Leaving your windows dirty won’t only block sunlight but also expose your home to allergens, dirt, dust, and other materials. Not to mention, they’ll look plain terrible. Cleaning your windows and window frame are more than just wiping them with some water, though, especially if you want to get the best results. Unlike other surfaces, glass surfaces need special treatment to be cleaned.
Don’t panic; it’s really not as complicated as you think. Most of the ingredients and tools you’ll need are probably within your household, anyway, but, of course, it’ll take you some elbow grease to get things done.
In this guide, we’ll acquaint you with the best professional window cleaning tips to clean windows without a single streak and give you some extra tips to avoid the most common mistakes that people usually make, so stick around!
How to Clean Windows: Your Step-by-Step Guide
- Get All the Tools and Window Cleaning Supplies
Before starting off, make sure that you have all the tools you need within hand’s reach. Here’s a complete list of all the tools and liquids that’ll come in handy during the process:
- Clean towel for excess water, dry cloth, lint-free microfiber rag;
- Rubber squeegee
- A couple of extra rags or microfiber cloths
- Towel (medium or large-sized)
- Dishwashing liquid
- Cleaning solution
- Pre-Clean Your Windows
Before you start with the actual cleaning process, you need to make sure your windows are free of aggressive stains, like bird droppings, bugs, and mineral deposit and this is one of our professional window cleaning tips tricks.Also, if you have children who like to put stickers on panes and window glass, your job has just gotten harder. For the best results, follow these steps:
Remove Grime and Dust
Before cleaning your windows, the first step you need to do is to remove accumulated dust with a vacuum. This will make things easier for you when you apply the cleaning solution and wipe it (more on that later).
You can either utilize a hand or regular vacuum with an attachment that’s suitable for window washing. You don’t even have to use a vacuum; a clean brush will get the job done perfectly, too.
Remove the Curtains and Furniture
If you have curtains or blinds, it’d be best if you remove them before cleaning windows. You don’t want your curtains to get dirty or even stained from the chemicals. Also, if you have any furniture near the windows, get it out of the way.
Get Rid of Stubborn Stains
Stubborn stains are the hardest to remove when cleaning panes. It’d be best to take care of them before applying any water or solutions.
Just apply a suitable type of mineral deposit removing cleaner to a sponge and wipe the stains until they’re completely removed. Alternatively, you can use a razor blade to remove them, but be careful not to hurt yourself or scratch the glass.
You can also use concentrated vinegar. Apply it to the stains and let it stay for 5-10 minutes, then try wiping the stains with a cloth.
Another good professional window cleaning tip is to make a paste that consists of a cleaner that contains oxalic acid in its ingredients mixed with water. Apply the paste and start wiping with a clean cloth. Also, ensure that the paste is completely removed before proceeding with the cleaning process.
Remove the Stickers
Removing stickers off glass surfaces can be a bit tricky, and it’s not as easy as simply removing them by hand. Your best bet is to use a plastic scraper coupled with a good amount of water.
First, spray the stickers with a water spray bottle, then scrape the stickers off with the scraper from bottom to top. When done, wipe off the water before it dries on the glass.
Remove and Clean the Window Screens
If the screens look messy, remove them, then spray them with water and wipe gently with a mix of water and dish soap using a clean, soft brush or sponge. Vinegar would work, too.
- Prepare Your Window Cleaning Solution
When it comes to window cleaning solutions, you’ve got two options: either prepare your own DIY cleaning mixture or buy a ready-made one.
Preparing a DIY Window Cleaner
If you don’t want to invest in expensive ready-made cleaning mixtures, here’s how you can prepare your window cleaning solution with household ingredients in a couple of steps:
- Mix some distilled white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in warm water and put the mix in a spray bottle
- Mix one spoon of dishwashing soap in a bucket full of water (1.82.2gallons)
Using a Ready-Made Window Cleaning Solution
There’s a wide variety of commercial window cleaning solutions, but not all of them are effective. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Spic & Span Cinch Glass Cleaner;
- Invisible Glass Cleaner;
- Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner;
- Windex Original Glass Wipes;
- Windex Outdoor Cleaning Tool.
However, many of these products don’t differ much from your DIY cleaning mixture, but they’re a good option if you want to save yourself the hassle of mixing stuff together.
- Start Cleaning
Now, let’s get into the actual cleaning, shall we? Just follow these instructions:
- Rinse the windows with soapy water to remove the outermost film of grime;
- Apply the cleaning mixture and start wiping with a lint-free microfiber cloth or a sponge;
- If the windows are too high, you can use a sponge mop on a pole;
- Rinse the panes again;
- Wipe the windows and the frames with a squeegee that has a sharp rubber blade. Wipe them from top to bottom.
