Tom Shafer

Window cleaning made quick and easy

May 11, 2016

Time to clean your home's windows? This can be an easy chore or a dreaded job depending on your approach. Here a few tips to make it easier.

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  1. Clean the window glass first. To start, make sure the glass is free of any large pieces of dirt before you scrub away and accidentally rub it into the glass instead of removing it from the glass. Once it's brushed free of large debris, get out your cleaner of choice. There are many commercial cleaners available, and most of them do an adequate job. If you want something cheaper and more natural, you can also make your own cleaner with vinegar or alcohol and water. Both will cut the grease and dirt right off windows. Do not use an abrasive cleaner, even if you're also using a soft cloth, as anything rough can catch on the glass and damage it.
  2. Don't use a hose to spray the windows. No window is designed to withstand the pressure from a hose nozzle. If you turn the water on the windows, be prepared to mop up the water from inside the house. It is bound to find its way inside. Instead, save your hose for the window screens. Pop the screen out of the window, and hose it down. Screens are delicate and can actually be damaged by harsh cleaners, so hose water is the best way to get off all the dust and dirt.
  3. Start at the corners. Most dirt collects there, so pick either the top or bottom corners, work your way to the center, and then finish at the corners again. Make sure to turn your cleaning clothe regularly to clean spots so you're not just spreading the dirt around.
  4. Find a buddy. It is very effective and time saving to have a person cleaning the inside of the window at the same time as you're cleaning the outside. That way any smears, missed dirt, and missed grime can be caught instantly by the person on the other side. But if you're on your own…
  5. Both sides of many windows can be cleaned from the inside. Casement windows (the windows that crank out, for example) can be extended to their full open positions so you can fit an arm all the way through and clean the outside, too. Hung windows nearly always have a feature allowing them to tilt. Either depress the vinyl jamb liners or tilt release buttons, tilt the window in, clean the outside, close the sash, and then clean the inside.

With care and a few hours, your windows will sparkle like new, and you won't have to break much of a sweat to make it happen, either!

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