Cleaning your windows should be part of your regular household maintenance checklist. It’s important to clean them inside and out on a consistent basis so you can rely on them to continue performing up to your expectations. Dirty windows will accumulate more grime, and sunlight will essentially bake dirt onto your windows, making them even harder to clean the longer you wait.
You can use several methods for cleaning your windows, and for many homeowners, window cleaners such as Windex and a few paper towels can do a decent enough job on a regular basis. However, if you want to make your windows truly sparkle, you should occasionally clean them the way the professionals do with a sturdy window squeegee and thorough cleaning along the frames and tracks as well as the panes.
Typical window cleaning with window cleaner
If you have a large windowpane you wish to clean, using a window cleaning product like Windex with paper towels can do a fair job. However, paper towels tend to leave fibers across the window’s surface, and these can accumulate over time while attracting dirt and debris.
If you’re going to use this method, make sure to move in a circular motion as you clean the windowpane with the cleaning solution. After you have thoroughly removed the dirt and streaks from the window, you’re going to need to use a dry towel to do one more pass. This will prevent your window cleaner from streaking the window and provide the best shine possible. If you want to eliminate fibers from accumulating on the window’s surface, finish with a microfiber towel instead.
Cleaning your windows with the squeegee method
For a much deeper clean and even more sparkly finish for your windows, you want to use a squeegee. A 12-inch squeegee is perfect for most large window panes, and you can find smaller ones to fit smaller panes of glass. This method starts with cleaning the windowpane surfaces with either a window cleaner like Windex or simple soap and water. Using a small amount of dish soap and clean water is enough in most cases.
Scrub the windows with a natural sponge to ensure it reaches into the tight crevices around each windowpane. Once you have fully cleaned the windowpane’s surface, you can start with the squeegee. Keep a clean towel on hand to wipe off the squeegee after each pass. This ensures you’re not simply wiping dirt around the windowpane and will prevent splashing across areas you have already cleaned.
It’s a good idea to start by doing a “clean strip” about two inches wide along the left and right edges of the windowpane. Tilt the squeegee at an angle against the window so the edge touches about two inches of the window’s surface, and then run the squeegee down each side of the windowpane. This will leave a clean streak on each side and will make the next step easier.
Once you make your clean strips on each side of the windowpane, start using the squeegee horizontally across the windowpane. For the first stroke, position the edge of the squeegee along the top of the windowpane and run it across with even pressure. For the next few passes, move your squeegee horizontally with a two-inch overlap over your previous pass. This ensures consistent coverage across the entire windowpane surface. Additionally, angle your squeegee slightly to direct the soapy water downward before your next pass.
Finishing up your window cleaning
Once you finish running the squeegee along the windowpane’s entire surface, use a microfiber towel to clean up the edges and remove any lingering water from the bottom edge of the window. As long as you use a fresh squeegee blade that’s been secured to the handle correctly, the result should be an entirely streak-free shine for your window, and you can repeat the process on both sides of the window (as long as you can easily reach the exterior surface).
After you’ve cleaned your windows, you can apply a protective sealant following the manufacturer’s instructions if you want to protect your windows from further dirtying for longer. However, keep in mind that some of these products can cause residue to build up on your window surfaces and may eventually create more work for you.
Clean your windows safely
When it’s time to clean your windows, you’re probably going to want to clean the outside surfaces of your windows as well as the interior surfaces. Depending on the height of your windows, this may involve using a ladder to reach. If you are unable to clean your exteriors safely or do not have the proper equipment, it’s best to call professionals. If you have questions about window maintenance, need new windows for your home, or simply need advice for the best ways to keep your windows clean, reach out to Able Roof to speak with our team.