Professional window cleaning tips: Pick a cloudy day for this process to prevent the window cleaner residue from creating smears due to sunshine.
- Dry Them off
To dry your picture windows, use the squeegee’s blade and do horizontal strokes while maintaining contact with the surface.
On the flip side, if you have small panes, a vertical movement would be the better option. Just make sure to dry the blade between strokes and overlap each stroke by a few inches. Then, spray and dry again until they’re completely free of streaks.
It’d really help if the squeegee blade is sharp, especially if you want your windows to be streak-free. A high-quality squeegee would definitely have a sharp blade. Additionally, You can use a paper towel or newspaper for extra dryness.
Professional window cleaning tips: For additional streak prevention, replace the squeegee rubber blade every once in a while or whenever it starts wearing out.
- Clean Windows From the Inside
Many people skip cleaning the inside of their windows just because it doesn’t get as dirty as the outer part. However, the inside part can accumulate dirt, too, even if you don’t see it; take our word for it.
Luckily, cleaning windows from the inside is much easier than cleaning them from the outside. You don’t even need a window cleaning mixture. Just spill some water and wipe with a lint-free microfiber, and you’ll get them as shiny as new!
For optimum results, wipe from top to bottom and put a bucket right under the windows to avoid creating a mess on the floor. Also, make sure to wipe the frames because they tend to accumulate grease and dirt.
In some places, the inside of the panes may require you to use a cleaning mixture if it’s too dirty. In that case, just apply some cleaning mixture and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth.
- Remove Any Remaining Water
We’ve already shown you how to dry your windows, but we’ve added this step just to stress how important it is for you to ensure that your windows are 100% free of water drips after cleaning to avoid water spots and streaks. It’s preferable to use a new cloth to remove the remaining water, especially around the windowsill.
How to Clean Windows Without Streaks
If you want to clean your windows without creating a streak, add a suitable amount of cornstarch to your window cleaner. Such a small addition will make a huge difference and will result in streak-free windows. Also, avoid these mistakes:
Using Non-Distilled Water
Using non-distilled water is a surefire way to get windows full of streaks because it leaves residue when it evaporates.
Pulling the Squeegee in the Middle of the Swipe
Maintaining contact with the glass while swiping your squeegee is essential in preventing streak formation.
Using an Absorbent Cloth
Absorbent cloths make the dirt linger on the windows, which creates more streaks. Use squeegees instead.
Consider Opting for a Window Cleaning Service
If you have too many windows or simply don’t have the time to clean your windows yourself, you can get in touch with a window cleaning service to make your windows shine again! Window cleaning services serve homes, offices, and corporations.
Usually, the more work you need to get done, the better deals you can get. For example, if you have many rooms in your house with dirty windows, you can get yourself a good discount. Also, corporations that use window cleaning services can get the service at a considerable discount, especially if there are multiple buildings with several stories.
FAQs / More tips on cleaning your windows
Professional window cleaners use squeegees, lint-free rags, buckets, small paper towels, scrubbers, and dishwashing liquid.
Sometimes, your windows look clean, but they have watermarks that don’t seem to be removable no matter what you do. Here’s how you can remove them in a few easy steps:
- Mix one cup vinegar with some water (preferably with a 50-50 ratio) and put the mixture in a bucket
- Soak a paper towel into the bucket and wipe the spots
- Dry off the surface using a dry sponge or lint-free cloth
- For lingering spots, scrub them off with a toothbrush after applying the solution. Repeat until the spots are completely removed
You don’t have to use vinegar if you’re worried about the smell. Some of the best alternatives include rubbing alcohol, ammonia (NH3), and lemon juice. However, alcohol and NH3 may leave some residue behind, so you might end up using vinegar to remove them anyway.
On a side note, if you’re going to make the mixture with ammonia, make sure that you put on a pair of protective gloves since it can burn your hands
Now You’re Ready to Clean Windows Like a Pro!
Phew! We’ve come to the end of it. You have all the professional window cleaningtips to be a professional window washer, or at least we hope so. We’re pretty sure that this is the best way to clean windows, period.
The trickiest part is usually the streaks that remain once the windows are dry, but if you follow our step-by-step guide carefully, we guarantee you that there’ll be no visible streaks whatsoever.
You can give it a shot yourself and let us know how it worked for you; we’re curious to know!