Window Cleaning Tips
When it comes to cleaning windows, a few simple tips and tools can help you get your windows so clean they practically shine. A few drops of vinegar in a spray bottle, along with a lint-free cloth or even a newspaper page can make all the difference.
Whenever possible, avoid washing your windows on sunny days as direct sunlight can cause them to dry too quickly and lead to streaking. More by clicking here.
Before professional window cleaners arrive, make sure to clear the way by removing any small plants and decorative knick-knacks from your windowsill. These items may be in the way or break when the cleaners try to reach them.
Next, wipe down the frame and window sill using a damp washcloth. Doing this before the cleaners arrive means that they won’t have to spend time cleaning up your stuff later on.
Spray a window cleaner or homemade vinegar solution onto the glass. Start from the top and work toward the bottom to prevent drips. Avoid over-spraying, as it can damage non-glass surfaces or cause streaking.
Wipe down the glass using a microfiber cloth or newspaper (not paper towels, which leave lint behind). Be sure to get around corners and edges to avoid water spots and streaks. Finally, use a rubber-bladed squeegee like Ettore’s 6-inch model, which is recommended in our guide to the best window squeegees, to remove the soapy water and leave the glass shiny.
It’s important not to skimp on cleaner — you need enough to dissolve and suspend the dirt, which can then be wiped away. Skimping leads to streaks.
When spraying, aim toward the center of the window, staying away from edges and non-glass surfaces that could be damaged by too much product. Some cleaners can contain ammonia, which helps with stubborn stains and is safe to use on glass.
After spraying, wipe down the windows with a microfiber cloth or squeegee, working from the top down to prevent drips. Make sure the squeegee blade is clean before each swipe. A dry lint-free cloth can also be used to buff out any remaining solution residue. If the windows have screens, take care not to scratch them. Finally, rinse the screens to remove any remaining cleaning solution residue and let them dry completely before reinstalling them. It’s best to do this on a cloudy day so that the windows aren’t warmed by sunlight, which can cause them to dry too quickly and leave streaks behind.
Professional window cleaners use a woolly strip applicator to create a rich lather that effectively cleans water spots, dirt, and grime. They scrub thoroughly on troubled areas, such as greasy stains, and they can remove stickers and decals. They may even employ a special sill brush or steel wool to loosen crusty and gritty stains.
After washing the windows, they wipe them dry with a microfiber cloth, chamois, or newspaper. Paper towels leave lint streaks, so professionals usually use reusable microfiber cloths. They may also wipe the rubber blade of the squeegee between passes. This prevents moisture and hard mineral buildup from adhering to the glass and causing smudges or streaks. They also keep a spare rubber blade on hand for quick replacements.
After the windows are clean, it’s important to dry them thoroughly. This helps prevent the windows from dripping, which could lead to water damage around the edges and corners. You can use a microfiber cloth (like the Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloth we recommend in our guide to the best window cleaning products) or paper towels. If using paper towels, choose a brand that can stand up to wetness and doesn’t leave lint behind—like Bounty Regular.
Start with the frame and window sill, using a clean, lint-free towel or squeegee. Move down the window pane, wiping in an “S” pattern. If necessary, wipe the squeegee blade on the towel periodically to avoid smearing dirt back onto the glass. Finally, wipe the sill to remove any remaining water. Next article.