- Fantastic Team
- 12min read
- Published: June 1, 2018
- Views: 4,175
How to clean windows: Handy tips and tricks for a brighter view
How easy would it be if there was some magic trick to make your windows gleam just with the snap of your fingers? Sadly, we don’t live in an alternate universe of fairy tales and we need to do some work, in order to get the shiny look back on our windows.
Perhaps you are wondering how often you should take out the buckets, the ladder, the sponge and experience the pain of mopping up spilt water from the floor in the living room. Well, the advice of the professional window cleaners at Fantastic Services is that you should be taking care of the windows every four to six or eight weeks.
So, here you’ll find the best practical window cleaning tips and tricks using eco-friendly methods and how to save yourself from unwanted mistakes during the process.
- Are thinking of cleaning your windows;
- Want to know what common mistakes to avoid;
- Are interested in the benefits of professional window cleaning,
Then keep reading! This article is for you.
How to clean your windows
Let’s start with the tools you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Small bucket
- Microfibre cloth
- Mop/window scrubber
- Clean towel
To clean up your windows follow these simple steps:
- Pick a time when the sun isn’t falling directly onto the windows. Otherwise, the solution will dry out quickly because the glass will heat and you’ll have to repeat the cleaning process.
- Remove curtains, blinds and window screens, if you have any. You’ll clean them separately later.
- Mix an eco-friendly window cleaning solution of one part warm water and one part white vinegar. Fill up one spray bottle and a small bucket with the solution.
- Spray down the window from top to bottom. Make sure it’s soaking wet.
- Wipe down the frame first. Don’t skip this step or otherwise all the dust and grime from the frame will get across the spotless glass soon after you’ve finished its cleaning.
- Scrub the window gently with a mop or a window scrubber. That’s how you agitate all dust, dirt and stubborn stains and make them easier to remove.
- Soak up the sponge in the bucket and rinse the window thoroughly.
- Use a squeegee to scrape the solution off the glass with a fluid motion. You can either squeegee the window from top to bottom or you can use the professional “S” technique window cleaning.
- Grab a clean towel and wipe the edges of the window frame and sills so there’s no water dripping. Wipe the blade of the squeegee from time to time to avoid streaks on the glass.
- Dry up the window with a microfiber cloth for a gleaming appearance before moving to the next one.
- Enjoy the final result!
There are some important steps you need to consider when cleaning your windows on the inside and on the outside. You can add to your window cleaning step-by-step list the following advice:
How to clean hard-to-reach outside windows
Now, cleaning your windows inside your home is usually a breeze, right? Everyone has done it at some point in their life. However, we can’t say the same about washing the exterior side of the glass pane, especially if you live high up in an apartment block, for instance. So, below, we’ll look at several proven methods of how to clean outside windows you can’t reach.
Get a magnetic window cleaner
There are different manual and robotic magnetic window cleaners on the market that use a similar principle. Each type is designed to clean windows of different thicknesses. Here, we’ll talk about a manual glider-type of a magnetic cleaning device. This gadget is so much fun to use and is perfect for washing “high-up” windows that don’t open. The tool has been created to solve the conundrum of people, who wonder how to clean their exterior windows from inside. After all, no one wants to climb up a precarious ladder or wobble on their window ledge. If you’ve never heard of this gizmo, this is how it works:
The device is made of two parts, which use microfibre cloths to clean both sides of the window at the same time. How? You put one part on the outside of the glass and the other – on the inside. Magnets hold both pieces together in place. For extra security and control, the device has a string with a ring that you can put on your finger.
The cleaning process involves spraying both sides of the glass with a window cleaning solution and moving the glider at a moderate pace across the interior pane, using the S-technique. Note that pushing the tool too quickly may cause for the magnets to disconnect.
You can also check out how it works here.
Use your good old mop
The mop window cleaning method can be used for exterior windows that can be reached from the ground with such a tool. With some precautions, you can also apply the technique and clean your upstairs exterior windows from the inside. However, never try to lean dangerously out of your window or climb up on its ledge, when performing the task. Here’s how it’s done:
- Fill a bucket with a solution, made from water and vinegar (1:1)
- Dip the mop into the mixture
- Squeeze some of the excess liquid before washing the glass with the mop
- Once most of the grime has been removed, replace the mop head with a microfibre sponge mop head
- Spray a streak-free window cleaning product onto the microfibre sponge/cloth
- Wipe the outside window again with your device
- Additional drying of the glass usually isn’t necessary (still, if you like you, can attach with a string a dry microfibre cloth to the head and wipe-dry the glass as a finishing touch)
Apply the hose method
The hose window cleaning technique is a quick fix for washing dirty exterior windows, both from inside and outside. Note that the method is not suitable if you live in a flat unless it’s located on the ground floor. Attach the hose to an outside or inside tap and spray down your exterior window, be it upstairs or downstairs. You can wash this way a window that is out of reach from the inside.
