Keeping your windows looking new and your view clear isn’t that difficult –with a few tips we’ll help you make it even easier. For safety, if you are cleaning interior windows in the home of someone who smokes, wear latex gloves and don’t touch the dirty water with your bare hands – even if you are a smoker, if the windows haven’t been washed in a while the nicotine and other chemical residues shouldn’t come into contact with your skin. Also wear gloves if you choose to wash with an ammonia solution.
Tip 1: Get the right tools
Cleaning windows is actually very different from cleaning the surface of a glass table. Paper towels and glass cleaner will just move dirt around your windows that isn’t picked up on the towel. Get a strip applicator (or strip washer) to wash and a squeegee to dry; all-in-one tools are also available. Your tools should be durable – look for metal instead of plastic if possible for your squeegee – and the squeegee should have a new, sharp rubber blade.
For interior windows with panes, you should get a smaller squeegee, and you can use a clean sponge on these in the place of a strip washer.
Tip 2: Get the right cleaning solution
Your usual glass cleaner is for interior glass items, not for windows. Get professional window cleaning solution at a hardware store or, in a pinch, use a few squirts of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water.
Tip 3: Getting the grunge out
If your windows are extremely dirty or caked with shadfly goo, you may need to go a little harder. Use a half cup of ammonia per gallon of water to get the right solution, and go at it with the usual tools. To remove dried paint, wet the glass with the solution and then carefully remove the paint with a razor blade.
Tip 4: Squeegee like you mean it
Use the same motion that you do on your car windshield – drag the squeegee horizontally across the glass, starting at the top. Overlap your strokes by about 2” as you progress downwards.
Tip 5: Wipe off remaining water
You don’t want excess moisture to pool in the frame of your window, panes, or the sill, so wipe up any excess moisture from the edges, top and bottom after you have squeegeed your window dry with a rag.
This video is from a guy who has bought an all-in-one tool (squeegee and strip washer combined) and will give you a good idea of how to do exterior windows.
This is also a good time to inspect your windows for damage. Note any cracks in glass, the frame or any other component of the window, and contact us to see if you can have a repair done or if you need a replacement.