Window cleaning may seem like a simple task, but those who have taken on this task before know that there are many different challenges that come when trying to get perfectly streak free windows. From streaks to hard water stains and more. Here are the 4 main struggles people have when cleaning windows and how to combat them.
Streaks are the most common struggle that most people have when window cleaning. So how can you get your window completely streak free?
Well here’s how we go about it.
When completing a chore like this you need to have the right tools. Though some people will tell you to use things like newspaper or paper towels, these are the methods of the past. You’ll find it much easier to clean your windows with a microfiber cloth and/or a squeegee, plus you won’t have to deal with the lint/particles that those paper products will leave behind.
You’ll also want to be aware of the weather. Cleaning your windows while the sun is shining through them can result in your cleaning solution drying too fast on the windows and causing streaks. Either do this chore on a cooler day or start at the side of the house that isn’t getting sun.
Before cleaning the actual windowpane, you’ll want to clean the around it to ensure that no kicked-up dirt or dust ruin your perfectly streak free windows. Start by wiping down the frame, blinds, windowsill, and track. If you have caked on dirt in the track or windowsill use a vacuum to suck up all the loose dirt, then wipe the rest off with a microfiber cloth. Once those are all clean you can start cleaning the window glass.
First, you’ll want to get off any dirt that’s built up on your windows. Not effectively removing this buildup can cause swirls or streaks to appear. Do an initial cleaning with a microfiber cloth and a solution of water with a few drops of dish soap.
Once you’re done with the initial cleaning you’ll want to use squeegee, or a microfiber cloth specially designed to clean windows and glass.
For the squeegee method you should start at the top and angle the squeegee toward the bottom. Make sure to overlap your last pass by about 2 inches to make sure no steaks form. After each pass wipe the squeegee blade off with a cloth to make sure the excess water doesn’t get transferred back to the window and drip. Once you get to the bottom don’t forget to wipe any left-over moisture off the frame and sill.
Not all microfiber cloths are made the same. They all have different purposes that they're manufactured specifically for. When it comes to window and glass cleaning, microfiber cloths such as Microfiber Magic handle the job perfectly. Pressed, not woven, and super absorbent the special construction of Microfiber Magic allows it to pick up and trap 99.8% of surface bacteria and particles, leaving windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces looking spotless and completely streak free! The best part is all you need is water, no fancy expensive chemical cleaners.
With a glass cleaning microfiber cloth like Microfiber Magic the cleaning process is so simple. Just saturate the cloth, wring out as much excess water as possible, and wipe your surface. In less than a minute, you’ll see the lines on the glass evaporate an disappear right before your eyes, leaving you with the professional streak free windows you’ve been looking for.
If you don’t have a squeegee or a specially made microfiber cloth you can also try using an all-purpose microfiber cloth and a DIY Cleaning Solution such as the one below:
1-part white vinegar
1-part water (preferably distilled)
Mix the two ingredients into a spray bottle and Spray generously on your surface. Then wipe it down with a clean lint free microfiber cloth. While this method can certainly get the job done, the other 2 mentioned above will usually give you better results.
2.Hard Water Stains
If you’ve seen what looks like white stains on your windows, they’re likely to be hard water stains. But what is hard water?
Hard water is water that has an excess of minerals such as magnesium and calcium in it. This causes the water to dry and leave this mineral buildup on your windows in the form of stains. That’s what makes it so hard to clean. If you’re having trouble with hard water, try one of these methods to get rid of those stubborn stains.
1.Use a Vinegar/Water Solution
This is the most common cleaning solution to get hard water stains off your windows.
Mix 2 Tbsp of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, and 10 drops of essential oils (optional) into a glass spray bottle. Then spray the mixture generously on your surface and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth.
The vinegar’s acidic content will thoroughly break down the mineral build up from the hard water and help you leave hose window streak free.
This super simple and easy solution only calls for a half of a lemon. Use the inside of the lemon to scrub the hard water stains away. The acidic juices of the lemon will help break down those stains then just wipe them away.
3. Baking Soda/ Water Paste
Chances are you probably have some baking soda lying around the house, most people do. Over the years it’s made its way into a variety of DIY natural cleaning agent recipes. This is due to its incredible ability to cut through grease and grime.
In this recipe you’ll mix 1 part water and 3 parts baking soda into a paste. Then apply the paste to your surfaces and let sit for a couple of minutes to work its magic. Once done wipe the paste away and enjoy a window free of hard water stains.
Hard water is very common in industrialized areas and highly populated cities. So, if you live in an area with hard water, and use your tap water to clean, you might want to look in to getting some sort of water softener or distiller to help remove the extra minerals that this water contains.
3.Cleaning Window Screens
Now before you clean the other side the window. You’ll want to clean your window screen. Grime, dirt, bugs, dust and other unpleasant things all come in contact with your windows screen. These things stick to the screen making it look dingy and hard to see through. Wind can also push all that grime up against your windows effectively dirtying the streak free shine you worked so hard for. Use these tips to help you with those hard to clean windows screens.
If your screen isn’t particularly dirty you can try using a lint roller if you have one. This will remove any loose particles without the need to remove it. A smaller roller will make getting into those smaller spaces and crevices easier.
If you don’t have lint roller and you’re just wanting to get the loose dirt off, you can use a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment.
If your screens are on the dirtier side, the first thing you’ll want to do is take them off the window – This will make them easier to clean and help you avoid getting dirt from the screen onto your windows.
First rinse the screens with your garden hose. Then, clean them with a solution consisting of Vinegar and hot/warm water. The mixture should be 1 tbsp Vinegar (or Dish soap) To 1 Gal Water. Just dip your cloth in the solution and wipe down the screen.
If the dirt is really stubborn you might want to try scrubbing with a toothbrush dipped in the solution above.
Once done give them a good rinse, let them dry, then reinstall them back onto you widows.
4.Cleaning Outside of Window
Cleaning the inside of your windows regularly is something most people do without a thought. But we noticed a lot of people tend to neglect the outside of the windows. This means there is usually more dirt and grimes accumulated on the surface. We understand that this task can be difficult and time consuming, but it’s necessary to ensure that your windows are completely clean, streak free, and stay in great condition. Here are a few things you can try to help you get the outside of you windows as clean as the inside.
If you can't fold your windows in, and have to actually clean them from the outside you'll want to do an initial rinse with a hose to get off any loose dirt. This will also start to soften the tough, stuck on grime. Once done rinsing, fill a bucket with water and a few drops of dish detergent. You can use a microfiber cloth to wipe windows that are in reach and for those that aren’t, use a sponge/mop with a long handle or a flat microfiber mop. Once done wiping them, rinse them again.
Now you can use a squeegee to get that streak free shine. Here’s the method you should use Clean a small 1–2-inch border around the window with a microfiber cloth. Start from the top of the window and go down angling the squeegee toward the bottom. Wipe the squeegee blade dry at the end of each pass to make sure there is no leftover moisture transferred to other windows.
If you don’t own a squeegee, we suggest a microfiber cloth that is made for glass and windows, like microfiber magic. You can put it on a flat mop like a Swiffer to get those out of reach places. It’ll dry your window to a streak free shine easily with just water.
If your windows do fold in, then the microfiber cloth will be the better and easier of the two options. Using a squeegee at this angle will be more awkward and will probably result in your cleaning solution dripping on your floor creating more of a mess. Instead just use a window specific microfiber cloth to wipe the outside down just like you did with the inside.
Now that you're armed with the right tools and knowledge you are ready to get the pro streak free windows and glass you’ve always wanted.
Good luck and happy cleaning!