Weekend Projects

This Weekend: Let the Sunshine In

updated Oct 13, 2022
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(Image credit: William Strawser)

With summer almost upon us, it’s impossible not to think of watermelons and swimming pools and lemonade and all those other sunshiny things. But opening your windows for some fresh spring air can bring some not-so-pleasant things to light — like window tracks littered with dead bugs or screens full of dust and pollen. This weekend, whether you tackle one room or the whole house, get some windows sparkling so nothing gets between you and those golden rays.

This weekend’s assignment: Clean your windows!

Getting started
Before you get to the actual glass or screens, address the window ledges, latches, and any additional portions that could collect dust. Use a damp rag and wipe these areas down, top to bottom.

Clean your screens
Open your windows and jiggle out the screens. Most pop out easily. You may want to mark the top of the screen so when it’s time to put them back in, you’re not doing the old try-each-side-in-each-groove routine. Spraying the screens with a strong-ish spray of water from a hose is probably the easiest way to flush out dust and pollen. Then set them out to dry in the sun. If you need to clean the screens indoors, rinsing them in the bathtub works well.

→ How to Clean Window Screens

(Image credit: William Strawser)

Clean the window tracks. These things can be downright frightening. I’ve found flat, dry, tiny frog carcasses in mine! Even if black dirt is the worst thing in there, these things are no fun to clean. But the sense of accomplishment when they’re squeaky clean is pretty gratifying. I like this technique that uses a good amount of water to loosen up the grime before a thorough wiping. This method uses a rag wrapped around a butter knife to get in those crevices (even though it also calls for mixing baking soda and vinegar).

Clean the glass. This is the sparkly part. Here are a few things to keep in mind: To avoid streaks, try to clean the windows when they aren’t in direct sunlight. Also use a lint-free rag or newspaper to wipe the windows so you don’t leave any residue behind from the cleaning itself.

→ How to Wash a Window
→ How To Clean Your Windows Like a Pro
→ Non-Toxic Window Cleaning
→ How To Clean a Window with Newspaper

Remember, as with all of our Weekend Projects, just do what you have the time and energy to do. This is a marathon, not a sprint!

  • Help motivate others by letting the rest of us know how things are going! Share your tips and photos of your Weekend Project work on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #ATweekendproject.
  • Check out 2017’s entire Plan for a Healthy & Happy Home to access all Weekend Project ideas, so you can pick and choose what to do this weekend.