Clean glass windows can enhance the appearance of your home. It also helps maintain the integrity of your windows. However, window cleaning is better said than done. In fact, it is one of the most challenging things to do around the house. But if you have time to do it, then it is best to do it properly. Here are some tips to help you.
1. Gather first the materials and tools needed. You cannot and should not start window cleaning unless you have the materials and tools at hand for this task. Most of them can be found in the cleaning supplies section of your local hardware. Basic things you will need include the following:
- Mop – A 14-inch sturdy mop is an ideal size and is suitable for standard windows. Mops usually come with a T-bar and a sleeve. You could detach the sleeve and wash it separately when it already becomes dirty.
- Squeegee – Squeegees are probably one of the most crucial tools in glass window cleaning. There are several good brands available such as Sorbo and Unger. Look for one with a detachable channel and handle and replaceable rubber. There are various sizes available from four inches to 24 inches.
- Bucket – Choose one that is wide enough to fit your squeegee and mop.
- Clean towel or microfiber cloth – The towel is for wiping the edges to remove excess water.
- Cleaning solution – There are many available cleaning solutions but choose the ones that are biodegradable or less toxic. You can also make your homemade solution with equal parts water and vinegar. However, one of the challenges when working with a vinegar solution is that it does not produce suds. Suds lubricate the rubber in the squeegee as it cleans the surface of the glass.
- Ladder – You will need this when cleaning high windows.
- Tool belt and side bucket – These tools are for your convenience because they give you easy access to your rags and other small tools.
Now that you have the basic tools needed, it is time to learn how to do it the professional way:
1. Start cleaning with the top exterior windows going down. Remove first the window screen if there is one and then clean the screen first before setting it aside.
2. Fill in your bucket with lukewarm water. If you have access to deionized water, use that instead since that is what professional cleaners use. Unlike tap water, deionize water will not leave any hard water stains on your glass.
2. You could either put a small amount of your cleaning solution directly into the bucket of water or apply it into the wet mop.
3. Give your window a good rub using your mop. Do it slowly and gently, making sure that all the dirt is lifted up and any stubborn marks removed. If you know how to use a scrapper, you may use it for removing stubborn marks; but if not, don’t use it at all because you might cause further scratches on your window.
4. After mopping, it is time to use the squeegee. It takes practice before you can really master how to use this tool correctly. You want to work with it at the right angle and with the right pressure for better efficiency. With too much pressure, it can be hard to move around while with too little pressure, it might not be able to efficiently collect all the water.
5. Wet the window again, this time with clean water. You can easily spray it with water using a strip washer if you have one and then squeegee it again. When working with the squeegee, start at the top left corner of your glass then work your way down the window. Be sure that you don’t leave any water marks at the middle.
6. After squeegeeing, wipe the edges with the microfiber cloth or towel. If there are any streaks or marks left on the window, you can also wipe it using the clean part of you towel.
7. You are now done! Though not really because it is just the exterior window. You have to do the same procedure for your interior window.
8. Make sure you don’t forget to also clean the window frames, sills and tracks.
9. When everything is clean, return the screen in place and repeat the same procedure for the other windows.
10. Have a final check if you are satisfied with your work.
It can be a very rewarding experience to have clean windows. However, with all these procedures, it can be very time-consuming. If you don’t like to undergo all the hassle, you could simply call for the professionals to do this job for you.