Unfortunately, a hose would most definitely leave water streaks or marks on the glass. Hence, apply the drying technique with a mop handle, we’ve mentioned in our previous cleaning method.
Let a professional do it for you
And finally, you can skip doing all the hard work yourself by hiring a professional window cleaner. Most experts in the trade, these days, use water-fed extension poles that can reach windows, located up to the 4th storey of a building. The equipment uses purified (filtered) water, which is released under pressure onto the glass panel. It dissolves stains, dust, salt deposits and corrosive substances with great results. And that’s not all, the water evaporates in a way that leaves your windows naturally dry, free of any streaks whatsoever.
Pre-cleaning your windows
Sometimes, when your windows have been neglected for a long time, you may need to pretreat them before washing them properly. If this is the case, here are some pre-cleaning tips and tricks that can help:
Clean stubborn stains
Exterior windows tend to get covered in all sorts of marks and stains on top of dirt accumulation, caused by dust, salt and hard minerals, mixed with acidic rainwater. Not to mention the regular instances of bird droppings that can cake the glass in an unsightly pattern. So, check out the methods below on how to remove stubborn stains from your outside windows. Note that these tips are also applicable to eliminating all those sticky stains and fingerprint marks from your interior windows, too.
- A calcium, lime and rust remover (CLR) can save the day anytime if you have mineral deposit-based stains on your window. Apply the product on a sponge and rub the marks gently before rinsing the surface afterwards with water.
- Put some vinegar in a spray bottle and apply on the stains. Leave the acidic substance to sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Then, remove the stains with a sponge.
- Make a paste from oxalic acid-based cleaner, mixed with some water ( Zud or Bar Keepers Friend are both a good choice). Use a cloth after applying the paste on the stains and rub gently the affected areas with it. Rinse well.
- To remove encrustations or dry matter, stuck on your window, try using very carefully a razor to scrape them off.
Then, proceed with washing the windows by applying your favourite cleaning method.
How to remove stickers
Colourful stickers or decals that your kids have stuck on your windows are not that hard to remove. The same goes for any type of glue residue on the glass, left behind from wrongly scraped-off sticker with a razor. Here are some of the solutions, you can use:
- Get a spray bottle, filled with water, spray it over the stickers and then, gently remove the softened-up paper with a good quality plastic scraper.
- Rubbing alcohol also dissolves adhesives, paint and oil-based products so it will work on the stickers just fine. Dampen a cloth in the spirit and rub the sticker or glue residual. Scrape gently any remnants with a scraper, if needs be. Then wipe the area with a microfibre cloth.
- Goo Gone cleaning liquid is another safe adhesive remover that you can give a try. Just follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Remove and clean the screens
If you have window screens, installed, they should be cleaned every time you decide to wash your windows. Remove the screens, first, and give them a good vacuuming to clean off the dust, any cobwebs and other hard particles. Then, spray the screens with a mixture of water and vinegar (or a mild dishwashing liquid). Wipe them down with a clean cloth. Afterwards, rinse with water and air dry the screens before fitting them back in place.
Vacuum or dust inside windows
Cleaning your inside windows with a vacuum cleaner before washing them will make the latter task much easier. Use an appropriate attachment to remove any cobwebs from the corners and the soft brush to clean up all the dust from the glass panel. You can do the same with ground-floor or balcony exterior windows if you wish.
How to clean window frames and sills
One of the most common types of frames nowadays is uPVC. Their colour alternatives differentiate but one of the most preferred is the white uPVC. Even though, this colour variation makes the spots of dirt more visible you can get rid of them very quickly, no matter how stubborn they are.
Read the full guide on how to clean uPVC window frames and sills and find for yourself the easiest method for maintaining the look of your uPVC windows. Follow the step-by-step process for impeccable results. You’ll see that the job is not that effortful and it will even help you save some time when doing your seasonal house cleaning.
How to clean wooden window frames
Wooden window frames should be cleaned a bit differently from the uPVC. If they are very old it might require additional maintenance such as painting, window frame staining and oiling. Here are some efficient ways of how to proceed with the wooden frames cleaning.
Supplies and tools you need:
- Clean bucket;
- Lukewarm water;
- Soft brush;
- Scouring pad;
- Soft cloth;
Best method to clean the wooden window frames:
- Sweep the small particles of dust: use a soft brush or polishing pad and mix it with some washing liquid of your choice.
- Rinse the residues: Take a clean bucket and lukewarm water. Dip the scouring pad into the bucket and wash off all the grime and dirt.
