You don’t have to be a professional window washer to get your windows looking their best. The key is to work from the top down, use a good cleaner and dry them well with a lint-free cloth. Start with the frame and sill, cleaning them with a sponge and soapy water or a mild cleaner on wood or a uPVC cleaner for frames made from that material. Then wipe down the glass with a squeegee or clean rag. Finish with a dry part of the same cloth to buff out any streaks.
To avoid a sticky mess, use a degreaser like Goof Off (available in the paint department at hardware stores) on stubborn residue left from labels or tape before scraping it away with a razor blade. Then rinse and dry the glass again before you move on to the next pane.
A microfiber towel, like Casabella Microfiber Glass Cloths, has a special honeycomb texture that nabs water spots and smudges without scratching. Or you can use paper towels, but make sure the brand is up to the task and has no lint. A recent test of a dozen brands of paper towels found Bounty Regular to be the best.
If your windows are particularly dirty, spray a generous amount of cleaner onto the surface and let it sit for about 30 seconds to begin cutting through grime. Then, working from the top down, wipe the cleaner off with a squeegee in straight strokes, wiping the blade against a clean towel or rag between rows to dry it.
The best tip for getting your windows clean is to do them regularly, at least twice a year in mild weather and at least once a season where pollen and grit are a problem. This will keep your windows clean and free of smudges and streaks.
Before washing, remove any curtains, blinds, or shades to prevent splashes or dripping. You can also vacuum or dust them at this time. If you have a window that opens wide or is high, consider using a telescoping cleaning pole to avoid having to lean over the side of the ladder. Most of these tools come with a squeegee attachment and circular sponge with two cleaning cloths, so you can wash both sides of the window at once. Otherwise, a standard mop with a squeegee hook and a circular sponge should do the trick.
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