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The Best Way To Clean Your Windows

Once you complete the easy task of cleaning your windows, your home will feel bright and fresh. Follow these tips to learn the best way to wash windows and avoid common pitfalls of DIY window cleaning.


The Right Cleaning Solution

Many people reach for a bottle of blue glass cleaner to wash their windows, but this is an inefficient choice. Save the glass cleaner for the bathroom mirror and instead make a solution closer to what the pros use to clean windows.

For average window washing situations, a squirt of dish soap in a bucket of warm water makes the perfect cleaning solution. You don’t want too many suds – just a little soap to boost the water’s cleaning power.

If you have particularly grimy windows, you might need something a bit stronger to break up tough spots. In this case, mix the following ingredients together:

  • 2 quarts warm water

  • 1 pint rubbing alcohol

  • 1/2 cup ammonia

  • 1/4 cup vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon dish soap

The Right Window Washing Tools

A common mistake is to pair the cleaning solution with paper towels. However, this is neither efficient nor cost effective, and other tools are much better suited for the job.

Apply the cleaner with the long cloth head of a strip applicator if you’re washing large, uninterrupted window panes. Another good option is a bumpy sea sponge, appropriate for both large and small windows. Depending on the size of the window and how many you need to clean, you can either pour your cleaning solution into a squirt bottle or dunk the applicator/sponge directly in the bucket.

A squeegee is an important tool for a streak-free finish. If you can find a squeegee with a rubber blade on one side and lamb’s wool on the other, you can apply and remove the cleaning solution with a single tool. Keep a lint-free rag on hand (such as a cloth diaper or old linen napkin) to dry the squeegee blade as you go.
 

The Right Window Washing Techniques

Before you begin, sweep away any spider webs or dead bugs from around the windows to help your bucket of window cleaner stay as fresh as possible.

Wash your windows on a cloudy day to slow the drying time and reduce the likelihood of streaking. Start from the highest windows you plan to wash and work your way down so you don’t drip on windows you’ve already cleaned.

Apply the cleaning solution and scrub any trouble areas with your applicator or sponge. Switch to the squeegee, pulling it over the soapy pane in a reverse-S pattern, starting at the upper left corner (start at the upper right corner if you’re left-handed). If the squeegee stutters along the glass, add a little more soap to your cleaning solution. Wipe off the squeegee blade and windowsill, and move to the next window to start the process again.