How to Clean Windows Quickly and Effectively

window-cleaningWith a task as tedious as cleaning your windows, it’s best to do it right the first time. You don’t want to discover later that the sun is shining through the glass, illuminating the smears and streaks you thought you’d worked so hard to remove.

To do the job properly, it’s a matter of preparation beforehand. Once you get the steps down, you can speed through the task and spend more time enjoying your windows than actually working on them.

Collect the proper tools for the job.

Invest in a strip applicator (also known as a strip washer) with a long cloth head and a squeegee. There are several window cleaning kits that include everything you will need.

A squeegee prevents the action that wiping glass with a cloth will cause: Scrubbing merely moves the dirt around and creates a static charge on the glass which serves to attract even more dirt.

Since streaks are caused by the cleansing solution drying before it can be squeegeed off, it’s always better to wash your windows on a cloudy day.

You can use an industrial cleaner purchased at a store or create your own homemade solution from a few drops of dish soap blended into a bucket of hot water. Keep in mind that the technique you use is much more important than the cleaning product, so don’t be tempted to spend a lot of money on a higher-end product when a cheaper one will probably provide the same results.

Clean both sides of the window.

Apply your solution with the strip applicator all over the glass. Start at the upper left hand section of the window, pulling it over the pane in a reverse-S pattern, unless you are left-handed. Then start at the top right. At the end of each S stroke, wipe the blade with a lint-free cloth. Cloth diapers or old linen napkins are good for this task. Repeat the S motion until the window is largely clear of the solution.

Detail the edges of the glass with a damp (but wrung-dry) chamois. This will soak up the wetness without leaving any streaks.

Dry the windowsill with a rag; excess water can erode windowsills or remove their paint.

When the window is dry, rub it with a well-washed cotton T-shirt or a crumpled newspaper. Either will leave the glass shining, and the newspaper, in fact, will leave behind a dirt-resistant film.

When you move to the other side of the window, be sure to clean it with strokes the opposite direction of the ones you used to clean the first side. That way, if you see a streak when you are finished, you will immediately know which side of the glass it’s on.

Windows should really be washed twice a year, as soon as it gets warm enough outside in the spring and just prior to the autumn cool-down. If you follow these steps, you can soon have your window-washing down to a science.