When the spring season approaches or homeowners notice their house needs sprucing up, it’s time to start the spring cleaning process. One spring cleaning task that should be on every homeowner’s list is a thorough window cleaning. Windows play an important role in deep cleaning in the spring, since opening the windows lets out the air particles, dust and grime accumulated during the winter.
Getting the windows themselves clean is also a critical task. Clean windows let in the sun better, improve curb appeal and make your house really look and feel like home. In addition, knowing how to maintain your windows is necessary for homeownership. If you don’t clean your windows enough, the glass can degrade and require a window replacement.
The best way to clean your windows is to follow our tips and proven methods. Keep reading to learn how to clean your windows, both inside and outside panes.
Window Cleaning Supplies Checklist
If you need a basic way to clean windows regularly, all you need is:
- A soft cloth, microfiber cloth or sponge
- Mild cleaning solution
Spray the cleaning solution on the window, and use the cloth to wipe away smudges and smears. If the cleaning solution is in a bucket, soak the sponge and clean the windows with it.
Every so often, your windows will need a spring cleaning to remove cobwebs and grime buildup. This cleaning process is more involved and requires:
- Window cleaning solution
- A synthetic brush or broom
- A bucket or spray bottle
- A squeegee
- A sponge
- Newspaper or brown paper
- A microfiber cloth, drying cloth or any lint-free cloth
- A ladder
The best window cleaner options for routine and deep cleanings include:
- Soapy water: Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of dish soap. Avoid creating too many soap suds since they’ll streak your windows.
- Liquid window cleaner: You can find several window cleaner sprays at your local supermarket.
- Homemade window cleaner: To make window cleaner at home, use a small bucket of warm water with two tablespoons of white vinegar. For bacteria-killing power, add two tablespoons of household ammonia and handle the mixture with rubber gloves.
Helpful Window Cleaning Tips
Now that you have all the supplies ready, you need to know how to make windows last with proper cleaning techniques. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips for getting the cleanest windows:
- Choose a cloudy day to clean your windows: Cloudy days are the best for cleaning your home’s windows. On a sunny day, the cleaning solution will dry quicker, causing streaks. The glare may also prevent you from seeing what you’re doing.
- Remove dirt and dust before cleaning: Use a synthetic brush or broom to remove the dirt and dust accumulated on the windows before using the window cleaner. Spraying the cleaner onto a dusty, dirty window will mix and create a brown, grimy mess.
- Be generous with the window cleaner: The window cleaner dissolves and suspends dirt and dust to be wiped away. Using a generous amount of spray, especially on dirty windows, makes them easier to clean. Using too little spray will create streaks.
- Wipe the windows with newspaper or brown paper: Brown paper or newspaper printed with soy ink can be more effective than cloths for cleaning windows. This paper is sturdy and won’t break down, is lint-free and leaves no haze or smudges.
- Use squeegees for dirty water: Squeegees, like those used to clean car windshields, are great for wiping dirty water off the glass. After each stroke of the squeegee, use a paper towel or cloth to wipe the squeegee and make sure it doesn’t drip on the floor.
- Wipe in different directions on the inside and outside: When cleaning the inside glass by hand, slide the cloth from side to side, and when washing the outside pane, move from top to bottom. This way, if there are any streaks, you’ll know which side of the window they’re on.
- Make sure the frame is dry: Wipe the inside tracks with a large cotton swab wrapped in a cloth, and rinse any soiled water away. Be sure to dry the frame because dry frames will ensure the window sashes move easier.
- Clean exterior panes with a garden hose: For windows that are tall, on the second story of your home, or are otherwise unreachable, make sure the windows are shut tight, then use a garden hose to clean them. Strong water pressure could break the glass or damage the frames, so avoid water pressure damage by using a spray mist setting.
- Clean your window coverings for a quick window spruce: If you don’t have time to clean the entire window, give your curtains a refresh to make the window look better. Put the curtains in the dryer for 15 minutes on the “air only” cycle, remove quickly to prevent wrinkles and hang them again.
- Break down the cleaning process: If cleaning all the windows in your home seems too overwhelming, try cleaning a few windows a day until your house is complete.
How to Clean Your Windows
Cleaning your windows requires a certain technique to get the best possible result. Clean windows should be streak and smudge-free, have no dirt or dust, let in more natural light and help your home look better.
Clean Your Windows Inside and Out
Here is how to clean the windows in your home:
- Remove dirt from the windows: Wipe the loose dirt off the window with a brush or broom. Start from the top and work your way down to the bottom to make sure the window is spotless.
- Clean the window screens: Remove the window screens and wash them with a garden hose outside or soapy water in a bathtub. If you don’t have an outdoor space or bathtub, use the brush attachment on a vacuum to clean the screen.
- Remove dirt from the rest of the window: Remove debris from the sill, frame and tracks with a synthetic brush or broom, again starting at the top and working down for cleanliness.
- Spray the cleaner on the window: Spray your window cleaning solution on the glass. Make sure the glass is thoroughly wet. If the cleaning solution is in a bucket, use a sponge or squeegee to get the cleaning solution onto the glass.
- Wipe the window: Wipe the cleaning solution with a lint-free or microfiber cloth, sponge or squeegee. Wipe until the glass is dry to prevent streaking. If you see dirt or streaks, keep cleaning the window until they disappear. If you want to buff your windows with newspaper or brown paper, wait until the window is dry.
