You may love a clean house, but you may not enjoy cleaning your windows. But on the other hand, you may have a love-hate relationship with them. You may love it when they’re sparkly clean, and you can see your front yard and backyard as clear as can be. On the other hand, you may not like them when they’re dirty because it means you have to clean. It seems like a win-lose situation. Or is it? At Improvements, we’re giving you easy window cleaning tips. In fact, after you’ve finished reading this post, you may realize that washing your windows isn’t that bad.
How to Clean Windows
Let’s be honest. The last thing on your “To Do List” may literally be window cleaning. After all, who wants to spend a Saturday or Sunday washing windows? However, when you start squinting because you can’t see out of your windows, it may be time to roll up your sleeves and clean them. But don’t worry. You don’t have to break your back cleaning your windows. It can be as easy as 1-2-3!
Window Cleaning: The Prep Work
Before you grab a bucket and fill it with water, you’ll want to prep your inside and outside windows before you clean them. For instance, you’ll want to dust your inside windows with a non-lint towel. Why? Because dust particles can scratch the glass. And you don’t want that, do you? Probably not. You’ll also want to dust the frames, sill, and sash because if water drips onto them, it will create a dirty mess that you’ll have to clean up. You’ll also want to remove any screens (do this twice per year) and vacuum them to remove dirt and dust. You may also rinse them down with water and let them dry.
To prep outside windows for washing, use a garden hose to hose off dirt, pollutants, and other materials. Also, rinse away grime from window panes. You may also use a pressure washer but make sure it’s on the lowest setting. If you don’t have a garden hose or pressure washer, use warm water and a non-lint cloth or towel.
Next, you’ll want to gather your cleaning supplies. You’ll need the following:
- Hose (for outside windows)
- Window cleaner (homemade or store-bought)
- Dishwashing detergent (if you don’t want to use window cleaner)
- Vinegar or ammonia
- Non-lint cloth or towel or non-lint paper towels or microfiber cloth
- Brush, sponge, or squeegee
- Rubber squeegee for drying
- Large towel to protect inside floors
- Window vacuum cleaning set
Once you’ve completed your prep work and have gathered all of your supplies, you’ll be ready to clean your windows. First, let’s explore washing inside windows.
Window Cleaning: Inside Windows
Want to make window cleaning go easier and smoother? Here are easy techniques to make the job go faster. Grab your bucket and fill it with clean, cool or lukewarm water and a couple of drops of liquid dish soap. Or you can simply use your homemade or store-bought window cleaner. You may also choose to use a mixture of one part vinegar or ammonia to one part water. It’s up to you!
Next, place a large towel or drop cloth beneath your windows to catch any spills.
Spray your windows with your homemade window cleaner, store-bought solution, or vinegar or ammonia mixture. Then, using a non-lint cloth/towel or paper towels, dry your windows using a Z-shaped motion.
Tip: if you want to cut down on your window cleaning time, use a window vacuum cleaning set. It has a special vacuum attachment that collects solution and dries windows. The no-streak window cleaning set is perfect for cleaning high windows and skylights.
If you have streaks or notice that dirt remains, respray your windows and dry. Keep in mind that the dirtier your windows are, you may need two rounds of cleaning. And, you may want to clean your windows on a cool day, so your window cleaning solution doesn’t dry immediately on your windows.
Window Cleaning: Outside Windows
You may not be surprised to find out that outside windows have more dirt and grime than interior windows, which is why you’ll want to rinse them off with a hose. Fill a bucket with cool water and a few drops of your liquid dish soap. Using your microfiber cloth or towel, go over your windows. If you have taller windows, use a sponge or cloth on a pole or telescoping house and window washer set. Rinse your windows thoroughly with your garden hose.
Next, spray or mop with your homemade or store-bought window cleaner. Wipe your windows dry using a squeegee. Make sure to wipe it clean with a lint-free cloth or towel with each use. Alternatively, you may wipe your windows down with a non-lint cloth or towel.
If your windows have stubborn dirt, including bird droppings and dead insects, soak your windows with a vinegar mixture and let it sit for a few minutes before drying. You may have to use a non-abrasive sponge, but do not use steel wool or harsh “scrubby” sponges as these will scratch your windows.
If you live in an area that has hard water, you may have to use a commercial cleanser (or make your own) that can be used on calcium, lime, and rust stains. Make sure you follow the directions, so you do not ruin your windows!
A Recipe for Homemade Window Cleaner
If you prefer to use a homemade window cleaner, check out this recipe!
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 5-10 drops of essential oil, your choice (most prefer lemon or orange)
Combine ingredients in a spray bottle, either glass or plastic (BPA free), and use as needed to clean window.
Did you know that you may stain your windows, depending on the brand? It’s true. If you get new windows, check with the manufacturer before washing them. Some window cleaners have been known to stain certain brands of windows.
Cleaning Your Windows Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
Now that you know how easy it is to clean your windows, you may want to create a schedule to ensure they stay clean. Perhaps you can clean them once a month. Or maybe you’ll clean them twice a month. You may even clean them on a quarterly basis. Or perhaps you clean them during your spring cleaning or fall cleaning. Choose whatever works for you! You may consider getting your family involved, especially if your house has many windows. Who would have thought that window cleaning could bring a family together? It can! And afterward, you can treat your family to pizza, go out for burgers and ice cream, or whatever you like!