Dirty windows are unsightly, and they can prevent beneficial sunlight from entering a home. Cleaning windows need not be done every week, but it shouldn't be overlooked completely, either. While it certainly may be a chore to clean windows, there are ways to make the task much more tolerable.
Curb appeal can be very important when selling a home. Even a home with a perfectly manicured lawn and the newest roofing and siding can seem unappealing if the windows are dirty. Keeping windows clean requires a good deal of work. For the acrophobics, cleaning second-story windows can test the nerves. Having the right tools on hand and a strategy in place will make the job easier to manage.
Cleaning windows won't necessarily be easy, but the following nine-step process can make the task less difficult and time-consuming.
1. Choose a day when it is overcast so you will not be blinded by the sun while cleaning. This also helps prevent streaking. Begin by gathering what you'll need to get the task done. Having everything at the ready will enable you to move from one window to the next. Here are the basic supplies you will need:
* cleaning solution
* cloth, newspaper or squeegee
* spray bottle
* extension pole to reach high windows
* ladder or step stool
* garden hose
2. Take down and clean drapery or blinds when cleaning the windows. Remove the curtains so you will have an unobstructed surface with which to work.
3. Start with the interior side of the windows, as they are easier to access. Place a towel on the sill to catch any drops so the sill or the floor will stay dry.
4. Spray a lint-free cloth or the window directly with the cleaning solution. The edges and corners of the window tend to accumulate the most grime, so begin by cleaning those areas first. Once they are clean and you will not exchange dirt to the center of the window, work on the middle. Wipe the windows in a horizontal direction to help alleviate dripping.
5. To create a streak-free surface, some people prefer to use a squeegee to drag out any pockets of moisture for more even drying. Be sure to wipe the rubber strip of the squeegee after each pass on the window. You may choose to buff out any other streaks with newspaper.
6. Vacuum the window sill and frame afterward to catch any dust and debris.
7. Repeat the process for all interior windows.
8. Move outdoors and start off by spraying the window with a garden hose to loosen any of the accumulated grime. Use your cleaning solution to dissolve the rest of the dirt. You may want to let it sit on the window if there is stubborn grime. Repeat the cleaning process used indoors for each window.
9. If exterior second-floor windows are hard to reach, consider using a ladder and extension pole to extend your reach. Upper windows will not be scrutinized as closely as lower windows, so you may have a greater margin for error. If the windows are simply too high up, rely on a professional window cleaner to get the job done rather than risk falls or other injuries.
Mix your own cleaning solution
It may take trial and error to find a solution that works. Here is one recipe you may want to start with.
1 cup white vinegar
11/2 cups rubbing alcohol
2 drops of dish soap
Pour into a clean and empty spray bottle. Remember: Never mix bleach and ammonia together to create a cleaning solution, as toxic fumes will result.