(A big thank you to our friends at Super Squeegee for sponsoring this post!)
Are your windows covered in grime? Dirty windows mar the aesthetic appeal of your home. They’re ugly to look at and they interfere with the natural light that should be pouring through the glass. Luckily, there’s a good chance you can take care of the problem yourself.
You can hire a professional to clean your windows or you can see what some elbow grease can accomplish. You can also choose both options. Take care of occasional smudges on your own but call the big guys for a yearly deep clean.
Window cleaning is something of an art. Jeremiah Hickey, a window washer with USA record in SLO, CA, has been featured on multiple national media outlets because of his skill. Not only has he a won a Guinness record, he’s dominated in the world championships of window cleaning.
You don’t need to be as good as Hickey, however, to make your windows shine. Keep reading to find out how to do it yourself.
It’s prep time! If you want your windows to look like they’ve been treated by a professional cleaner, you need to pre-clean the glass before you do any real scrubbing. Get rid of stubborn stains first and your job will be a lot easier. Bird poop, hard water minerals, etc, require special care to be removed.
- Soak the stains in vinegar for a few minutes. When the time is up, use a regular cloth to wipe it clean.
- Use a specialized mineral deposit cleaner
- If there’s debris clinging to the glass, use something sharp to pry it off
- Remember to clean the screens.
When you switch to cleaning the interior part of your window, there’s a little more prep work to do. According to Stephanie Lewis, customer experience manager at The Maids: “One of the big things about cleaning windows is really protecting your floors and the inside of your walls… You want to make sure you lay down a sheet or drop cloth to protect your carpet or flooring from getting wet and causing damage.”
Grab Your Supplies
Now you’re ready to get to the real work. You need the right tools, however. You might have these items lying around your house already or you might need to run to the store. Here’s what you need:
- A clean rag
- An absorbent cloth
- A squeegee
- Window cleaner
If you’re wary about the chemicals in the window cleaners sold at the store, you can make your own by mixing warm water and dish soap. To clean particularly stubborn filth, add some vinegar to your solution.
Time to start scrubbing. It doesn’t matter if you start inside or out. If you are going to clean the outside of your windows, however, it’s recommended that you choose an overcast day. Too much sunlight can mess up your work.
The next steps are pretty self-explanatory. Just start cleaning your windows. For larger windows, use your squeegee. A ladder is helpful if the window if the window is located high above your head or is very tall, but you can also attach your squeegee to a broomstick or something similar to give yourself more reach.
Take your time with the actual cleaning. You don’t want to rush through your work because you might be left with streaks or leftover spots. Most people find cleaning their windows to be a hassle, which means that you don’t want to be stuck doing it over again when you thought you were done. Here some more handy tips to make your windows smile again by cleaning them.
Make sure to properly dry the glass. One side of your squeegee is for cleaning, the other side is for scraping away the excess water. You’re going to have to use both sides to be effective.
Consider Getting Help
Floor-to-ceiling windows are incredibly impressive to look at but they can be a pain to keep clean. The same is true for windows located high up on the walls. As we’ve shown, you can take care of the cleaning yourself but it’s possible that you don’t want to. If the process seems too difficult or time-consuming, offload the work onto a professional. If you happen to live in Slo County, CA you could put a world champion cleaner to work. Hickey operates his own business, On The Spot Window Cleaning.