- Wipe for perfect results: use a soft fabric to absorb the water and dry the frames.
Wooden frames cleaning tips:
- Use more powerful solutions for the stubborn stains: You can add with the water a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate. It’s a bit stronger but it is ideal for stains that are difficult to remove such as traces of insects and birds.
- Don’t soak the wood too much: Make sure you don’t drench the sponge or the pad, try to wring out the excess water. Make sure the equipment you use is damp and it’s not leaking with water. Otherwise, you may damage the wood.
- Get rid of the mould and mildew: The easiest way to do it is to mix equal parts of water and vinegar. You need to wet the spots and leave it for several minutes. After that use the same methods as mentioned above, to clean the frames.
How to avoid the most common window cleaning mistakes
There are several things that might go wrong while cleaning windows. To avoid the most common window cleaning mistakes you should:
- Refrain from using chemical cleaning solutions;
- Avoid the use of hazardous equipment;
- Forget about the newspapers.;
- Stop cleaning with the wrong tools;
- Тake extra care when cleaning tinted windows, to avoid any damage follow our useful tips and tricks on how to safely clean tinted windows.
How to make homemade window cleaner
Now when you know how dangerous these products might be, it’s time to prepare your own cleaning solution. There are hundreds of ways you can do that and here you can find some of the best recipes:
Use water and vinegar – an all-time classic recipe that contains equal parts of water and white vinegar:
Mix them together in equal parts and use this non-toxic do-it-yourself glass cleaner to bring the precious sun rays back into your home. The only disadvantage of this homemade window washing cleaner is you may not like the smell of vinegar. For more eco-friendly recipes, read our post on how to make a homemade window cleaner. There you will find 5 alternative recipes.
How professional window cleaning can help you live a better life
Improve your life by hiring a professional window cleaner. Here’s why a professional will get you better results:
- Expert window cleaners are trained. They know the nuts and bolts of window cleaning as they’ve passed rigorous training.
- They use the proper equipment. Buckets, squeegees, water fed poles, window vacs, e-cloths… All these cost a lot, take up the precious storage space in your home and you need to learn how to use them the right way, too. You can save yourself from all that trouble by hiring well-equipped window cleaners.
- They provide professional results. Cooking for yourself (unless you are a chef) and having a meal at a quality restaurant is a different experience. The same goes for professional domestic window cleaning and DIY window cleaning.
- They are experienced in avoiding property damage. If you damage your windows by scratching or breaking them while you are cleaning the glass, you have to pay for the replacement from your own pocket. Professionals know how to avoid damage and in a rare case of something going wrong, they have insurance to cover the damage.
- By delegating the job to a professional, you don’t have to worry about safety. You don’t have to climb ladders and risk your own safety just to get streak-free windows. Also, using chemicals can negatively affect your health. You can easily avoid these dangers because these days, most of the window cleaners work from the ground by using water-fed poles and purified water.
- You get more free time for yourself or your family while someone else is doing the hard work. With so many things on your list, it’s obvious that the currency of the 21st century is time. What might take you a day or two, the professionals will complete in less than two hours.
- Regular cleaning prevents your glass windows from corrosion. Acid rain, polluted air and other artificial corrosion agents can damage the surface of your precious window glazing. Your maintenance costs, in the long run, will be less by preserving what you already have.
Expert window cleaning by Fantastic Services
With all said above, there’s nothing more convenient than entrusting your window cleaning needs to the professional technicians at Fantastic Services. They are all equipped with the latest industry-grade tools and supplies to provide you with outstanding results. The local pros are experienced, trained and fully insured to perform our window cleaning services all week round. Just contact us through the contact form on this website or get the GoFantastic app for an even easier booking experience.
Learn more about our window cleaning performed by technicians, which are certified by the Federation of Window Cleaners.more
- You should aim to clean your windows once every four to eight weeks.
- You can make a DIY cleaning solution using equal parts warm water and white vinegar.
- Magnetic window cleaners are a fun and effective way to clean the exterior of your windows.
- If your windows are especially dirty, you may need to pre-treat them.
- When cleaning wooden window frames, make sure you don’t drench the wood and soak up any excess water.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals, newspapers and hazardous equipment.
- There are many benefits to professional window cleaning, including safety, guaranteed results and the use of proper equipment.
So there you have it, your exhaustive guide on how to clean windows at home. Please, do leave a comment below if you have feedback or other clever ways to leave windows spotless!
- Last update: November 18, 2019
Posted in Window Cleaning Tips
Fantastic Services is your one-stop shop for 25+ professional home cleaning and maintenance services, provided within the UK. Using high-grade equipment that is inaccessible to everyday households, the dedicated service specialists will gladly go the extra mile to turn your home or office into something truly special.