Window cleaning is a tedious task. Stubborn stains on the inside and outside of clear glass are difficult to remove with conventional cleaning products. Paper towel fibers can leave stains on window glass, and the same is true for stains from commercial products.
Working in cloudy weather
Direct sunlight will dry out the cleaner and cause it to evaporate before it can be properly rinsed away, resulting in streaks that are difficult to scrub out. Also, on cloudy days, the streaks are easier to see because there is less reflection on the glass.
Clean the frame first.
Many dirt particles are hidden in window rails and frames, and when mixed with window cleaner, they can become an unsightly sludge that drips onto the glass during cleaning. To remove this grit, scrub the inside of the track with a toothbrush and a sprinkle of baking soda and vinegar, then wipe away any residue with a damp rag.
Making Original Soap
You can make your own cleaning solution without using commercial products because the water/detergent mixture is strong enough to scrub away dirt from particularly dirty windows, such as kitchen windows, while leaving no stains. Vinegar is also an effective cleaning agent.
Paper is the bad guy.
Paper towels and newspapers are often misused as products to scrub and dry glass, but they only break down and leave lint. Instead, use a microfiber cloth (available on Amazon) to catch dirt and dust and leave nothing behind.
Purchase a squeegee.
The best way to get a streak-free shine is to make sure that water and soap are removed from the window glass. Use a squeegee with a rubber blade to scrub the glass from top to bottom to remove excess water.
Reach to the top with a mop.
For tall exterior windows, wash them with a sponge mop on a pole and soapy water. Rinse the washed window with a hose and remove the water with a dry mop or a squeegee secured to an adjustable pole to prevent drying on the glass surface.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, you may want to try a rain repellent for your windows. This special spray is commonly used on car windshields to reduce dirt by beading the water and making it easier to roll off.
Use a lint roller to remove dust from the screen.
As part of routine maintenance, an adhesive lint roller can be used to remove dust and dirt from window screens. For deep cleaning, remove the window sash and rinse with soap and water.
Erase with an eraser.
Sashes must be removed and thoroughly cleaned, but occasional wiping will help keep dirt at bay. Use an eraser pad (you can purchase a pack at Target) and simply wipe quickly between deep cleanings.
Provide different cleaning supplies for the inside and outside of the window. Windows get dirty on both sides, but especially on the outside with pollen and bird droppings. Instead of using the same microfiber cloth, prepare a spare so it is always fresh.
You can prevent wiping streaks by being creative with your window cleaning motions. Start with small circles and end with horizontal and vertical brushings.
If you make it this far and discover a few streaks, do not despair. Simply use a clean chalkboard eraser to gently scrub the streaks from the windows to make them shine.
Clean the blinds with pliers.
When you clean your windows, you should also clean your curtains at the same time. Blinds, curtains, and drapes can be a source of dust, dirt, pollen, and pet hair. For blinds, take out a pair of pliers from the kitchen, wrap a microfiber cloth around each side, and secure it with a rubber band. This will effectively clean each curtain with a quick wipe.
Cleaning the Curtains with a Vacuum Cleaner
Take a vacuum cleaner and its upholstery or slim nozzle attachment and handle the curtains. It will suck up the dirt and will not stain the windows you have just cleaned.
Clean once every 6 months
Twice a year, in the fall and spring, it is a good idea to clean windows inside and out to prevent the buildup of stubborn mineral deposits caused by rain. Prolonged mopping will cause the stains to deepen, forcing you to resort to harsh chemicals to remove them.
With these tips, you can have shiny windows in no time.