Isn’t it satisfying to sit in a favorite spot of your home and peer out a crystal clear window, whether enjoying a sunrise over a cup of coffee or watching the wildlife over dinner? Yet, even a small smudge or curious child’s handprint on a window can draw your attention away from enjoyment to frustration.
Fortunately, having clean, sparkling windows is not all that difficult with the proper tools and methods. Here are five easy ways to clean those windows using products you likely already have.
Making Your Own Window Cleaning Solution
White distilled vinegar is a longtime favorite with many household uses and is popular among professional window cleaners. Simply mix equal parts of vinegar and warm water in a bucket or spray bottle. When possible, opt for distilled water versus tap water, as the minerals in tap water will often leave water spots.
Consider adding a few drops of dishwashing detergent to the vinegar solution to help dissolve grease and grime.
Note: Undiluted vinegar works great for removing stubborn spots. Also, if the smell of vinegar is unappealing, consider adding 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, which will further boost the cleaning power, while providing a fresh scent.
Washing Your Windows
Apply the window cleaning solution with a damp, clean cloth. For extra dirty windows, it may be necessary to use a sponge or soft-bristle brush and a bit of elbow grease. Then, using a lint-free microfiber cloth, gently buff the windows dry in a vertical or horizontal motion to prevent streaks.
Using a Squeegee
A squeegee is another handy tool and especially useful when tackling large windows. It’s a must that your squeegee has a sharp rubber blade without knicks or tears. Once the cleaning solution is applied, starting at a top corner of the window, whisk away the cleaner in a “S” motion, drying the blade with a lint-free cloth after each stroke.
Why the Type of Cloth Matters
Most likely, you’ve either heard of or personally tried cleaning your windows with various types of drying materials. These may vary from old rags and newspaper to coffee filters and paper towels. But think twice before you use them!
While newspaper may have been popular with your grandparents, nowadays the ink and paper used are much different and typically dissolve, leaving you with a mess. Rags, depending on the type of material can be useful, but residue from detergent or oils will result in hazy windows, not to mention the lint left behind. Finally, paper towels and coffee filters are also frequently used as they are generally lint-free, but fail greatly in regards to being cost-effective or eco-friendly.
So, instead of any of these hacks, consider investing in quality microfiber cloths that are reusable. When cared for properly will last several years, saving you money, yielding better results, and proving to be the greenest option for the environment.
Make It a Habit to Clean Your Windows Regularly
There are many benefits to having clean windows in your home. For example, clean windows allow natural light to flow into your home, thus providing warmth during the colder months as well as making your home look and feel cleaner, brighter, and more inviting.
Keep a bottle of window cleaning solution handy for small touch-ups and plan to give your windows a full cleaning about 3-4 times a year. While it might take a little effort, doing so will preserve the integrity of the window glass and framing, making them last longer.