Streaks and smudges stand out on a home window, making it difficult to ignore the chore. Families with small children face even more smudges and tiny hand prints on low windows and sliding glass doors. Regular window cleaning keeps the glass looking better, giving you the satisfaction of being able to see out of your sparkling, clear windows.
Wipe Away Debris
Dirt, cobwebs and other debris often collect around the windows, creating more potential for smeared windows. The “Good Housekeeping” magazine website recommends getting rid of the dirt with a small brush before you begin washing the windows. Open the windows and clean out the frame and sill. A vacuum with a narrow attachment is another option for collecting the dirt and debris that has gathered in the windows since your last window cleaning.
Try Different Tools
Many window-cleaning tools are available on the market or around the home, from commercial-grade rubber squeegees to your own wadded newspaper. Trying out different cleaning tools allows you to find the option that works best for you. Paper towels are more likely to leave behind lint on the window. A microfiber cloth is an alternative that eliminates the lint and is reusable, for a better value.
When to Wash
When you wash your windows can have as much impact on the outcome as how you wash them. A cloudy day or a time without direct sunlight on the window works best. Sunlight coming through the window dries the glass cleaner quickly, increasing the risk of streaks.
A solid mist provides enough moisture to clean the glass well, but you don’t want so much cleaner that it runs down onto the frame. The cleaner can cause damage to the window trim. Wash the inside of the window using a horizontal motion. On the outside of the window, wipe vertically. By using different directions for the cleaning strokes, you can figure out if streaks are on the inside or the outside glass. Follow up the washing by wiping the window with a cloth diaper to add shine.
The corners of the windows are often difficult to clean with a regular squeegee or cloth. Save your old toothbrush with soft bristles to clean out the corners. A cotton swab soaked with glass cleaner is another option for reaching the grime in the window corners.