Clean Windows Like a Pro

March 15th, 2017
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nate holding cleaning tools with crossed arms

 

Cleaning windows can be a tad gimmicky, especially if you are doing it to get your security deposit back. From streaks to cloudy glass, it’s definitely persnickety. But worry not! We are here to share our method with you and hopefully make your life easier.


Tools


This is everything you need for an efficient window clean. It is also somewhat the bare minimum. Everything else depends on how fanatically you want to go at those windows.

  • Soap – Specialized window cleaning liquid soap will undoubtedly deliver better results, but as a cheaper alternative dish soap does the job admirably.
  • Water container – A vessel for the window cleaning mixture you will be using.
  • Scrubber – A cut-pile scrubber will soak up more water than a sponge or rag and the soft surface will apply the soap solution more evenly. A car washing brush will also do a good job for this.
  • Squeegee The most important tool you’ll need.
  • Sponge – To prevent streaks on the glass, wipe the excess water from the squeegee after each stroke
  • Microfiber rags – You can use any type of lint-free cloth, but we recommend grabbing some microfiber rags. They are excellent at absorbing water and won’t drop any fibers on your windows.
  • Spray bottle – A better way to apply the soapy water sparingly while cleaning the windows from the inside where drips are undesirable.. Use the mist setting.
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol – Either of these will do awesomely at cutting through settled window grime. Take a spray bottle fill half of it with water and top off with either vinegar or alcohol.
  • Extension pole – You are going to need this for high windows. It’s much safer than a ladder. True modest professionals like us use a waterfed pole and while it makes the work much easier is probably not worth the investment for a small household.

Technique


This wasn’t found in some secret ancient scroll guarded by ninja mummies, but is instead the fruit of experience and results.

  1. Start by mixing the window cleaning solution. About two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid is enough for 3,5 litres of water. Make sure the soap is fully dissolved before starting.
  2. Apply the solution using the scrubber. Begin from the borders working inwards with circular motions. Squeeze out any excess liquid every time you soak the scrubber, but leave just enough solution to keep the glass wet. For indoor cleaning we suggest using the spray bottle to apply the solution.
  3. Cut a dry edge along one side of the window using the edge of the squeegee. This will provide an anchoring line for the horizontal (or vertical if you are using an extension pole) wipes that follow.
  4. Squeegee horizontally starting from the top. Overlap each stroke by about 3cm for best results.
  5. Wipe the tool with a sponge after each line of water you wipe. This will prevent the dirty water from dripping, mixing with the solution and leaving smears on your windows.
  6. Polish the window with a microfiber rag after you are done with wiping. There will still be some water left around the corners, and this is where the rag comes handy to deliver the final shine to your work.

Tips


 A few tips to help you go that extra mile (or few centimetres) that your landlord will notice. Or simply to make your work easier.

  • Sliding glass doors and large pane windows should be tackled in halves rather than trying to clean the entirety in one go. Scrub the top first, then wipe with the squeegee, letting the solution drip to the bottom half. Then soap up the bottom half of the window and squeegee across making sure to dry the blade after each line.
  • Never clean windows on a sunny day. For starters it will cause the chemicals to dry quicker than you can squeegee them, causing streaks on the glass.  Additionally on overcast days smudges and stains are more easily seen on the glass surface.
  • Don’t forget window screens. – Wash both sides with a scrubber soaked in the cleaning solution. Rinse them thoroughly and let them air dry. If your window screens are gathering fuzz a lint roller does an excellent job of collecting it.
  • Shine your window tracks. Don’t overlook the details. Baking soda and vinegar is a combination that pull out any grime no matter how well settled. Just pepper them with baking soda and pour just enough vinegar to trigger the reaction. Let it fizz for a while, then wipe with a dry clean towel. The gunk should come right off.