How To Wash a Window

Apartment Therapy Tutorials

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It's a good idea to wash your windows at least twice each year to keep up with all the dirt and grime Mother Nature blows your way. Special tools the pros use can make the task easier, but if all you've got is a few microfiber cloths and a good cleaning solution, you're well on your way!

If you have exceptionally dirty windows, start by spraying them down with a mixture of dishwashing detergent and water to remove built up dirt. Rinse clean and follow up with the steps below for a streak-free shine.

Cleaning tips

Don't Wash in the Sun: Don't wash windows in direct sunlight because the sun can overheat glass and cause streaking.

Use a Squeegee for best results: It's not 100% necessary to have on hand for cleaning day but it does make managing streaks much easier.

Clean Scrubber: Make sure your scrubber/wash rag and squeegee are clean. It doesn't make much sense to clean with dirty tools! Don't forget to wipe your squeegee between strokes. You don't want to leave dirt behind. Also, a wet blade will make streak marks more likely.

Overlap Strokes: By at least an inch and angle the squeegee so the dirty water doesn't drip into the area that is clean and dry.

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What You Need

Materials

  • Vinegar or Ammonia
  • Water
  • Dishwashing detergent

Tools

  • Spray bottle
  • 2 lint free cloths
  • Squeegee (optional)

Instructions

1. Mix up your cleaning solution. Equal parts vinegar + water are a fantastic solution for just about everything in your home, but you could also use ammonia + water, or lemon juice + 1 quart of water.

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2. Spray the entire window with the solution.

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3. Move the solution all around the window with your lint-free cloth (or scrubber) wiping away any scummy residue left on the windows. Fold in the edges of the cloth (or rinse the scrubber) as you go to keep from moving dirt around the window.

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4. Wipe down the window with a clean, lint-free cloth or squeegee from the top of the window to the bottom.

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5. Be sure to clean drips from the window sill so the solution won't damage your windows!

More great tips and tutorials: Cleaning Basics

Edited from an original post by Susan Mitchell Balvin published on February 4, 2011

(Image credits: Ashley Poskin)