There are few things more satisfying than seeing that bright sun shining into your home through clean, streak-free windows. All of that natural light brightens your home, brightens your mood, and makes your house feel open and clean. However, if they are dirty, those golden rays will make them look worse and highlight the dirt to everyone in the house. Cleaning windows is usually the least favorite house cleaning task of most people, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a breakdown of how to clean those windows (both inside and out) to make your house shine!
Clean Windows: Tools Needed
You’ll need a few tools on hand to get them sparkling. Before you start cleaning, gather up the items that you’ll need.
- Glass cleaner or Home mixture of Vinegar and Water
- Medium to Large Size Bucket
- Dish Soap
- Bath Towel
- Microfiber cloth or sponge
- Paper Towels or Newspaper
- Rubber Bladed Squeegee
- For the Outside—Water Hose, Mop or Ladder
Inside Window Cleaning
The insides of your windows are fairly easy to clean. Try to pick a house cleaning day that is cool and cloudy so that the soapy water and window spray do not dry on the glass before you can finish.
First, you will fill your bucket with clean, cool water and add a few drops of your liquid dish soap. In order to catch any spills, spread out your large bath towel beneath the windows. Take your microfiber cloth (or sponge if you prefer), dip it in the soapy water and start scrubbing. The most efficient way to clean is to start at the top and work your way down to the bottom. You’ll need frequent dips back in the bucket to keep your cloth or sponge clean and wet. Don’t worry about streaks that show up on your window at this stage. We’ll get them in the next step. Before you put away your bucket, ensure you’ve wiped down the window frame as well.
Next, take your window cleaning spray (commercial or homemade) and spray the the glass thoroughly with the solution. It is better to have too much than too little. If you don’t get enough spray on the glass, you will have streaks show up. Take your clean (and lint free) paper towel and dry the window using a “Z-shaped” motion. Instead of paper towels, you can use pages of a newspaper! Choose only pages that are black and white. The colored pictures will leave ink on the glass. If dirt or streaks remain, spray and dry again. Dirty windows typically require two rounds of spraying and drying.
Outside Window Cleaning
The outsides of your windows will likely have more dirt and stains than the inside. Again try to pick a day to attack this house cleaning task that is cool and cloudy. Not only will your cleaning be easier, but you will stay more comfortable as well.
Start with the water hose. Rinse the windows with a little bit of pressure to attempt to get as much of the dirt and grime off as possible. Fill your bucket with cool clean water and add a bit of the liquid dish soap (similar to what you did for the inside). Using your soft microfiber cloth or sponge, scrub the surface of the window. If the window is high or tall, you may need to get a mop or use a ladder. Always take every safety precaution if you have to stand on a ladder.
Rinse thoroughly with the water hose. Hopefully the majority of the dirt and grime is now gone. Spray (or mop) with the window cleaning spray until sufficiently damp. Wipe the window using your rubber-bladed squeegee. Make sure it is clean and dry before beginning. Angle the squeegee aiming towards the bottom of the window and again work from top to bottom. Using this methodology will ensure you don’t repeat work. You can always use paper towels or newspaper if you don’t have a squeegee. If you have a stubborn stain (like bird droppings), saturate the stain with your window spray and let stand several minutes before washing and drying. You might need to purchase a heavy duty commercial cleaner that is specially designed to remove minerals such as calcium, lime, and rust if you have mineral deposits on your windows.
Finish with a Rinse
Lastly, take your window screens and rinse with the water hose. Spray them with your window spray, let them sit for a minute or two, and rinse again. If you can, let them dry completely before reinstalling on the window.
Now stand back and enjoy the view through your clean windows!
Great article, for a while now I have been cleaning all of my windows by just splashing some Windex on them then calling it a day. However, now I realize if I actually want to keep the windows clean for a while I am going to have to wash them after I first clean them to keep them pristine.
Thanks for the tips for hiring a window cleaning company. I like how you said that even something as simple as vinegar and water can be used to clean them. However, I just don’t have the time to clean all of our windows, so I think I’d rather hire a professional.
Thank you for noting how cleaning windows during a cloudy day will be more comfortable. My grandmother has started to notice that mud has been obstructing her bedroom window ever since it started raining last week, and she is worried that she will be unable to clean it herself since it has been especially hot outside lately. I will suggest this article to her to help clean her windows! thank you!
Cleaning windows on a cloudy day will be far more effective than cleaning on a hot day. The weather plays a big roll in the element of cleaning windows. Your grandma will doubtless have a more comfortable time cleaning her windows when the clouds are out, rather than when the sun is out.
Please share with us her outcome of cleaning windows on a cloudy day. Thank you for your feedback.
I found it helpful that you talked about how windows that are particularly high up may require you to utilize a ladder in order to clean them. Now that my uncle has decided to open a law frim next month, he needs to find a safe way to clean the windows inside his build.
Hi Eli, thank you for your comment.
Yes, safety is very important. Windows at different heights may require different equipments. Make sure your uncle uses proper equipment safely in order to clean the windows in his building. Share our article with him to give him some ideas.
Thank you for mentioning how keeping the weather conditions in mind can help you clean your windows before your cleaning solution dries up. My brother is thinking about installing some windows in his kitchen next summer so that his indoor plants will have enough light to grow, but he is worried that the constant sunlight might make it difficult for him to clean the glass. He should learn how to care for his windows before they are installed.
You could suggest to your brother that he can clean the windows before the sun rises or after the sun sets. That way he avoids the solution drying up with the sun’s heat. Our article should be pretty helpful when learning to care for his new windows. Thanks for your feedback; it is much appreciated.
Thanks for sharing this informative blog. I find is difficult to clean outdoor windows more than indoor windows. This article shared that rinsing with a little bit of pressure will get off a lot more dirt than we actually think. Thanks for the suggestions!
Hi Efran, thank you for your comment. A bit of water always goes a long way!