7 DIY Window Cleaning Tips

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Closeup side view of a young woman cleaning windows in her apartment. She's taking a quick smiling glance at the camera.

Windows can be great assets to your home. They let in light, which can instantly brighten and enhance any interior space. However, if you really want to enjoy this benefit, you have to make sure your windows are clean. Many people are woefully unprepared to clean their windows. Here are seven quick tips to make cleaning your windows easier and more effective.

Make a Simple Solution

For effective results with window cleaning, you need to get the right cleaning solution. While there are plenty of products on the market, not all of them are going to provide the same results. You can also make your own solution with water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. The trick is to make sure your solution does not streak. Streaks are the bane of window cleaning efforts.

Tackle Tough Spots

While a good cleaning solution will do most of the work, you should prepare for spot cleaning. You probably have a few spots on your windows that are extra difficult to clean. Therefore, address these areas separately. You may need to use extra cleaner in these spots, and you need to be prepared to scrub quite a bit to make a difference. Window cleaning is often about persistence.

Get the Right Equipment

Another good tip for do-it-yourself cleaning is to invest in the right tools. The professionals use a squeegee to really get things done, but squeegees can be hard to use properly. When misused, squeegees get water all over the floor. Instead, you probably just need a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is a great choice because it will not scratch your windows, and it is less likely to leave unsightly streaks. If you are going with a paper towel, then invest in a higher quality option. If the paper towel breaks easily, you will leave debris all over your windows.

Pick a Cloudy Day

You may think that the sun is your friend during the cleaning process, but this is not the case. The problem with sunlight is that it can make your windows too hot. When your windows are too hot, then cleaning liquid will dry prematurely. This problem makes it hard to rub out spots, but it also will actually create more streaks as the solution dries in patches. You also should make sure you clean your windows when it is not raining outside. This decision is simply a matter of convenience. If it is raining outside, it will be hard to see the streaks on the inside, which can substantially complicate your cleaning efforts.

Dust Windows First

Before you get to the cleaning solution, you should try to dust your windows first. Most people do not even think about this step, but it can make a big difference. When you clean your windows while they are dusty, then the dust starts to turn into grime. The grime will quickly become difficult to remove. By dusting first, you can streamline your cleaning process. You will also be sure to have better results in the end.

A window cleaner descends from ropes to clean a building’s glass facade.

Clean Inside and Out

Your windows are a two-way street. They have an interior surface and an exterior surface. In many cases, your interior surface will be dirty with smudges, fingerprints and more. However, your exterior surface can also be quite dirty from the elements. Rain can leave streaks, and other outer forces will leave a noticeable impact. This is why you can never just clean one side if you really want a clear view. You will have to go outside to finish the job.

Repeat Regularly

As with any cleaning task, regular maintenance with windows is the best way to go. If you let your windows go too long without cleaning, then the grime will accumulate, and your job will be harder. In general, a thorough clean should occur at least twice a year. However, if you have other factors at play, you may need to clean them more often. For example, families with young children may need to clean windows often to deal with curious children’s fingerprints.