Clear Up Your Home's View with Window Cleaning

December 19, 2009

Windows are your eyes to the world when you're inside your home. You don't walk around squinting at the world through spotty, dirt-covered glasses; why would you treat your windows differently? There are right ways and wrong ways to go about cleaning your windows; here's a breakdown of what you need:

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  • Window Cleaning Equipment: A roll of paper towels and a bottle of spray-on cleaner are not the right tools for the job. You need a squeegee, a scrubber (you can use a sponge, but be sure it isn't cellulose, a sea sponge or scrubber made for windows is recommended), a bucket, and a rag or chamois (for finishing touches and drying). If you've got paint or particularly stuck-on dirt, a scraper is also necessary. You may also want a blackboard eraser for de-streaking.
  • Window Cleaning Solution: This may be a little surprising, but it works brilliantly: dish detergent. You don't need much--maybe a teaspoon per gallon of warm water--and it's cheap. The goal is to make the dirt slippery enough to squeegee it off the glass without it scratching the surface--and this is how the pros do it.

Crystal Clear Window Cleaning Technique

You've got the tools, now:

  1. Soak the scrubber, squeeze out excess cleaning solution, and go to town, avoiding circular scrubbing motions
  2. Squeegee! Again, you should stick to horizontal and vertical swipes (not squiggles or circles). Dry the squeegee between strokes, and be sure to overlap.
  3. Use your rag or chamois to wipe the edges of the window.
  4. Get rid of those streaks with the blackboard eraser--it's much more efficient than trying to re-squeegee over and over again.

Window cleaning shouldn't be done in direct sunlight, as the soap will dry out too quickly. Another hazard is freezing weather--you can't squeegee soapy ice. Use the right equipment--and these steps--and window cleaning should be a breeze.

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