Are you tired of looking out dirty windows but can’t afford to pay a professional hundreds of dollars to clean them for you? My husband used to have a professional window cleaning company and he’s here to share with you his best tips! Here are the 5 steps to help teach you how to clean windows like a real professional!
Looking for more cleaning hacks? Check out this post: Cleaning your Wedding Ring Like a Professional…At Home! or 6 Ways to Make Cleaning Fun!
Use The Right Tools
In order to make sure that your windows come out sparkling clean, you will need to prep yourself with the right tools. I cannot stress enough how critical it is that you have the right tools. Paper towels and Windex will not do! If you want crystal clear windows, it’s important to choose the right tools.
You may not be able to afford an entire professional window cleaning kit, but there are a few tools that I would never clean windows without because they make such a big difference!
First of all, let’s talk about the cleaning solution. Nothing fancy here, all you need is a bucket filled with one to two gallons of water and some dish soap. I’m pretty particular about the type of dish soap that I use, but most of them will work just about as well. I use blue dawn dish soap. I pour about two tablespoons of soap in for each gallon that I of water that I put in.
You will want to get a mop or towel to swish the water around and create lots of bubbles. You will want to have regular bath towels as your catch towels, and if you have microfiber towels, those are great for drying off any water that is left.
One of the best ways to ensure your windows come out looking perfect is to get a razor that is designed for window cleaning. The razor you shave with will not do! These razors are specifically designed to ensure that all hard water deposits and other materials that have accumulated on the window will be scraped off without scratching the window itself.
You will also want to use a few towels that you can use to wipe up any water left behind on the windows after you squeegee, which we will get to later.
If you have really hard mineral deposits on your window, it may be good for you to dump a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar into your solution. The vinegar breaks down the hard water deposits faster than without it then it does without it, so if the scraper itself isn’t able to get it off then you will want to add some apple cider vinegar to your solution and then try again.
Review of products that you’ll need:
- Blue Dawn Dish Soap
- Apple Cider Vinegar (if you have years of hard water deposits on your window)
- Window mop
- Window Razor
- Bath Towels (to catch excess water on interior windows)
- Microfiber Towels (to wipe edges when done cleaning)
So for LESS THAN $50 you can clean your windows yourself for YEARS TO COME. If you’ve even paid to have them done before, you know that this will save you thousands of dollars!
How To Clean Windows
Now let’s go through the steps of cleaning a window! If you are on the exterior of the window, there is no need to put a towel down in the window seal, but if you are on the interior of a window then you will want to put a towel at the bottom of the window so that it can catch any excess water that comes off as you wash. Start by mopping the window with soapy water, either using an actual mop head, or a towel, or other cleaning devices like a sponge.
Scrape the Window
The second step CANNOT be skipped! Once you have gotten the entire window started to get bubbles on it, you will want to get the razor and scrape the window at a 45 degree angle, scraping off any dirt or hard water deposits. Please make sure to note that if you are doing interior windows, and they are tinted windows, the tinting will come off if you scrape them with a razor in the wrong way, so you may want to completely avoid using a razor on interior windows if they are tinted.
This probably goes without saying, but if you have two windows, one right above the other, start with a one on top, so that you do not drip onto one that you’ve already cleaned. Sounds pretty stupid, but you’d be surprised how often people clean the bottom window, then they try to clean a window that is above it and drip down onto a window that’s already been cleaned.
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The third step is to do steps 1 and 2 again. You’d be surprised at how dirty your windows can still be after only one pass with the cleaning solution and the scraper. If you have years of hard water deposits it will likely take several rounds of scraping before all of the deposits come off.
Squeegee that Sucker!
After using the razor at a 45° angle and getting off any excess dirt or buildup on the surface, wet the window again with the solution. Then take a squeegee and start in the corner opposite of the hand that you are using. If you are left-handed, start in the top right corner if you are right-handed, start in the top left corner. Your squeegee should be vertical and you will use a motion to wipe the glass that ensures constant contact with the glass.
Trust me, if one of the edges of your squeegee comes off the glass, you’re going to need to wipe the window with your dry towel, which adds time to the cleaning process. It’s best to keep the squeegee in constant contact with the window at all times.
Get the Edges
After squeegeeing the water off of the window take your dry towel and dry off the edges around the window then take a step back at a different angle and see if there are any places where there is water still on the window. Make sure to use a dry part of the towel to wipe these off so that it will not leave other marks on the window.
I hope that you have learned some valuable tips that will help you clean your windows like the professionals do! Now you can save yourself hundreds of dollars every single year by learning how to wash windows on your own!