How to Clean Windows Like a Pro
Cleaning windows may not be your idea of a fun way to spend your time, but it’s one of those necessary evils that needs to be done occasionally. To get the job done quickly and achieve near professional level results, follow these window cleaning tips.
* Start by brushing away all the debris from the windows sill and surrounding frame with a dry, soft-bristle brush.
* Buy or fabricate a squeegee that will fit your windows. To clean multi-pane windows, tweaking a standard size squeegee to fit the panes makes the task easier and the results cleaner. To tweak the squeegee, measure the width of a pane and then measure and mark it on the squeegee. Remove the rubber blade and saw through the metal holder with a hand-held or power saw. File down the sawed edges to make them smooth to prevent any cuts or scratches. Cut the rubber blade to the proper length and place it back into the newly sized holder and you’re ready for window washing.
DIY window cleaning process
* Add a few drops of dish washing liquid to a bucket of very warm water. Dip a large sponge into the soapy water and wring out most of the excess water. The sponge needs to be more than damp, but less than soaked so the window will receive a good wetting but the surrounding items (including yourself) will remain dry. Rub the wet sponge across the window in a circular motion, starting at the top and overlapping as you work your way down the window pane.
* Place the squeegee at the top of the pane and pull down with one quick motion, starting on one side and working your way over. Wipe the squeegee blade off with a lint-free cloth, then place it back at the top of the pane. Slightly overlap the edge of the last stroke, then pull the squeegee down again. Continue until all the glass surface has been squeegeed. Wipe all the wood surfaces on and around the windows with a damp cloth.
* Remove stubborn stains or hard water spots with very fine 000 grade of steel wool. Wet the glass with the dish washing liquid and water solution, then gently rub the steel wool in a circulation motion across the stains. Wash and squeegee window as normal.
To protect window glass from developing buildup from the outside elements, apply a glass surface protectant after the window is dry.
DIY Window Washing Tips and Tricks
DIY window cleaning and washing your home’s windows yourself can save you money and give you the satisfaction of a job well-done each time you look out of your sparkling clean windows. Getting prepared is half the battle of any D.I.Y. job. The best way to stay motivated is to purchase all items needed and keep them together in the bucket you’ll be using for the task, so anytime you are ready for window washing, all your tools will be ready too.
Window Washing Essentials
* Dishwashing liquid that does not contain skin moisturizer or a bottle of white vinegar
* Large sea sponge
* Large cleaning brush with soft bristles
* Clothes that are lint-free such as microfiber (not paper towel, which will leave lint behind)
* Straight-edge razor blade for scratching away any stuck on debris or paint splatters
* Rubber gloves
Getting Started with DIY window cleaning
Preferably choose a cool day when the sun is not shining directly on the windows. Direct sunshine will cause the glass cleaning solution to dry too quickly and create streaks on the glass. Starting in the morning on the side of your home where the sun will hit first will give you a head-start against the rays.
If washing windows on the inside, place a cloth across the windowsill to absorb any drips. If working outside, make sure the ladder is secure before climbing.
Use the brush to sweep away all dust, cobwebs or other debris from the window and surrounding sill when starting DIY window cleaning process.
Create a cheap and effective D.I.Y. glass cleaning solution by mixing one part dishwashing liquid into nine parts of hot water in the bucket. Add the water first, then the dish washing liquid to prevent soap suds from forming. If you prefer to use white vinegar, then create the cleaning solution by mixing half and half white vinegar and hot water in the bucket. Make sure the water is not too hot that it will hurt your hands as you use it.
Dampen the sponge and wipe across window glass in a circular motion. Use a straight-edge razor blade to remove stuck on bird droppings or other debris as needed.
Using your squeegee, place the blade flush against the top of the window pane starting on one side. Pull the squeegee downward without stopping until it reaches the bottom of the pane. Pick squeegee straight up, wipe the blade off with a lint-free cloth and place back at the top of pane so it overlaps slightly with the first stroke. Make the second stroke downward just like the first and continue until the entire glass surface has been squeegeed downward. Make one final swipe with the squeegee across the bottom of the window pane.
Dampen another cloth with all-purpose cleaner and wipe the window frame and sill clean.
Take a step back and do a visual inspection for streaks. If you see none, move onto to the next window.