Over time, the interior and exterior of your home’s windows can become caked with a grimy film. This may come from fingerprints, your pet’s nose, natural outdoor elements and more. Window cleaning is an essential chore, but it may be easy to overlook. After all, the windows will usually become dirtier very gradually over time, so you may not easily notice how filthy they are until you start cleaning them. However, their filth can impact interior and exterior aesthetics, the amount of sunlight that enters your home and more. This window cleaning guide will walk you through the process so that you can enjoy impeccable results with minimal hassle.
Prepare Your Vinegar Cleaning Solution
You may be inclined to pick up the first bottle of window cleaner that you find, but this may not be the best method for residential window cleaning. Consider that you may want to use a natural, non-toxic solution that may not be hazardous to your pets, plants or children. If your windows are particularly greasy, you can combine non-toxic dish detergent and water in a spray bottle. Another idea is to prepare a vinegar cleaning solution. Use one part rubbing alcohol, two parts white vinegar and 10 parts warm water. Vinegar and rubbing alcohol are effective at cutting through the film that develops on interior and exterior glass surfaces, and it can easily be dried off to leave streak-free surfaces.
Pay Attention to Weather Conditions
Regardless of whether you use vinegar, soapy water or another type of window cleaning product, you should choose the most opportune time to tackle this project. When the windows are too warm, the liquid cleaner can quickly dry on the windows before you have the opportunity to wipe it away. This dramatically increases your frustration level. Window cleaning should ideally be completed on an overcast day when the temperature is mild. If you do clean your windows on a sunny or warmer day, start cleaning on the shaded side of the home so that hot rays do not become problematic.
Remove and Clean the Screens
For the best results, window cleaning throughout the interior and exterior should be done at the same time. This enables you to clearly see if you have left grime behind on both sides. However, you can break up the project in sections. A good starting point is to remove the screens throughout the exterior of the home. This creates the perfect opportunity to clean the screens, and the best way to do that is by laying them flat on the patio and spraying them thoroughly with the hose.
Use the Right Window Cleaning Method
next step for effective window cleaning is to brush off all debris around the
windows with a soft broom. For example, cobwebs or other pest remnants may be
cluttering the corners of your windows. By removing this debris before you
apply the liquid cleaning agent, you can reduce how many times you need to wipe
down the windows.
You are now ready to clean each window individually. Apply the liquid window cleaning agent that you have selected liberally. Then, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the window down until it is clean and dry. Some people prefer to use a squeegee for their window cleaning project. However, squeegees wick away moisture, and this moisture inevitably winds up on your home’s floor. Keep in mind that this moisture is saturated with the debris that covered your windows. In addition, squeegees can leave behind streaks that still may need to be dried with a towel. Essentially, a squeegee adds an extra step and may leave your home’s interior dirty. Avoid using paper towels as their fibers usually will remain stuck to the windows.
Depending on the size of your home, window cleaning can be a major project. You can break down this project in stages to make it more manageable. For example, you can focus on window cleaning the interior of the downstairs windows one weekend, and you can work on the exterior of these windows the following weekend. If you have a 2-story home, you may prefer to hire a professional to tackle some or all of the exterior windows.
Repeat Window Cleaning as Needed
Window cleaning becomes more labor-intensive when the grimy layer is thicker and has been baked on by the heat of the sun. However, you understandably do not want to tackle this major project more frequently than necessary. Generally, window cleaning can be completed once or twice each year for the best results. Consider adding window cleaning to your home maintenance plan so that it receives the regular attention that it deserves.