accessing . . .

accessing . . .

Home Care Library

Tips for Better and Easier Window Washing

Clean windows feel good! When your windows are clean, you get a crystal-clear view of a beautiful day. And clean windows allow more sunlight in, which helps you save energy in the winter. Here are some tips that will help you do the job faster and better, and get truly professional results. This article and video will cover:
  • What You Need to Get Started

  • How to Prep Your Windows

  • Preparing Your Cleaning Solution

  • Professional Washing Techniques

  • Other Tips



Here are the items that you will need to have on hand to get started:

  • foam or cloth squeegee with a swivel head;

  • dishwasher soap;

  • several gallons of distilled water;

  • squeegee with a soft rubber edge;

  • 2-gallon bucket

And then here are some items that you may need to use:

  • newspaper (for polishing your glass when you are finished);

  • toothpaste for removing small scratches from your glass (see costs and reviews of toothpastes);

  • Q-tips or an old toothbrush for cleaning debris out of the corners of your windows (see costs and reviews of cotton swabs);

  • shop vac or vacuum cleaner with attachments for removing debris from frames or sills (see costs and reviews of shop vacs);

  • white vinegar (if you allow smoking in your home);

  • ammonia-based cleaner (only for use on very stubborn stained areas);

  • rubber gloves and a respirator - if you need to clean off any bat or bird droppings (see types, costs, and reviews of: rubber gloves; respirators).



There are several important steps that you will want to take prior to actually starting to wash your windows:


. Before starting to wash your windows, do an inspection of your windows. In particular, look at the corners, frames and sills, and for the presence of any bat or bird droppings


. If the corners have heavy build-up, then you should use Q-tips or a soft toothbrush to clean any debris trapped in these corners.

Bat or bird droppings

. If there are bird or bat droppings on your windows, then you will want to clean this off before doing your regular washing. You should be sure to wear rubber gloves and a respirator when cleaning these droppings off, as it can be dangerous to breathe or touch these droppings.

Frames and Sills

. If your window frames and sills have build-ups, you should use a small shop vac or vacuum cleaner attachment to remove this debris from your frames and sills.


. And finally, to prep your windows for washing you should pre-rinse the dirt off of your outside windows before washing them. This will help avoid scratching your windows while cleaning.


The next step to getting a professional result is to use the proper cleaning solution. And here are a few tips:
  • Use a few drops of dishwasher soap in 2 gallons of water as your cleaning solution, which will help cut through dirt and grease.

  • Do not use more than a few drops of dishwasher soap, as too sudsy of a solution will cause spotting and streaking.

  • Use distilled water, since the reduced minerals in it will help to reduce spotting.

  • Avoid ammonia-based solutions, as these can damage your glass and window seals. Use carefully only for very stubborn stains.

  • If you allow smoking in your home, you can add white vinegar to your cleaning solution to help remove the smoke build-up from your windows.



Having properly prepped your windows and prepared your cleaning solution, now here are some tips to help you wash your windows like a pro:
  • Use a foam or cloth squeegee with a swivel head to apply your cleaning solution.

  • Wring out most of the liquid before applying to your cleaning solution, especially inside your home to avoid drips on your walls, floors, etc.

  • Apply your cleaning solution with a gentle scrubbing motion.

  • After scrubbing, immediately remove the cleaning solution with your rubber-edged squeegee, before it has a chance to start drying on your window.

  • When squeegee-ing off your windows, try to use continuous "S" type motions to help reduce streaks.

  • After completing a pass with your squeegee, dry the blade with a clean rag before starting a new pass.

  • Wash windows from the top down, both when applying your cleaning solution and when using your squeegee to dry them.

  • Place a dry towel over areas you are concerned about dripping or splashing with cleaning solution, such as window sills, carpets, furniture, etc.



And finally, here are a few other window washing tips:
  • Avoid washing on either sunny or windy days, as these can cause your cleaning solution to start to dry before you can properly squeegee it off, thereby causing streaks.

  • After cleaning your windows, you can polish them using dry crumpled newspaper.

  • If you find any small scratches on your windows, you can often remove them by polishing these areas with toothpaste.

  • If you must use an ammonia-based cleaner, be sure to have adequate ventilation when working inside.

  • And finally, if you have tilt-wash style windows, then before getting started you will want to review your manufacturer's instructions for how to use this feature when washing.



We hope these widow washing tips will help you to wash your windows faster and better, and that the professional results you achieve will help you to enjoy glorious sunny days, and save energy too.

Related Articles . . .

Storm Window Care
Your storm windows are great for reducing your energy bills by providing an extra layer of insulation which reduces heat transfer from your home. This article gives you advice on how to best take care of your storm windows. more
The Best Way to Clean Window Screens
Window screens look and work best when they are cleaned regularly. But cleaning should be done carefully to avoid damaging the delicate screen material and frame. Here are tips for the best way to clean your window screens. more
Making Window Cleaning Fun for Kids
If you have kids, this article gives you some fun ideas for getting them involved in your window cleanings. more
Using Window Treatments to Save Energy
Window treatments enhance the decor of your home, but they can also play an important role in reducing your energy bill. This article describes how blinds, drapes, and shades can each save you money. more