You want sparkling clean windows so that you can look out and enjoy all the blooming, colorful abundance of Spring. But, there’s just no way around it: window washing is a huge, physically challenging job. And, if you’re using glass cleaner and paper towels, you’re definitely working way too hard for a less-than-perfect clean! Here’s how to get the best possible clean for your windows with the least amount of effort.
First, gather all your tools ahead of time. You’ll need:
- Absorbent towels/drop clothes to protect sills, floors, and furniture from drips.
- A large bucket. Fill with warm water and just a few drops of a regular dishwashing liquid or low suds-ing soap.
- Spray bottle. Fill with the same solution that’s in your bucket to use on French doors and other small panes.
- Plastic or razor scraper to gently remove any dead bugs or other debris that might have become crusted onto glass panes.
- A high-quality squeegee to remove water and prevent streaking. Key squeegee advice:
- Don’t skimp on quality.
- Just like windshield wipers, squeegees wear and become less effective over time, so replace old ones.
- You may need more than one size, so measure small window panes before heading out to buy.
- And consider using a threaded sponge/squeegee combo with an extension pole if your window panes are not easily reachable (safer than using a ladder).
- A large sponge (relative to pane size) that is also soft enough to wring thoroughly with ease. The idea is to get maximum coverage (less washing effort) without slopping water and soap anywhere it can do real damage.
- Clean, absorbent rags to quickly wipe away drips and spills from sills, floors, and other water-sensitive areas; note that these will become soaked very quickly, so be sure to have an abundant supply.
- High-quality microfiber cloths for final drying and buffing panes to a high sheen (you will need fewer of these as they don’t absorb water as quickly).
- A vacuum with a dusting attachment for cleaning in, outside, and around window frames and screens.
- A garden hose plus some old rags for washing screens.
- Choose a cloudy-ish day (but not one threatening rain). Reason: bright sun will cause your pupils to constrict, making it more difficult to detect subtle dirt and streaks on clear panes. Also, the sun’s heat can dry windows fast, making it tougher to manage streaking.
- Start by laying down towels or drop cloths to protect floors, sills, and furniture.
- Inspect for and scrape away any crusted-on debris.
- Vacuum up dead bugs and other debris collected inside the frame.
- Soak your sponge in the bucket and wring well. Hold an absorbent drying rag in your other hand to catch drips as they occur.
- Starting at the top, wash each window pane from side to side or using an S-pattern; be sure to get into the corners and wash all the way to each pane’s edges.
- Immediately after washing, squeegee each pane also from the top down. One method is to work from side to side in an S-pattern. A different trick is to use your rag to dry a small area across the top of the pane, then draw your squeegee from within the dry area straight down to the bottom (this will prevent any drips from following the squeegee down). Experiment with holding the squeegee blade at different angles relative to the glass to find the most comfortable and effective for you.
- After squeegeeing, use an absorbent rag to wipe moisture from frame and sill.
- Last, and very important: polish the pane with a dry microfiber cloth for a beautiful, streak-free shine.
As always, if you’d rather be out enjoying yourself than washing windows, check with your local MaidPro to see if they offer PRO window-washing services!