the wind.
#2 Use the Right Cleaner
Choose a cleaning solution strength based on how dirty your windows are. Dry mud marks and insect excreta will need a stronger solution and warm water, but for regular window cleaning, about three tablespoons per six liters of lukewarm water should do.
You can also make a homemade cleaning solution by adding three tablespoons of vinegar to half a bucket of warm water. If your windows are greasy, first clean them with a sponge dipped into a mixture of two tablespoons of household ammonia mixed with three liters of water and then wipe with the vinegar and water solution afterward.
Otherwise, to clean your window, dip the sponge in the bucket and squeeze out excess water so it doesn’t drip. Wash the windows so they are left wet and soapy in preparation for the squeegee.
Moving the squeegee in an ‘S shape’, begin to clean the windowpanes. For small areas of the window, or to reach the corners, you can swipe the squeegee up and down or from side to side.
For hard stains, wet the sponge again and reapply to the area. You can avoid cloudy patches or streaks forming by sweeping over the same area at least twice.
Use the rag to remove dirt from the squeegee blades when needed so it doesn’t spread dirt everywhere.
#4 Wipe with a Damp Cloth
Place the microfibre cloth in clean water, wringing it out to remove excess water. Wipe the panes with the damp cloth, making sure you get the corners too.
#5 Dry and Buff
Use the dust rag to wipe up any water that may have collected on the windowsill. You can also buff the windows using newspaper that you have crumpled into balls. It absorbs any dampness and the ink will make the glass shine!
If you rather not DIY this chore, there are plenty of professional window cleaning services who can help you out. Calling a professional will help lessen your jam-packed schedule and save you a few headaches too.