Over time, dirt and grime build up on windows, indoors and out. That’s not a good thing.
Just like dishes, clothes, and floors, windows need to be cleaned regularly. Using the right cleaning methods and products can help them look their best. Follow these expert tips to keep your windows looking crystal clear.
1. Use a Soft Brush
It’s important to use a soft brush when cleaning windows. This will prevent scrubbing and scratching the glass, which can cause permanent damage. Using a soft brush will also help to avoid leaving streaks.
Using a soft brush also helps to keep dust off of the frame and sill, which will improve overall appearance. It’s a good idea to remove the blinds or curtains before cleaning and wash them, following the care instructions on the label.
In addition to using a soft brush, it’s also important to use the right type of cleaner. Many commercial window cleaners are harsh and contain ammonia, which can leave streaks on the glass. Instead, try to make your own non-abrasive window cleaner. A solution made with two gallons of water and a tablespoon of dish detergent works well. This will not only save you money, but it will also be less harsh on the windows than most commercial cleaners.
Another thing to consider is the type of water you’re using. Many tap waters have minerals that can leave ugly marks on the glass. This can be avoided by using filtered or purified water when cleaning windows.
Finally, it’s important to sanitize the brush between uses. This will help to keep the bristles clean and reduce bacteria and germs on them. This will also help to extend the life of the brush.
Whether you’re cleaning your own windows or those of a client, it’s crucial to take the time to properly maintain them. This will help to ensure that your work looks professional and will last longer. Using the right tools and techniques will also save you time and effort in the long run.
Besides the standard window cleaning equipment like a spray bottle, bucket, and squeegee, you’ll need a sander to scrub the frames, and a vacuum with the upholstery or slim nozzle attachment to clean the tracks and windowsills. In addition, a brush like Gardiner’s Universal Sill Brush is perfect for reaching corners and deep into the frames on tall buildings. It features a swivel lock that keeps the brush head in a fixed position, which makes it easier to clean and reduces the chances of accidental scrubbing or wiping.
2. Don’t Mix Dirty Water With Cleaner
Using dirty water with cleaner will cause streaks and make your windows even dirtier. Instead, clean the window frames and tracks first with soapy water. This will also help remove any grease and grime from the glass itself. Then, rinse the window thoroughly to prevent soap suds from drying on the windows.
Some people make the mistake of only cleaning one side of a window, but this is not the way to get a streak-free finish. Both sides of a window are equally dirty, so you need to ensure that both are cleaned before moving on. The outside of a window is often dirtier, so it needs to be cleaned more frequently. This is why it is important to have a screen wiper on hand so that you can remove the pollen and bird droppings as they appear.
It is best to avoid abrasive brushes when washing your windows, as they can leave scratches on the glass. It is a good idea to use a soft brush, such as an old toothbrush, that has been rinsed in vinegar. Vinegar is a natural solution that is effective at removing tough grime from windows, and it won’t damage the window sill or other surfaces.
Vinegar can be used on its own or mixed with other household products to create a natural window cleaning spray. This will save you money on buying expensive commercial cleaners and it will also prevent harmful chemicals from entering your home. To make a natural cleaner simply add two tablespoons of white vinegar to a bucket of water.
Another useful tip is to keep a dry microfibre cloth close at hand. This will allow you to remove any streaks from the glass quickly and easily. It will also be useful for wiping the frame and sill after you have finished.
Finally, it is best to avoid cleaning your windows on sunny days if possible. Sunshine will create a glare on the glass that will make it harder to spot smears. It will also cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leaving unsightly streaks.
3. Use Microfiber Cloths
The best way to achieve clean and streak-free windows is to use microfiber cloths. These cloths are a more environmentally friendly and efficient option than paper towels, which often shred when wet, leaving lint behind. Microfiber cloths are also super absorbent and washable, making them an excellent choice for a variety of cleaning tasks.
When choosing a microfiber cloth, look for one that has been specifically designed for glass and mirrors. The split fibers in these cloths easily grab and hold onto dirt, dust, and debris, which helps to eliminate streaking. It’s important to properly care for your microfiber cloths, as they can last up to 500 washes if washed and dried correctly.
To test the absorbency of a microfiber cloth, simply dip it in water and observe its ability to soak up the liquid. The cloth should absorb the liquid without dripping or rolling around the surface, and it should dry quickly after wringing out. This indicates that the fabric is high-quality and ready to be used.
It’s also a good idea to keep separate microfiber cloths on hand for indoor and outdoor cleaning. Indoors, you’re more likely to encounter greasy messes and dust, while outdoors, you might find yourself dealing with bird droppings or pollen. Keeping separate cloths will help prevent the transfer of those stains and debris from one window to another.
In addition to a microfiber cloth, it’s also a good idea to have some towels on hand to protect your windowsill from excess cleaner or water drips. This can help you avoid accidental spills or drips on your furniture, which can cause a messy clean up job later.
If you’re looking for a great microfiber glass and mirror cloth, we highly recommend Unger’s Large Microfiber Cloths. These oversized cloths are made from professional-grade materials and are perfect for bigger jobs. They can be used with or without a cleaning solution and leave a streak-free, lint-free finish on surfaces. They’re also machine washable and can withstand hundreds of washes, so they’ll definitely last a long time! They’re available online and at most home improvement stores.
4. Don’t Use Squeegees
Many homeowners use squeegees to wipe down windows, but they aren’t always effective. In fact, they can actually leave streaks behind on the glass if not used correctly.
The reason for this is that most people squeegee the wrong way. They move the squeegee over the window, rather than up and down. This leaves a thin layer of moisture on the glass, and when it dries it creates those telltale streaks. It’s also important to not use a squeegee that has a sharp blade, which can scratch the glass. It’s best to find a soft, flexible blade that will not cause scratches.
Another common mistake is using too much cleaning solution when wiping. It’s important to spray the cleaner lightly, and then wipe it off with a clean microfiber cloth or towel. Too much cleaner can be smeared over the surface of the glass, and this can also cause streaks. Lastly, it’s important to keep the rubber blade of the squeegee clean and swap out cleaning towels regularly. Otherwise, you’ll be smearing dirt back onto the glass.
In addition, it’s important to use a squeegee with an extension handle when cleaning large windows. This will make it easier to reach the top of the window and ensure that all areas are cleaned.
If you do need to use a squeegee, be sure to practice before you start cleaning real windows. It’s a lot easier to learn how to properly use one than you might think, and it can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
The best way to avoid streaks on your windows is to wash them in the shade. The sun will evaporate the water before you get a chance to wipe it off, leaving hard-to-remove streaks. By following these simple tips, you can achieve streak-free windows and make your home look more polished. So don’t forget to dust off the furniture, wipe down the floors, and vacuum the corners of your house before you start washing your windows! And don’t forget to try a Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloth, which is designed with a honeycomb texture that helps to nab smudges and water spots without scratching.