Forget window cleaner and a roll of paper towel – you’ll just end up pushing dirt around and leaving smudges behind. Here’s what you need to really clean those windows this spring…
List of Window Cleaning Supplies
Soft-bristled brush — Before choosing a brush, hold it in your hand as you would when cleaning windows. Is it a comfortable fit? It should be, especially if you have a great number of windows in your home.
High-quality squeegee — Opt for one with a metal frame that will last for years to come and with a replaceable rubber blade. The size squeegee you get depends on the type of windows you have. For picture windows, a 12-inch tool works best. If you have multi-pane windows, measure the pane before you go shopping to ensure the squeegee will fit inside.
Strip applicator with cloth head — This tool looks like a squeegee but has a cloth strip instead of rubber. Again, get the size that suits your type of window.
Fine steel wool or cleansing powder with oxalic acid — Both will remove mineral stains.
Nylon scrubbing pad — If you have bug droppings or tree pitch on your windows, have one of these tools handy.
Bucket — Stick to a smaller size, one that allows you to easily move it from window to window and to carry it up a ladder.
Ladder — Choose a sturdy one with a platform on which to set your bucket.
Dishwashing liquid or white vinegar — Either will get the job done.
Lint-free rags — Use new rags to avoid leaving streaks behind or be sure to dry your rags without fabric softener, as it can transfer its residue to your windows.
Rubber gloves — Protect your hands from the drying effects of cleaning solutions.
- Mix your cleaning solution. Add one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to every two gallons of hot water for a soapy cleaner. Avoid the urge of adding more soap – the more soap, the more residue could be left behind. If opting to use white vinegar, mix two cups water with 1/4 cup white vinegar.
- Use the soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or webs from the window.
- Dip the strip applicator in the cleaning solution, then wring excess solution from the tool.
- Scrub the glass with the strip applicator, switching to the nylon scrubbing pad when necessary to remove all dirt and debris.
- Squeegee the window clean. How you do this depends on which method works best for you. Some find that starting at the top and pulling the tool straight down works best, while others prefer to work horizontally. Still others use the reverse-S pattern to clear windows of solution. Try each way to see which you like best, but with all be sure to start with a wet squeegee to avoid blade skipping, overlap passes and wipe the squeegee clean after each swipe with a lint-free cloth.
- Dry frames and panes with a lint-free cloth.
When washing windows inside, place a towel at the bottom to keep any dripping water from hitting your floors.
Budget five to 10 minutes for each side of a window in your home. If you have multiple stories or a significant number of windows, you may want to consider outsourcing this particular cleaning task. Working on a ladder can be dangerous for those not used to doing so, and you also may have other ways you want to spend your precious free time. More tips to wash windows like a pro!