How to clean windows – Let the sunshine peek into your rooms with our expert tips

window cleaning with squeegee

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 alternative 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 spilled 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.

Table of Contents:

How to Clean Windows?

How to clean windows with a squeegee

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 it’s 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 Inside & Outside Windows

cleaning a window from inside with a spray

  • Lay a plastic drop cloth or old large towels on the floor under the windows and on the sills to protect them from any water damage and scratches.
  • Remove the dust and dirt along the inside window edges. Use a brush, a soft broom, an old cloth or your vacuum cleaner to clean the seams and cracks around the window borders.
  • Clean away any cobwebs, bird faeces, squashed insects, and other general dirt and grime that has built up on the outside of your windows and frames. You need to be thorough otherwise, you risk leaving behind dirt which could smear your window panes after the first rain even if you have washed them sparkling clean before that.
  • When washing high and out of reach windows from the outside you will need an extendable pole or a stepladder to reach them. If you use a stepladder, for a safety precaution leave the bucket with the cleaning solution on the ground. Don’t put it on the ladder or even hold it in hand. You can lose balance and fall down which can cause a fractured limb. That’s why if the windows are difficult to reach and dangerous to clean better seek help from professional window cleaners.

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How to Clean uPVC Window Frames

Cleaning uPVC window frames

One of the most common types of window frames nowadays is the uPVC. According to the British Plastics Federation, in the UK over 85% of the window replacement projects include uPVC materials. They are preferred more than the other window frame types because they are long-lasting and require less maintenance. Anyway, even their colour alternatives vary, the most chosen one is the white which makes the spots of dirt more visible.

During the years of practice, we assumed that the best way to clean uPVC window frames is to:

  • Lay down old towels on the sill and on the floor to preserve from damages.
  • Step on a ladder or a stable chair to reach higher spots.
  • Clean hard-to-reach surfaces with a vacuum cleaner or an extendable feather duster.
  • Fill a clean bucket with 1 litre of lukewarm water and mix with 1 cup of vinegar.
  • Soak a microfibre towel and clean off the grime from the inside and outside of the frames.
  • Wipe down the excess water.
  • Use a window frame cleaning solution to restore the polished look of the uPVC frames.

Many struggles from mould build-ups, so here are the steps on how to remove mould from your uPVC window frames:

  • Mix bicarbonate soda with lemon juice to make a paste.
  • Put from the solution on the affected area.
  • Leave it for ½ an hour.
  • Scrub with a toothpaste to remove the mould
  • Wipe with a towel.

However, there are some common mistakes you should avoid when cleaning uPVC frames:

  • Use only white towels or washing clothes because colourful rags will leave marks on the frames.
  • Don’t clean with strong detergents such as bleach as it may corrode the frames.
  • Avoid cleaning the frames with the same solutions you use on the glass as some of them might be too abrasive.

How to Clean uPVC Windows Sills

Cleaning uPVC Windows Sills with a fed pole

To keep stainless standard white uPVC windows sills in a suitable appearance all you have to do is a systematic wipe down with warm soapy water.

To ensure the best stylish look for your uPVC windows sills:

  • Clear up as much dust and dirt as possible with the vacuum cleaner and use a toothbrush or Q-Tips to clean the window tracks from the inside of the sills.
  • Get a clean bucket and mix 1:1 warmish water and vinegar along with several drops of the dish soap.
  • Use a sponge to rub the stains, if there are obstinate leftovers, you can add a small amount of baking soda.
  • Finnish by wiping off any liquid left on the window sills with a clean and dry cloth.

uPVC windows are easy to maintain hence for best results vacuum the tracks and the sills every 2 weeks. Use the universal cleaning solution – the mix of water and vinegar – and polish them with a microfiber cloth. This will avoid dirt from building up in the future.

Cleaning products to avoid in the process of washing uPVC windows sills:

  • Scouring pads – don’t scrub the gentle uPVC surface or you may regret your actions;
  • Wire sponge – another one product that’s good for cleaning purposes, but it’s better to leave it in the kitchen;
  • Cif cream – it’s suitable for your bathroom tiles but not for cleaning sills;
  • WD40 – might be the can with a thousand uses, but cleaning windows and sills is not one of them;
  • Bleach – one very aggressive chemical agent that contains chlorine (that isn’t good for your health neither).

