Your windows are at their best when clean and clear, however, if you don’t use a professional cleaner and go for it yourself using improper technique and materials, you could end up creating nasty streaks, cloudy marks or at worst, even cause damage to the glass surface;
How easy is it to achieve professional-quality results?
Window-cleaning should be a safe activity: if it turns out that you are attempting to tackle a high-rise office exterior or reach for a dangerously inaccessible window at home: STOP: leave this to the professionals! Call in a company which covers windows as part of the cleaning services they offer to prevent any nasty accidents; if you go for it yourself and have to use ladders, make sure that you have a cleaning buddy handy to hold them steady and keep you safe whilst you climb within reach of the windows.
Equip Yourself with the Right Tools for the Job
The good news is that, apart from a squeegee, you are likely to have everything you need already at home: all that you will need are the following:
- a bucket of cold water
- some washing up liquid
- the aforementioned rubber squeegee
- a pile of rags
- a large sponge
- old newspaper sheets
- white vinegar
Once you have all of the above tools to hand, you can confidently approach the next stage:
From Grimy to Gleaming in a few easy steps
Those windows are not going to clean themselves…but it needn’t be too much of a chore: preparing the necessary tools for the job is half the battle – whilst some elbow grease will be required, if you apply the correct technique, the job will be quick and easy – follow these steps to achieve perfection:
- Add washing up liquid to your bucket of cold water and drop your sponge in to soak.
- Open your windows carefully – it should be possible to configure these in such a way that you won’t have to hang out of the window in a dangerous manner.
- Give the window exterior a good splash with the soapy sponge, rubbing in a circular motion to thoroughly wet the glass – this will loosen up any dirt.
- Take your squeegee and use a vertical stroke to ‘scrape’ a section of the window clean with the rubber blade.
- Before you make a second stroke, use one of your rags to wipe your squeegee blade dry: this is the secret to a streak-free finish.
- Repeat the process of ‘scraping’ water off and drying the squeegee until your window is looking clean and clear on the outside.
- To finish up, use scrunched-up newspaper sheets to mop up water which has gathered up at the edges of the window.
- Simply follow the same steps as for the outer glass – the only difference is that we recommend you use horizontal strokes with your squeegee this time around: the reason? If any streaks do end up left behind, you will be able to identify if they are on the inside or the outside with a quick glance, since they will either be vertically or horizontally aligned.
For any streaks which managed to sneak through, you can use scrunched up, vinegar soaked newspaper – give the streak a good wipe with the damp paper, then use a further, dry newspaper sheet in circular motions to remove the residue.
Fred Antoniou is a full-time handyman who uses his wealth of knowledge and experience to offer a wide range of household repairs, garden management jobs and Commercial Cleaning to his clients.