Washing home windows is one task most homeowners like the least and put off the most. However, having clean windows gives your home’s appearance an instant boost. By following these easy tips, you’ll learn how to wash windows like a pro with professional results.
What You Need to Wash Your Windows
The first step in achieving professional results is to find the right tools to use. Window washing equipment can vary and every tool has a specific purpose as it relates to cleaning your windows.
Window Washing Solution
The most common window washing solution is warm water with a small amount of mild dishwashing detergent mixed in. For example, Dawn or Palmolive will work well.
Another popular solution people choose is a combination of water and vinegar. Vinegar is naturally acidic and will work to break down any impurities on the surface of the glass. It’s also cheaper than buying specialized detergents for window cleaning.
Recipe for Vinegar Window Washing Solution
The recipe to make an amazing non-chemical, all natural solution for cleaning your window glass is simply 1 part white vinegar and 1 part hot water.
Sponge or Wash Cloth
Use a sponge or wash cloth to apply your solution and scrub the panes of your window’s glass. Make sure not to use an abrasive sponge as it will mar and scratch your window pane.
Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed your window glass with your chosen window cleaning solution, a squeegee can be used to wipe off the excess water and solution without streaks.
Some squeegees come with an extendable handle making it easier to clean hard to reach spaces like particularly tall windows such as large picture windows.
When the windows are cleaned with a squeegee, have a microfiber cloth on hand to wipe your windows completely clear of all streaks and water spots.
Why a microfiber cloth? The synthetic fibers within a microfiber cloth or towel are ultra-fine, in fact smaller than the diameter of a strand of silk. This helps to prevent scratching of your window as well as “swirls” left behind on the surface of the glass. You can easily purchase microfiber cloths in the automotive section of any large retail store.
Pressure Washer to Power Wash Your Windows
Pressure washers are particularly effective at cleaning windows in hard to reach places like second floor windows. The high pressure water output of pressure washers helps to remove mold, grime, dust or dirt buildup over time on your windows.
We recommend purchasing a relatively inexpensive electric pressure washer ($100-$200). Some even have attachments where you can add soap or washing solution to a reservoir that helps save time when washing your windows.
Window scrapers are most commonly used on automotive glass but they are also great on window glass to remove sticker residue, bird poop or other hard to clean debris.
You can buy a specialized hand held window scraper for glass or just use a razorblade for smaller areas.
Techniques on How to Wash Windows
Washing your windows may seem simple enough, but there are some techniques used to make your windows look like they were professionally washed. A common and efficient way to wash your windows is to dip your sponge or washcloth into the solution and make small circular motions across the window panes. Small circular motions are much more effective versus long strokes when cleaning glass.
Once that is done, slightly wet your squeegee and swipe it from left to right to wipe up the solution. You want to wet your squeegee because it will move much more smoothly across the window pane.
After you have completed this step, use your microfiber cloth to go in and wipe down any leftover water and solution. Make sure to dry the windows quickly to prevent water spots and streaks from forming. If you leave the windows wet without drying them, you will have unsightly water spots left behind.
Washing Windows from Outside Your Home
Power washing your windows from the outside is a popular choice, especially when getting hard to reach second and third floor windows. The high pressure stream of water produced by your pressure washer will be able to reach a much further distance than your ordinary garden hose.
Using a pressure washer to clean your outside windows is also much faster than the bucket method. If you are cleaning second story or higher windows, this method is also much safer than using a ladder to climb up and clean those windows.
Washing Windows from Inside Your Home
Washing windows from the inside of your house is an easy task. The same technique is used on the interior of your windows as is used on the exterior of your windows using a simple washing solution in a bucket with a sponge.
You have a little more time to wipe down since when inside your home, you don’t have to worry about direct sunlight drying your window glass as quickly.
In addition to this, many windows come with grids that are built in between panes to make cleaning the interior of your window that much easier and less of a hassle.
How to Prevent Streaks When Washing Your Windows
A problem many people experience while washing their windows are the streaks and water spots their window washing solution may leave behind. While most may not think of it, one of the common reasons this happens is the weather conditions you wash your windows in, such as washing windows in direct sunlight.
The ideal weather condition for washing your windows is an overcast or cloudy day with little to no breeze. This is because if it is sunny and windy, your solution may dry on the surface before you get a chance to wipe them down yourself.
Using the all natural vinegar and water solution mentioned earlier will also help to prevent watermarks and blemishes on your window glass.
Removing Grime from Your Windows
Cleaning windows is already a task many homeowners don’t like to do, but when windows are especially dirty, that makes cleaning your windows like a professional even more difficult. A window scraper is great for removing grime such as sticker residue, bird poop and built up filth.
It is important to frequently replace the blade on your window scraper. A dull window scraper won’t get your windows as clean as they can be.
DIY Window Cleaning with Professional Results
By following these simple tips, you will be able to achieve the look and shine of professionally washed windows that will last. We recommend washing your windows twice a year to keep the windows on your home in tip top shape and to prolong the life of your home’s windows.
Now that you know how to wash windows like a pro, maybe you’ll realize that your windows are outdated on your home. Replacing your windows will improve the look of your home and its energy efficiency. Get a free quote now for the best replacement windows.