Cleaning Guides

Most Common Window Cleaning Mistakes

With so many of us being on lockdown at the moment, the only way to enjoy sunshine and fresh air is through the windows of our homes. Given that we have so much spare time on our hands, now is the perfect time to include window washing as part of your house sanitisation process.

So, if you want to:

  • disinfect your windows properly;
  • achieve streakless results;
  • learn how to avoid the most common window cleaning mistakes;
  • get as much natural light in your home as possible.

Then, this article is for you!

Table of Contents:

Why It Is Important to Regularly Clean Your Windows?

Many of us leave window cleaning at the bottom of our cleaning to-do lists because it usually takes a lot of time to complete and you don’t feel like doing anything after you’ve cleaned most of your home. Let alone clean something else. And to be honest, that’s why sometimes we “forget” about the task completely.

However, washing your windows is very important as they gather much of the dirt floating around and then transfer it inside your home. This is especially true during the winter months. How does this happen?

Well, when closed, your windows protect you not only from rain, but also from small and big dust particles, car exhaust fumes, pollen, insects, bird droppings, etc. All of these stick to the window screens or outside windows and if not cleaned regularly, they can get etched on glass itself. What’s more, once you open the windows to air out your room, some of this dirt gets into your home.

Just as much you need to ventilate inside your house and routinely clean the dust inside, you also need to regularly wash your windows to prolong the effects of your cleaning efforts.

Window Cleaning for Beginners or How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes

So, how to wash your windows without having to repeat the process sooner than you really want to? It’s simple! Just keep in mind not to commit the following 10 most common window cleaning mistakes:

Using the Wrong Tools

Many swear by the newspaper and Windex method and it may work for some. However, we do not recommend using newspaper and paper towels at all. Every newspaper is different in terms of paper type, as well as ink. Some of the unwanted side effects of washing your windows with newspaper can be colouring of the frames and inky residue on the panes.

Paper towels, on the other hand, leave unsightly lint on the glass. Substitute them with a lint-free cloth and a squeegee. This way you won’t colour your windows and you won’t have to waste so many paper towels.

Not Using Ladder Pads

Regardless of the job at hand, be it window cleaning or hanging something on the wall, it is recommended that you use ladder pads. Not only do they protect you from slipping and injuring yourself, but they are also a good way to protect the surface you use for support. In case you have hard-to-reach windows, don’t try to act like a hero and call a professional. Safety comes first!

Not Removing Large Dirt Particles First

If you’re dealing with extremely dirty windows, you may need to plan two cleaning sessions in row: one to dislodge the large dirt spots, such as bird droppings and insects and a second one to clean the windows. If you try washing everything in one go, you may end up with very smudged window panes.

Scraping Too Hard

If you are dealing with etched dirt or paint stains, don’t rely only on a razor blade or a scraper. Sometimes you need to invest into a cleaning solution, which deals with the specific type of dirt on your windows. Before you purchase anything, consult with the manufacturer’s manual, because depending on the type of windows you have, you may do more damage than you think.

For example, laminated windows sometimes have “glass pickup”, i.e. imperfections, which can cause permanent damage if dislodged.

Applying the Wrong Detergent

The next common mistake we see very often is not using the proper cleaning solution. Remember, not all cleaning products can be applied to your windows. Even if you are tempted to use stronger chemicals, such as ammonia or bleach to remove more stubborn dirt marks, consult with the manufacturer’s guide before you proceed. For example, bleach can permanently damage and discolour uPVC window frames. Opt for a specialised cleaning solution or switch to homemade detergents if possible.

Wiping with the Wrong Cloth

It is recommended to use microfibre cloths as they are made specifically for cleaning, including window washing, and they are less likely to stain the window frames. To keep them lint-free just wash them without fabric softener. Otherwise, you risk the small textile fibres to stick to the frames when you’re wiping the excess cleaning solution. If you don’t have microfibre cloths, you can also use old lint-free cotton rags.

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Not Changing the Washing Liquid

This seems obvious, but sometimes people try to wash all of their windows in one go without replacing the water and detergent mix frequently. Don’t forget that every time you rinse your squeegee or wipe with the microfibre cloth to remove the dirt on your scraper, all the dirt transfers to the window washing liquid.

Depending on how many windows you have and the amount of dirt, you may need to change your cleaning solution quite a few times.

Too Much Detergent

Oftentimes, we try to apply more washing product to the cleaning mix in the hopes of removing the stubborn grime faster. However, this is not advisable because you’re only wasting products and increasing the chances of making more streaks on your window panes.

That’s why it is very important to know the appropriate detergent for your windows and how best to dilute it.

Not Cleaning the Frames Before You Wash the Panes

Many people tend to forget about the frames during the cleaning session until they’ve made the glass panes spotless and a lightbulb moment occurs. Always start cleaning the windows by hoovering the cobwebs and large dust particles. Then move onto the frames and sills and finish the cleaning session by washing the panes.

You may also like:
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How to Clean uPVC Window Frames and Sills

Cleaning on a Hot and Sunny Day

This tip might not seem so obvious at first. Usually people wait for a sunny day to finish all their outside or garden-related tasks. It makes sense, no one wants to work when it’s drizzling or there is a chance of a rainstorm. But, if you have window cleaning to do, leave it for an overcast day.

The main reason a cloudy day is the best time to do it is because your detergent won’t dry as soon as you apply it on the window pane. You won’t have enough time to scrub the glass and scrape the dirt and excess product. As a result, you will have streaky windows.

Not Washing in Sections

Another way to leave streaks on your windows is not to clean your windows in sections. This means you shouldn’t soak all the windows at the same time because, again, the detergent will dry very quickly and you won’t have the time to scrape the grime off. What’s more, if the windows are extremely dirty, you may make cleaning them more difficult as the dirt can get etched on the glass.

Not Washing Your Tools After a Cleaning Session

Almost no one wants to continue tidying up after a long day of cleaning, but it’s important to wash and dry your equipment after each session because you won’t have to change your tools so often and you’ll avoid smearing old dirt next time you clean your house. If you don’t dry your squeegee and cloths properly, you risk black mould forming on your tools.

Get Help from a Professional

Window cleaning is not a simple job because there are so many things you need to take into account to achieve streakless results. Instead of taking on the additional stress, why not get help from a certified technician?

Fantastic Services offers efficient and contactless facade window cleaning service, which guarantees spotless results and is completely safe for your family. So, stay safe at home and let the professionals take care of the dirty windows.

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  • Avoid washing your windows on a sunny and hot day;
  • Always clean your equipment after you’ve finished cleaning your windows;
  • Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure you’re using the correct tools;
  • Start by cleaning the frames first, then move onto the glass panes;
  • Don’t forget – safety first! If you have hard-to-reach windows, consult with a professional.


Image source: Pixabay / falco

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