Home Tip Tuesday: Top 4 Tips for Cleaning Windows

For best results clean windows about twice a year.

Window washing isn't brain surgery, simply spray liberally with cleaner and wipe with paper towels. Done! Oh, except for the spots and streaks. That's okay, when you get the feeling back in your hand just go ahead and wipe it all down a second time, and put some elbow grease into it! No, it's not brain surgery, but with all that scrubbing, cleaning the windows is also not a chore anyone looks forward to doing. There are better-and easier-methods for getting windows sparkling clean the first time around.

1. Start by removing curtains and drapes (which probably need a good cleaning too) and dusting the windows and window sills, inside and out. Removing loose dirt will prevent the creation of a muddy film when you add wet cleaner to a dusty window. 

2. Skip the spray bottle. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar and 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid into a bucket with 1 gallon of warm water. Use a large soft cloth, or strip applicator if you have one, to wash the window from top to bottom.

3. Squeegees really are the best tool for window washing. Use a large squeegee for a large expanse such as a picture window or sliding glass door and a smaller one for paned windows. Start in a top corner and pull the squeegee over the soaped window in an S pattern, wiping the blade with a lint-free cloth at the end of each stroke. Repeat, moving from the top of the window to the bottom, until most of the cleaning solution has been removed.

Squeegees are the best tool for window washing.

4. Dry the edges and any remaining cleanser with a damp chamois. A dampened and wrung-out chamois will absorb the water without leaving streaks.

5. Remove stubborn stains with steel wool or cleaning powder. Windows that receive run-off from masonry or those that haven't been cleaned in a while may have hard-water or mineral stains that regular cleaning won't cure. For small windows or individual stains, wet the window and rub gently with fine 000 steel wool. Non-scratching cleansing powders such as Barkeeper's Friend or Zud can be made into a paste with water and rubbed into the stains with a wet towel. Rinse and wipe the pane with a squeegee to dry.

Make window cleaning less of a pain by doing it twice a year. The more time between washings the more dirt and deposits build up and become problematic. Clean windows are one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform a room. A fresh coat of sunshine makes everything look bright and new. Follow our tips and save that elbow grease for more serious home improvement projects. 

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