* These tips are relevant for the uPVC types of windows sills. If you have wooden ones, just make sure you don’t wet them too much.

How Professional Window Cleaning Can Help You Live a Better Life

window cleaning with sponge

Improve your living by following these simple steps when hiring a professional window cleaner. Here’s what you can do:

  • Hire trained window cleaners. They know the nuts and bolts of window cleaning as they’ve passed rigorous training.
  • Look out for the right 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.
  • Expect professional results. Cooking on your own (unless you are a chef) and having a meal at a quality restaurant makes a difference. The same goes for professional domestic window cleaning and DIY window cleaning.
  • Minimise the property damage risks. 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 an insurance to cover the damage.
  • Think about your health and safety. You don’t have to climb ladders and risk your own safety just to get streak-free windows. Also, using chemicals can negatively influence 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.
  • Free yourself from the hard work. Cleaning windows is not an easy task so why do it on your own? And when you consider the health conditions or disabilities that might prevent you from excessive physical activities, hiring someone else might be your best option.
  • Free up some time for yourself or your family. 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.
  • Prevent your glass windows from corrosion. Acid rain, polluted air and other artificial corrosion agents can damage the gentle surface of your precious window glazing. Your maintenance costs, in the long run, will be less by preserving in a good shape what you already have.

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. To keep your family’s health, it’s advisable to make your own eco-friendly solution. This is a more efficient way to clean the windows.
  • Avoid the use of hazardous equipment. Many people clean their hard-to-reach windows from the outside by themselves. This may be risky for your health because you can break limbs or sustain even some riskier and life-threatening injury. Instead, you can call for professional help with this task.
  • Forget about the newspapers. Many households use them for wiping and polishing the glass. Well, this is another mistake. Newspapers will only move around the grime and the ink will leave even more dirt. This will stain the surface of your windows – definitely not the result you were looking for.
  • Stop cleaning with the wrong tools. You shouldn’t use rough brushes or scrub pads when cleaning the frames. You can easily scratch the glass surface of the windows. Rather than this use a soft microfiber cloth and other proper window cleaning equipment mentioned above.
  • Тake extra care when cleaning tinted windows. This type of windows come with many benefits but require some special attention. To avoid any damage follow our useful tips and tricks on how to safely clean tinted windows.

Eco-friendly Window Cleaning Tips

What is your window cleaning routine? Do you use synthetic products to keep your windows bright and shiny? If that’s the case, you have to get familiar with some hidden dangers connected to the most commonly used household window cleaners:

Eco-friendly homemade window cleaner
  • Made of Natural products
  • Safe for your health
  • No immediate side effects
  • No long-term side effects
  • Safe for kids and pets
  • You know what’s inside
  • Inexpensive
Chemical solvent glass cleaning solutions
  • Made of synthetic products
  • Potentially harmful
  • May cause: Acute skin or Respiratory irritation, Watery eyes, Chemical burns, Reduced fertility, Anemia…
  • Must be kept away from children
  • Most manufacturers don’t list the ingredients inside
  • Adds up on your budget

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:

      • One part water;
      • One part 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. If that’s true for you the next recipe might suit you better.

Mix water, vinegar and lemon juice in these proportions:

      • 1 tbsp. of white distilled vinegar;
      • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice;
      • 1 cup of hot water.

This easy homemade glass cleaner recipe will not only help you clean your windows streak free. Also, it will leave your house refreshed with a natural citrus scent. Repurpose this cleaning solution by using it on other surfaces and even on your clothes to remove stains.

Add water, liquid soap and vinegar to get an earth-friendly homemade window screen cleaner:

      • 2 cups of water;
      • 3 tablespoons vinegar;
      • ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap.

The extra soap additive will help you clean easier some of the hardest to wash stains on your windows.

Combine water, white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil:

      • 1 cup of water;
      • 1½ cup of white vinegar;
      • 4-5 drops of essential oil.

Depending on your personal preferences you can choose different essential oil like lavender, lemon or some other citrus scent you adore.

***

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!

Posted in Cleaning Guides

Last update: November 19, 2018
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Comments (3)

  • I really appreciate your tip to remember to be thorough when you cleaning the outside of your windows, that way you can get rid of any grime from the outside. My wife and I have been considering buying a house that has really big front windows, and we noticed that the outside of the windows is very dirty. I will be sure to tell my wife that if we do buy the house, we should try and focus the outside of the windows.

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