FAQs & Best Tips For Washing Windows
- Outside windows typically have more dirt and stains. Start by rinsing the windows with the hose, then fill a bucket with clean, cool water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap.
- Using a soft microfiber cloth, go over the surface of the window. For higher windows, use a sponge mop (or a soft cotton or microfiber mop) on a pole.
- Rinse thoroughly with the hose.
- Spray or mop with the vinegar and water solution or with a commercial cleanser.
- Wipe the window dry using a clean, rubber-bladed squeegee. Angle the squeegee towards the bottom of the window and work from top to bottom. Wipe the squeegee with a clean, dry towel at the bottom of each pass. Alternatively, you can use a clean, lint-free towel or newspaper pages to dry the windows.
Tips for Hard-to-Clean Windows
Remove paint specks and labels with a razor blade mounted in a holder. Always use a new blade to avoid scratching the glass. Wet the window first and push the blade across once. Rinse the blade and repeat on the next section to avoid trapping debris under the blade that could scratch the glass. Don’t use a razor blade on tempered glass.
- Remove tree pitch or bug droppings with a fine (white) nylon scrub pad. Wet the glass first and rub in an inconspicuous area to make sure you’re not scratching the glass.
- Clean tough glass stains and built-up mineral deposits from shower doors and other glass surfaces using mild household abrasives and an ordinary power drill.
- Use this glass cleaning solution for tough spots: Add 1/2 cup of ammonia per gallon of water to help remove greasy dirt for a DIY window cleaner
- Loosen sticky residue left from labels or tape by soaking it with a specialty product like Goof Off. You’ll find Goof Off in the paint department at hardware stores and home centers. Then scrape off the residue with a razor blade.
The most common is a water-fed pole cleaner mounted on an extendable pole for easy access to exterior windows. This setup requires significant investment into tools and training but makes cleaning high windows simple. The next most common option is a pair of squeegee and scrubber tools mounted on poles.
For Multipane Windows
Customize the squeegee
To clean a divided-light window, you need a squeegee that fits the panes. We uses a hacksaw to cut one to size. We trim the metal channel ¼ inch narrower than the window pane, then files the cut edges smooth. With a utility knife, we cut the rubber blade to the pane’s full width and fits it into the channel so that it projects 1/8 inch at each end.
Scrub the panes
A handheld sponge or hog-bristle brush works best on multiplane windows. We prefer natural sponges. Using the same solution of a squirt of liquid soap in water, we rub each pane from left to right, top to bottom, working the sponge edges or brush bristles into the corners to loosen dirt.
Wipe clean with a squeegee
Pull the squeegee down each pane in a single stroke from top to bottom. After each stroke, clean the blade with a rag so it doesn’t leave streaks. (If the squeegee squeaks a lot, add a bit more soap to the water.) As above, remove any streaks on the glass with a chamois and dry the muntins and sill with a rag.