Spring is just around the corner, which means that it will soon be time for spring cleaning. Removing the accumulated pollution, dirt, grime, bird droppings and salty snow stains from the windows may seem like a tedious and time-consuming task. But spring cleaning doesn’t have to be stressful, so here are a few helpful tricks the experts shared with us that will give your windows that professional and streakless finish.
When is the Best Time to Clean Your Windows?
Spring remains the best time to clean dirty windows. Keep a watch on the weather forecast for a cloudy day. If you choose to wash your windows on a sunny day, you risk your window washing solution to evaporate quickly because your windows have gathered too much sunlight. The sunshine also hides dirty spots and causes additional streaking, so you may have to waste your time and repeat the cleaning process. This is another frequently encountered problem. If you have no other option and you must clean your windows on a sunny day, you can start from the windows that are facing the shadows. Alternatively, you can wash your windows early in the morning, before the sun has reached its peak.
EXTRA TIP: When cleaning windows from both sides, you can use vertical motions for the interior of your windows and horizontal motions for the exterior, or vice versa. This way if you see any imperfections or smudges, you will know which side needs a second wash.
You Need to Prepare:
- Wash bucket
- Window cleaning solution
- Two sponges (a large one for the outside of your windows and a small one for the inside part)
- Telescopic Pole (for high and out of reach windows)
- Microfibre cleaning cloth
- Soft cotton towel (you can also use a cloth diaper or a linen napkin)
- Large towels (to soak any spilt water when cleaning the interior of your windows)
What is the Best Window Cleaning Mixture?
There are different cleaning liquid formulas. However, the best ones use natural and eco-friendly materials, such as vinegar and lemon juice. Natural materials can help you spot streaks while cleaning your windows. If you have never used vinegar and water to clean windows and frames but you want to make your own homemade window cleaning solution, here are a few recipes:
- The simple water and white vinegar combination
The most basic cleaning solution recipe uses only vinegar and water. Just add two tablespoons of white vinegar into a bucket of warm water. If you want to make the mixture stronger, you can mix one part vinegar to two parts water. You can substitute the vinegar with fresh lemon juice.
- Adding a little something into the mix
Another common recipe for a homemade solution is the combination of 2 cups of water, ¼ cup vinegar and ½ teaspoon dish detergent. Keep in mind not to create too many soap suds, because they can leave streaks if allowed to dry.
- The heavy-duty solution
If you have very dirty windows and you need a stronger formula, then these are for you. One way to get rid of the persistent dirt is to warm up 1 cup of full strength white vinegar and use it directly on the window. Another solution is to mix 2 cups of water, ¼ cup of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and vinegar, and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to prevent streaking.
Cleaning Windows on the Outside
- This side of your windows is exposed to the elements, it accumulates the best part of the dirt and grime. If it’s possible, rinse the outside of your windows with a hose.
- After you have prepared your homemade cleaning solution, dip the large sponge and wring it out.
- Rub the soaked sponge on the surface of the window. Don’t forget to scrub the corners and the window frames. Use a stepladder or a telescopic pole for windows that are hard to reach.
- Rinse with the hose again.
- Wipe the window with a rubber-bladed squeegee. You can use the top to bottom method or the professional reverse S motion. Be sure to remember which way you used on the outside, so you don’t use it on the interior of the windows.
- Clean the squeegee with a fresh dry lint-free cotton towel. Use the other lint-free towel to dry the window.
- If any hard-to-remove stains remain, you can spray them with the washing mixture and leave them for several minutes before rinsing.
- Use your natural window washing solution to spray the screens, then rinse them with the hose. Be sure to dry the window screens, before replacing them.
EXTRA TIP: Do not wash your window cleaning towels with fabric softener, because it will leave streaks when you clean your windows next time.
Cleaning Windows on the Inside
- Place a large towel beneath your window sill to soak up any spills.
- Dust off or vacuum the window frames.
- Dip the small sponge in your homemade cleaning solution and wring it out.
- Wash the surface of the windows. Don’t forget to go over the window frames as well. Also, use the opposite cleaning motions to the ones you’ve used on the outside, in order to see if there are any missed spots.
- Wipe the mixture with the squeegee. Alternatively, you can use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the solution. Avoid using paper towels and newspaper, because these may leave streaks or ink marks on your windows. They also build up a charge, which can attract additional dirt to the windows.
- Clean the squeegee with a fresh cotton cloth.
- If the windows are very dirty, you may need to repeat the process.
Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning Your Windows
So why all this fuss? There are several benefits of spring cleaning, which include stress-relief, sickness prevention, and increased productivity at work to name a few. Studies show that natural scents, such as the lemon scent, help reduce anxiety levels and improve your sleep. Cleaning the accumulated dust on the interior of the windows also helps with preventing allergies and asthma attacks. And here is a bonus - spring cleaning influences a healthy diet and increases your physical activity without you even realising.