DIY Window Cleaning
Have you ever been to a beautiful home with a gorgeous view and the windows were dirty? It can detract from the whole experience. Having clean windows, on the other hand, will enhance the feel of any room. Clean windows let in more light, improve your view and makes the room feel fresher. The question arises, though; if you don’t want to hire a cleaning professional, how can you clean your own windows? Let’s find out.
The first thing you want to find out is how you will access your windows. This may sound simple, and depending on your home it could be. However, for some of you out there, this may appear to be a daunting task. So do you have a single story home with easy to access windows? If yes, proceed to the next section. If not, then first find out if you can clean both sides of the window from the inside. This will be the safest and easiest option. Depending on the type of window you have, you may be able to actually fold in the window so you can clean the outside from the inside. Check your window for some sort of latch towards the top and see if you can get it to pivot down. If you are able to use this method you will want some sort of drop cloth to protect your furniture and finishes during the cleaning process. If you need to clean your windows from the outside, are you going to use a ladder or a pole? If you use a ladder always be sure to maintain 3 points of contact while on the ladder and never overreach. Using an extension pole will be safer but may take a few tries to get comfortable with the technique.
What supplies should you use?
Here are the very basic items you will need to achieve the best results.
– Bucket. You just need something big enough to hold a gallon or two of your cleaning solution
– Squeegee. This is probably the single most important piece to achieving good results. Make sure the squeegee rubber is in good shape, straight and with no cracks or chunks missing.
– Applicator. This is used to apply your cleaning solution to the window. You can invest a few dollars into getting a professional T-bar style applicator or if you don’t want to do that, you can get away with using a damp rag or sponge.
– Cleaning Cloths. Make sure you have plenty. Microfiber cloths are ideal for this since they are absorbent but don’t leave the lint behind of a cotton rag.
– Cleaning Solution. You can purchase an actual window cleaning product if you desire, but it is definitely not necessary. You can easily make your own solution. Just use a few drops of dish soap in a gallon of water and add no more than a quarter cup of vinegar or ammonia. The key here is not to overdo it with the detergent. If you put in too much soap you can leave a residue that will make your window more susceptible to streaking when you go to wash it.
So now for the fun part. Cleaning your windows.
It’s all about the technique so follow these steps for some great looking results.
Tech tip: Ideally, try not to clean in direct sunlight, especially on a hot day. This will cause your solution to dry up too fast and increase the risk of streaks.
- Apply your solution to the window. (Top window first) Be sure to get full coverage and lightly scrub as you go. Don’t soak the window but put enough solution so that you can squeegee it all before it begins to dry out.
- Squeegee the window. This is the most important step, so be sure to do it right. The most basic technique is to start in the upper corner and drag your tool straight across until you reach the other side. Then move down and do the next section, slightly overlapping the dry section that you just finished. Work your way down until you complete the window. It’s important to keep the squeegee at a slight angle so the water travels down instead of back over the top of your squeegee. You should also dry your squeegee blade before starting each section. If you want to try a more advanced technique look into the butterfly technique which allows you to squeegee the entire pane without lifting it off the window.
- Touch up. Use a dry rag and just go around the edges of the window. Try to get all the moisture from around the edges so that they don’t drip down later. Do not touch the center of the window with a wet rag. If you notice any streaks use a dry rag to touch them up. Ideally, the squeegee gets all the center and you only need to use your cloth to sop up the excess moisture from around the edges.
- Finishing. This is usually a good time to wipe down the window tracks and frame. Before walking away from the window look at it from different angles and make sure there are no nasty streaks in that you missed. The only thing worse than dirty windows is clean windows that have streaks all over them.
It may take some practice to get good at cleaning your windows, but the process of cleaning your own windows can be a relaxing and rewarding experience and the results will have you feeling proud to show off your new sparkling clear views. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.
Watch this video to see how easy it can be to clean your windows.