Nothing ruins a great view like a greasy hand print right in the middle of the window. No matter the time of year it is, you can always benefit from brightly clean windows. They allow in more natural light and can transform a dull room into a bright living space. Planning for this at the right time is important. You don’t want to clean your windows while they are in direct sunlight or the cleaning suds will dry while you’re working, just making them worse. You can either do a full day’s worth of windows by starting on the South and West facing sides in the morning, then moving to the North and East facing sides in the afternoon. You can clean on an overcast day but be careful, or your hard work will just get washed away in the rain.
Filling Your Tool Bucket
Window washing techniques aren’t too tricky, but they do require the right tools. If you start without them, you’ll stress yourself all the way through the process.
- Soft Bristle Brush: Think of the same kind of brush you use on non-stick pans or glasses in your kitchen, but make sure it’s a clean one, not the actual one from the kitchen, so you don’t spread kitchen grease around the windows. For best results, get one with a built-in soap dispenser and an extendable handle so those high window edges are always within reach and you don’t have to carry around a bucket of soapy water. Use the brush to get grime and stains off the window without wearing out your arms in the process.
- Lightly Soapy Cleaner: Stay away from all the combined sprayer cleaners. Instead, go for a kitchen cleaner that is meant to cut through stains and grease. Your best choice will be one that cleans well but doesn’t get too sudsy. Test it in your brush to determine how much water to combine with it for exactly the right consistency.
- Hose with sprayer: An adjustable sprayer nozzle attachment for your garden hose can make getting the rest of the outdoor grime off the windows even easier. Once you’ve loosened it up with your brush, simply spray the residue off with your hose. Be careful not to spray too vigorously because you can accidentally loosen the seals around your windows.
- Squeegee: A good squeegee is necessary to prevent all your previous work from going to waste. When used properly, a squeegee gets all that beaded water off your windows, so it can’t dry in streaks and ruin all your hard work. It also means the windows are almost completely dry for the last step and won’t get those round rubbing streaks either. If you have wide picture windows, look for a wide squeegee to cut down on the number of vertical stripes required. Lastly, look for one with an extendable handle like your bristle brush so that you can always start and the very top of each window.
- Chamois Cloths: For that last little bit of drying and polishing, don’t use any old cloth. Get yourself a proper chamois to prevent streaking. If it is in your budget, you can get a natural chamois made of sheep leather, but don’t rule out the synthetics. There are some fantastic synthetic chamois fabrics out there for any budget.
- Simple Soft Cloth: After you’ve dried the window, you’ll need a simple soft cloth for the window sill. Use this cloth to pick up any remaining dirt or water from the cleaning process.
Don’t Forget the Screens
No matter how clean the windows, you still can’t see through them if you have dirty screens. Since you had to take them off anyway, now is the perfect time to clean them as well. Using the same soapy cleaner and a bristle brush, gently brush both sides of the screen to remove dirt, dust, and grime. Then spray them off with your garden hose and sprayer attachment. Be careful only to use a medium pressure sprayer option, since you don’t want to tear the screen away from the edges.
Got your home looking its greatest? Call your real estate professional and schedule that open house!