Windows are your home’s primary connection to the outdoors. They let in light and views and can help warm your home in the colder months. For your windows to be at their best, however, you need to keep them clean. As the season turns, now is a great time to make your windows glisten again. Here’s how to do it like a pro.
Tools and supplies
- Masking tape and permanent marker
- Dish soap and water
- CLR or similar commercial cleanser (if windows have mineral deposits)
- Garden hose with spray nozzle
- Whisk broom
- 2 microfiber cleaning cloths
- Sponge, cotton or microfiber mop (if needed to reach high windows)
- Rubber-bladed squeegee
Remove any screens from your windows. Use masking tape and a permanent marker to label where each one belongs. Lay the screens on a clean outdoor surface such as a patio. Rinse them down with a hose, and then allow the screens to air dry.
Use a whisk broom to sweep the windows and frames clear of debris, then use the hose to rinse down the windows.
Fill a bucket with clean, cool water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Dip a microfiber cloth in the soapy water, and use it to wipe down the surface of each window. A sponge, cotton or microfiber mop can be used for windows that are too high to reach. Avoid oversaturating the windows to avoid excess runoff.
Use a rubber-bladed squeegee to wipe each window dry. Work from the top to bottom of each window using a Z-shaped motion, then wipe the squeegee with a clean towel at the end of every pass. Use a dry microfiber cloth to clean up any excess water.
For stubborn stains like bird droppings, saturate the area with your cleaning solution, then let it sit for several minutes before drying. You can also try scrubbing with a soft sponge, but avoid steel wool or rough scrubbing tools as they may leave scratches. If your windows have mineral deposit stains (typical in areas with hard water), you may need to use a commercial cleanser such as CLR. If so, use these products according to their directions.
Replace the exterior screens if you keep them up year-round.
You can follow steps 3 and 4 to clean the interiors of your windows. Place a towel below each working surface before you get started to catch any drips. Promptly dry any wooden surfaces.
For best results, choose a calm, overcast day for this job as gusty weather can make for messier work and hot sun can leave streaks on the windows. Depending on the conditions where you live, annual cleanings may be enough. If your windows become dirty more quickly, cleaning more often (such as quarterly) may make more sense. With your windows sparkling, you can enjoy clearer views and brighter sun in the seasons ahead.