There are many ways to clean your windows, and if you’ve found a great method that works perfectly to your standards, then by all means, keep doing what you’re doing.
But if you’re finding that the technique you’ve grown accustomed to just isn’t getting the job done, then take note of some of these tips and get your windows looking clean, clear and beautiful again.
Many of these practices apply when you’re cleaning both the interior and exterior part of your windows. However, some steps can get a bit messy if you’re not careful, so use your discretion.
For example, when working on the exterior, it is a good idea to give your windows a quick rinse with a hose. But you’re not going to be doing that from the inside, right? (Also, double-check to make sure your windows are in fact fully closed before getting started.)
Gather a plastic bucket, dishwashing liquid, a sponge or scrubber, and a squeegee. Squeeze a small amount of soap into the bucket and fill it with water.
Start by rinsing the windows with a hose. Modern day windows and window glass can stand up to a decent spray-down, but don’t get carried away with the water pressure and a sharp flow control setting. The last thing you want to do is damage your window.
Once this is done, get working on each window one at a time. Dunk your sponge into the water, squeeze some of the excess liquid out of it, and scrub every inch of the window glass. Then grab your squeegee, and work from side to side or top to bottom until the soapy water is removed. (You should occasionally be wiping the squeegee blade on a clean towel to remove any dirt you may have picked up.)
Whether you’re squeegeeing vertically or horizontally, it’s best to start at the top of the window and work your way to the bottom—gravity will be dragging the excess water and soap down throughout the process.
Wipe down the frame of your window with a rag, and if you have a microfiber towel available, carefully run it along the very edge of the glass to remove the remainder of excess water and soap that you may not have gotten with the squeegee.
This process (minus the hose-down), can be repeated on the inside of the window. However, be extra careful to not make a mess. Lay towels across the bottom of the window and/or wall to protect the interior of your house from soapy water.
If you don’t feel comfortable with the sponge and squeegee method inside, there are many professional glass cleaners available that can do the trick. These can be applied directly to the glass and wiped clean with paper towels. Ask a representative at your local hardware store for recommendations.
Some windows have functions that allow you to clean the outside of your windows from the inside. You may have a clip or tab on the frame that releases the window unit down and toward you. If you’re unsure, it’s best to have a helper assist in bringing down the window. They can also hold it up at the proper angle while you clean.
These are tried-and-true methods to cleaning windows, but there are many other techniques out there that homeowners swear by. One of these is to give the glass a quick wipe-down with water and soap. Then, mix a small amount of vinegar with water into a spray bottle and wipe the glass dry. This can also be done on the exterior, but with a hose-rinse at the beginning and a squeegee during the drying phases.
What good is a clean window if the screen in front of it is filthy? Remove the screens from your windows, give them a good hose-down, scrub them with the soap-and-water mix we described above, and rinse once more before putting them back in.
The above methods assume you have direct physical access to the window. If you must use a ladder, be extremely careful and always have someone with you to help. We do not recommend cleaning windows from the roof and advise you to seek a professional if this is necessary.
Need more tips on maintaining the windows in your home? Browse Glass.com’s Info Center section for more.