- Clean the tracks: Clean your window tracks with a clean cloth or brush.
- Clean the sills and frames: Clean the window sills and frames. Wipe the frame until it’s dry to help the sash move easier.
- Tend to the rest of the window: Refresh the rest of the window by fluffing your curtains in the dryer, wiping the curtain rod, dusting the window blinds and cleaning the hardware.
When you have completed these steps, your inside window should be immaculate. For cleaning the exterior window, follow the same steps as above with a few changes:
- Use a ladder to clean tall windows safely.
- Spray water from a garden hose onto windows that are hard to reach.
- Wipe the window cleaner in the opposite direction as you did on the inside so you can tell where the streaks are.
- Clean the window more than once since exterior panes are dirtier than inside panes, and it may take multiple washes to get it clean.
Special Instructions for Uncommon Window Types
You may need to make particular considerations for your cleaning process for these uncommon window types:
- Hinged windows: Hinged windows like awning windows can be more of a challenge to clean because of the way they open. Start by cleaning the interior when the window is closed, then crank the window open to reach out and clean the exterior. Be sure to keep the hinges and cranks lubricated so the window will open easily.
- Multi-pane windows: If your house has multi-pane windows, such as bay windows and bow windows, standard cleaning tools may not work with these unique pane sizes. If the glass panes are smaller than the squeegee, cut it to size by trimming the metal channel 1/4 inch narrower than the pane, cutting the blade to the pane’s width and fitting the blade into the channel with a 1/8 inch projection at each end.
- Convex windows: Windows that protrude out like garden windows have a different cleaning procedure than flat-mounted windows. Remove the items you have sitting in your window, then remove the shelf for separate cleaning. Remove any dust and dirt on the interior and exterior, then clean each glass pane with window cleaner. If the garden window is behind the kitchen sink, you may need to stand on a stepstool or use a squeegee with a telescoping handle to reach the inside of the back pane.
How Often You Should Clean Your Windows
Windows need to be cleaned only twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall. Depending on where you live, you may find that your windows look best when cleaned more frequently. For example, if your house is located in a wooded area, by a construction site or in similarly dirty conditions, you may need to clean your windows more often. Homeowners in a residential neighborhood without a nearby forest may find that the standard guideline of twice a year is sufficient.
Why Spring Cleaning Your Windows Matters
When deciding how to spring clean, homeowners usually start with the windows since they are an important focal point of the home. Homeowners use their windows more in the warmer months, including opening them to bring fresh air indoors and looking out at the scenery.
The benefits of spring cleaning windows are:
- Improving home health: The windows are usually closed during the winter months, so airborne particles and contaminants cannot escape and may cling to the surface. Clean windows will also make your home look better and improve its curb appeal.
- Getting rid of bugs: In the warmer weather, bugs are more active and can impact your windows. Cleaning your windows will remove dead bugs and other animal debris like bird droppings and cobwebs.
- Seeing the best view from your window: Whether you are looking out a large picture window or a standard double-hung window, you’ll want a nice view of your property, not dirt and streaks. Cleaning your window will give you the best view out your window without interruptions.
- Allowing sunlight in: Grime-free windows let in the sun better, so natural light and warmth can radiate into your home.
- Alleviating dust allergies: It’s time to learn how to spring clean windows if those in your home with dust allergies are sneezing. Closed windows can trap dirt and dust, increasing the allergens in your home. Cleaning these irritants away can help your loved ones feel better.
- Removing grime buildup: Throughout the year, the interior and exterior of your windows get grimy, which needs to be cleaned off to prevent damage like scratches, marks and stains.
- Taking off salt deposits: In the winter, the wind picks up ice and snow mixed with street salt and deposits it on your exterior windows. If you don’t remove this salt in the spring, it can damage the glass.
Choosing Infinity From Marvin – Homespire Windows and Doors for Your Windows
Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors provides quality windows and professional installation services for clients in our service areas of Central PA and Philadelphia. We have 25 years of home improvement experience, so your window installation project will get the highest level of workmanship possible. We are a local company, so we bring a personal touch with superior knowledge of our products, quality-made windows and a reputation you can trust.
Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors is here to help if your home needs a window replacement. Our windows are constructed with security, energy efficiency and soundproofing in mind. They are installed by our professional installation team. Our window design options are:
- Double-hung: Double-hung windows have two moveable sashes for the most ventilation.
- Sliding: Sliding windows open horizontally to bring fresh air into the room.
- Awning: Awning windows hinge at the top, and the bottom swings outward.
- Picture: Picture windows provide the best view and let in lots of natural light.
- Bay: Bay windows have three panels and protrude outward, leaving room inside for a window seat.
- Bow: Bow windows have four or five panels and protrude outward, and the arc expands the façade of your home.
We also manufacture custom windows to meet your unique shape and size requirements.
Contact Us to Replace Your Windows Today
Now that you know how to spring clean, you might be ready to get started on deep cleaning your home. The first thing to clean should be the inside and outside of all your windows. If you notice that your windows are damaged, not energy efficient or out of style, choose Infinity from Marvin – Homespire Windows & Doors to give your home beautiful new windows.
If you are interested in replacing your windows or want more information, contact us today at 833-684-1873 or our online contact form.