How to Clean Your Windows Like a Professional
While many people reach for paper towels and window cleaner when their view to the outside world becomes obstructed by dirt and grime, the process of squirting solution onto the pane and wiping it away usually results in simply moving the dirt particles from one part of the window to another. In order to get your windows really clean, you need to lift the dirt away, not just relocate it.
To clean your windows like a professional you only need a few easy tools and a little bit of time. While we have included instructions for cleaning your windows using cloths, it’s highly recommended that you purchase a squeegee. Squeegees make it easier to remove the dirt from the window, and they help eliminate streaking that is often left behind when using cloths.
To get started, make sure you have:
- A good squeegee: This is particularly true if you have larger windows, such as sliders in your home. Larger windows require a larger squeegee, but you can purchase smaller squeegees for smaller panes. You might need several sizes of squeegees depending on the windows in your home.
- Several cloths: One cloth will be used for washing the windows and one will be used to polish the window after it has been washed. You will also want a spare cloth(s) that can be used after you have finished washing the windows; this rag will be used for any spills.
- A chamois cloth: This is for cleaning the areas nearest the frame. Chamois cloths are great for washing windows because they help eliminate streaks.
- Cleaning solution: The best solution to use for windows is a mild detergent mixed with warm water. Don’t add too much detergent, which will cause streaks on the windows.
- A bucket: If you will be using a squeegee, purchase a bucket that the squeegee can fit into.
The beginning of the cleaning process will depend on the type of windows you have in your home. In the following section we’ll discuss how to prepare to clean single-hung, double-hung and casement windows. Always follow the manufacturer’s advice for tilting, opening or removing sashes prior to cleaning.
How to Clean Single-Hung Windows
Unlike double-hung windows, which allow for movement of both the upper and lower window sashes, only the bottom sash moves in a single-hung window. If you have screens on your window, these are usually placed on the outside, which may mean you have to remove the screens prior to cleaning the windows. (This is a good time to clean window screens.)
The method for cleaning your single-hung windows will depend on the window’s location. If the window is located on the first floor and can be reached from the outside, you will be able to clean the window without removing the bottom sash. If your window is located upstairs and is a tilt window, you may be able to clean the window effectively. However, if the window does not tilt and you are located on an upper floor you may need to remove the lower sash or use a ladder. If so, follow manufacturer’s instructions for removing the glass prior to cleaning the window.
How to Clean Double-Hung Windows
Double-hung windows make window cleaning a breeze since both sashes move. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for opening and tilting the window sash, which will allow you to access the outside of the glass from the interior of your home. Using a squeegee may make it easier to reach the top of the windows as you clean.
How to Clean Casement Windows
Casement windows are windows that open out rather than slide up and down. Because casement windows open outward, if they are located on the bottom floor they are generally very easy to clean. For casement windows located on an upper level, crank the sash open to its maximum position, taking care not to over-crank the handles. Reach through the openings on either side of the sash to clean the glass of the casement windows.
How to Clean Your Windows Like a Pro: What You’ll Need
Once you have opened, tilted or otherwise gained access to your window pane, it is time to clean. Begin by filling a bucket with warm water. Add several squirts of mild detergent to the water. Remember to use a larger bucket if you will be cleaning the windows with a larger squeegee.
Cleaning Windows with a Squeegee
If you are cleaning windows with a squeegee:
- Cover squeegee with a cleaning cloth or cover.
- Dip your squeegee into the water.
- Cover the window with the cleaning solution or with a vinegar solution.
- Remove the cover from your squeegee.
- Press lightly against the glass with the squeegee and, from the top of the window to the bottom, slowly glide the squeegee across the pane.
- After sliding the squeegee down the glass, wipe off any water from the blade.
- Repeat until the entire window has been cleaned with the squeegee.
- Use a dry cloth if needed to clean up any drips.
- Use a chamois if needed to eliminate streaks.
Cleaning Windows Using Cloths
If you don’t have a squeegee, you can use cloths to clean your windows. To do so:
- Dip a portion of your cloth into the water and wring it out. Don’t soak the cloth with the water; just saturate it enough to wet the window.
- Wipe the glass surface of the window with the damp cloth.
- Use a clean, dry cotton cloth on the window to dry the window. Move from top to bottom as you would with a squeegee.
- Follow with a chamois to avoid streaks.
- Use a dry cotton cloth to wipe up any spills.
Keeping your windows free from dirt, grime, dust and other irritants not only improves your view, but it helps to prolong the life of your windows. For more information about replacing or maintaining your existing windows, contact Stanek Windows today by calling us at 1-800-230-8301 or filling out our free in-home estimate form online.