Many people dread the task of cleaning windows. Why is that? After all, in comparison to cleaning the toilet bowl, it’s not nearly as gross. And windows don’t need to be cleaned as often as the toilet. Most likely, it’s due to the fact that without the proper know-how, window cleaning can take quite some time and, if the end result is streaked or spotty windows, it can leave you feeling like all that hard work and effort was in vain.
Interestingly, cleaning windows is less about the elbow grease and more using the right tools and methods. Following is a list of techniques and recommended tools that can leave your windows streak-free and sparkling. You might just start enjoying the chore.
Choosing the right cleaners
Whether you prefer a manufactured window cleaner or opt to make one at home using dishwashing liquid or vinegar, a good window cleaning solution will have the ability to dissolve dirt without leaving residue behind.
If you decide to make your own, avoid using tap water as it usually contains an abundance of minerals including calcium and magnesium which results in streaks or a cloudy film on the glass.
Save time and effort with a squeegee
If you’ve ever watched a pro clean office windows or even detail the glass on a car, one of their main tools is the squeegee. This handy tool quickly wipes away excess liquid and polishes the glass with a single swipe. Make sure the squeegee is equipped with a sturdy handle that allows plenty of pressure, as well as a quality rubber blade.
Avoid Paper Towels
While it seems sensible to use a fresh roll of paper towels to dry those window panes, the end result will likely leave you with lint and streaks. A more cost effective and environmentally friendly solution is opting for a lint free microfiber cloth.
Microfiber cloths are made of special materials that can be used multiple times, unlike paper towels. There are several varieties of microfiber cloths on the market, but for cleaning windows, check out the Lint Free Microfiber Cloth that leaves a streak-free shine every time. The microfiber cloth will easily buff out any streaks or smudges, giving you a polished shine.
Understanding the Common Causes of Window Streaking
A few of the most common causes of window streaking include the cleaning solution, the material used for drying, and the weather.
- Tips on Cleaning Solutions: As mentioned earlier, the cleaning solution must cut through grime without producing a lot of suds. While a nice lather might be preferred when washing your hair or that greasy casserole dish, a sudsy window cleaning solution is apt to leave the glass full of streaks. So, if creating a DIY solution, use liquid soap sparingly. Also, if you’re not against chemicals when making your own cleaner, consider adding a small amount of ammonia or rubbing alcohol.
- The Weather Effects the Results: While no one is going to clean windows in the rain, waiting for a sunny hot day is a mistake too. Why? The cleaning solution dries quickly in the heat of the day, which leaves a residue and causes those unsightly streaks. If possible, wash your windows on a cloudy day or at the very least avoid peak sun times.
- Cleaning Materials aren’t equal: Recycling old clothes or towels and using them for odd jobs and cleaning is great! However, avoid these items, along with newspaper when washing windows. In addition to leaving lint, or shedding, these materials are not always absorbent. Plus, any residue from oils or laundry detergent will cause streaks and spots.
Effectively Remove those Stubborn Streaks
Whether due to lots of dirt buildup or rushing to do the job the first time around, sometimes a window needs to be washed a second time. However, before you do a repeat, first try wiping away the marks with a Microfiber cloth and a bit of elbow grease.
If you’re still seeing smudges, apply a small amount of cleaner and wipe with a squeegee using vertical or horizontal motions while applying light pressure. Then, any excess moisture can be dried with the lint free microfiber cloth. The key is to work fast before the solution starts to evaporate and to also clean thoroughly.
Using these tools and techniques will have you washing windows like a pro. Did you know that windows should be cleaned at least twice a year to prevent etching and staining in the glass? Also, clean windows allow more natural sunlight into your home and enhance curb appeal!