Washing windows is not a task people look forward to. It can be time consuming and, depending on how many levels a home has, it can be painstaking. It’s typical to wash your home’s windows twice a year, and while it doesn’t take a ton of expensive products or fancy tools, it take a lot of work and a little bit of technique. Using these steps, you can clean your home’s windows and hopefully get it right the first time!
When is the best time to clean your windows?
Cleaning your home’s windows isn’t just an indoor job, so it’s important to look at the weather before planning a day to clean. You’ll want to choose a dry, rain-free day – preferably one that’s not too hot. Obviously the rain will hinder the cleaning because the windows will never dry, but if it’s too hot, that can cause streaks. It’s OK if it’s warm, but if it’s scorching outside, it may be better to clean them another day.
Often times, windows have blinds and treatments, and if those are dirty, your windows will never look clear, even if they were just cleaned. Before you get started on cleaning the actual windows, sweep or vacuum away any dirt on the window frames, and dust off the blinds.
Even if your curtains look clean, they likely are holding on to dust, too. Use this as an opportunity to wash them, or throw them in the dryer on fluff for a quick refresh to shake out dirt and remove any wrinkles.
Tools and Products
Cleaning windows doesn’t require a bunch of fancy tools and products, but there are a few tools that make the job easier. You’ll need a glass cleaner to wipe away any dirt and grime. There are plenty of options on the market – or you can make your own at home – but use a bottle that has a fine mister.
Some people use newspaper or paper towels to clean their windows, a microfiber cloth is really the best way to get a streak-free shine. These are usually very absorbent, and because they’re washable, you can continue to use them. For large picture windows, consider investing in a squeegee. While it may be cumbersome to use on a small window, it ensures you don’t miss a spot on your larger ones.
When you start cleaning your windows, you have two major steps: cleaning the inside and cleaning the outside.
You’ll want to place a towel below the window to avoid any spills on the floor. From there, using sponge and a bucket of water and dish soap, go over the surface of the window, removing the dirt and grime on the window itself and the frame. Then, using your glass cleaner, spray the window generously. With your microfiber rag, wipe up the solution by creating a Z-shaped motion. If your window is very dirty, you may have to use the glass cleaner again.
The outside of the window will likely have more dirt, so your best bet is to first rinse off the windows with a hose or bucket of water. Then, repeat the same steps you used to wash the windows inside, outside. For the screens, rinse them off with plain water and let them dry before putting them back into the window.
While you only need to clean your windows a couple times a year, it can be a time commitment for the day – or multiple days if you have many windows. Schedule a good amount of time to do the job, divide the cleaning up by rooms, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from family members.