Under 2 hours
Nothing improves a view like looking out of clean windows. Use this guide to master window cleaning with advice on the how to clean windows efficiently and the window cleaning supplies that make the job simple to complete.
Select Window Cleaning Supplies
- Glass cleaners are available in a number of different forms, including liquids, foams, sprays and wipes. Some are versatile substances that can be used on a number of different surfaces, including glass, tile, countertops and more.
- No-drip cleaners utilize a thicker formula, making them less likely to run down to the bottom of a window before you've had a chance to wipe them clean.
- Pre-packaged wipes come with cleaning solution already applied and are ideal for use on smaller windows.
- Diluting a small amount of ammonia, rubbing alcohol or vinegar in water creates a homemade cleaning solution that's effective on soil and grease. Mixing warm water with cornstarch or dish soap creates an effective general window cleanse.
- Avoid mixing cleaners together, as the chemicals may react to form dangerous gases.
- Use a five-gallon bucket to hold cleaning solution and change water as it gets dirty to maintain effectiveness. Some scrubbers come with a bucket designed specifically to match their size.
- Paper towels, cleaning cloths and even newspaper can all be used to clean windows, but the best way to ensure a streak-free finish is to employ a squeegee. Squeegees feature a rubber blade that removes the cleaner as you drag it across the surface of the window. They come in multiple sizes and, in some cases, may be cut to fit your windows.
- Squeegees with replaceable rubber blades allow you to reuse them over and over. Replace blades at the first sign of wear to maintain effectiveness. Plastic clips help secure squeegee blades in place for more precise use.
- Porcupine scrubbers are ideal for scraping sap and other substances from the surface of windows.
- Combination scrubber/squeegees perform the work of two tools to make your window washing job easier.
- Extension poles make it easy to reach high windows with both scrubbers and squeegees.
How to Clean Windows
When considering the best ways to clean windows, you have to also consider the best times to clean as well. Window cleaning is best undertaken on a cool day with low or no wind. Early morning or late afternoon are the best times of day to work on the project; when the sun shines directly on the windows the cleaning solution may dry too quickly and leave streaks. In many places, early spring and early fall present the best weather for window cleaning.
- Clean the frames, sills and cross pieces first. If you clean them afterward, you may end up soiling or streaking the glass panes.
- Use adhesive removers to get rid of residue from stickers or labels prior to cleaning.
- Use a razor blade or scrubber to remove sap, dried paint or other hard substances from surface of windows.
- Dip a scrub brush into the bucket of cleaning solution and apply to window, scrubbing firmly to remove built-up pollution, dirt, grit and grime.
- Dip a sponge or scrubber into solution, go over the window section again.
- Using a squeegee, start at the top of the window and pull the squeegee from side-to-side, working toward the unwashed part of the window. Use a clean cloth or a chamois to dry the squeegee between strokes.
- Quickly wipe up the water that drips down onto the sill as well as the corners of the panes using a rag or towel.
- For large projects, some window cleaners come in a bottle that can be attached directly to a garden hose. They are sprayed on and, after setting for a few seconds, rinsed off by adjusting a knob on the bottle to allow pure water to flow through. This method doesn't require any sort of wiping, scrubbing or drying, making it ideal for high or hard-to-reach windows.
- Tinted windows may require different care, so consult the manufacturer's instructions.
- If you're concerned about your windows spotting, apply a rain shield. This substance should be applied according to the manufacturer's instructions and then buffed off, after which it will prevent spots from appearing even when it rains, snows or sleets.