Dirty windows can make even the cleanest room seem dank and dismal, yet window cleaning is often done badly or not at all. It can be difficult to get a crystal-clear streak-free shine on your windows. You may be familiar with the frustration of looking through just-cleaned windows only to see soap streaks and water marks all over them. There are some simple tips and tricks that if employed will ensure you get fantastic results every time - and we've collected them here for your convenenice. Read on to find out how to enjoy the view through perfectly polished panes.
Clean when it is cloudy
Windows tend to get neglected over the winter as, let’s face it: no one wants to stand outside with a bucket and a squeegee in the freezing cold. With the short days, most of us are leaving for and returning from work in the dark, so our curtains and blinds stay closed when we’re at home. With the sun shining over the summer months, we throw open the curtains to let it in. It is now that we are most likely to notice the state of our neglected windows and decide that they need a good scrub. Unfortunately, sunny days are one of the worst times to clean your windows. The water you use to clean them will evaporate very quickly, leaving streaks and marks in its wake. To avoid streaky windows (and potential sunburn) wait for a cooler day with plenty of cloud covering before you grab your bucket and sponge. Early mornings and late evenings are the optimum time to clean your windows.
Use fresh equipment
It might seem a bit obvious, but ensuring that your cleaning equipment is… well… clean is essential. Sponges and cloths that have been previously used and left in your cleaning cupboard or stored in a dusty environment such as a garage or loft will have picked up dirt or residues from other cleaners. This will just get spread around your windows when you start to ‘clean’ them. If the cloth had previously been used to polish a table, a waxy coating of polish will smear across the glass, for example. Make sure that you use the same equipment every time and wash it out thoroughly between uses.
Invest in the right tools
You don’t need expensive tools to clean your windows. A bucket, sponge, washing up liquid and white vinegar will do the job nicely. That said, if you have a lot of windows to clean and want really stunning results, you can pick up professional cleaning equipment for a fairly low cost. Get yourself set up with a squeegee, T-bar, scrim and scraper, as well as specialised glass cleaning solution. Look out for eco-friendly products to ensure you are not rinsing dangerous chemicals down the drain. A ladder or extendable pole can help you reach windows on upper storeys.
Perfect your technique
Now that you have all the tools for the job, it’s time to get cleaning. For the best results, start at the top of the window and work downwards. This will prevent drips running over the freshly cleaned glass and leaving streaks. Ensure you hold the squeegee at a 90 degree angle to the window; this will make the water run nicely down the glass instead of pouring out of the ends. Between strokes, wipe the rubber squeegee blade with a clean cloth to remove excess water and prevent blade marks being left. Ensure that your strokes overlap, so no sections get missed, and finally wipe the glass clean with a dry scrim for the perfect finish.
Employ the secret power ingredient
It is a natural ingredient and we have waxed lyrical about its many uses before, but white vinegar’s incredible cleaning power can once more be witness when it comes to leaving windows with a dazzling shine. After cleaning your windows with soapy water, spray on a white vinegar and water solution using a spray bottle. Wipe clean with a clean dry cloth for unbeatably shiny crystal-clear windows.