How to Clean Windows Like a Pro – 10 Steps
Does your spring-cleaning list include cleaning your windows this season? Maybe you’re tired of the always-streaking Windex and newspaper method, or maybe your goal is to deep clean your windows for not only a clear view but also smoother operation. Continue reading for our 10 steps on how to clean windows effectively and thoroughly.
You will need the following supplies:
- Flat screwdriver or putty knife
- Bucket (rectangle mop buckets work better than round ones)
- Dish soap
- Window scrubber (see below)
- Sponge & toothbrush (for window tracks)
- 2 microfiber, chamois, or “ShamWow” towels
Picking a window scrubber
A window scrubber is a thin horizontal tool typically covered in cloth or synthetic pile that is absorbent and can safely scrub a window clean without scratching the surface. Unlike newspaper or paper towels, which mostly just move dirt around the glass, a window scrubber is efficient at actually removing dirt and grime from your windows. A window scrubber should be relatively inexpensive (somewhere between $12-18). You can usually find this tool at your local hardware store, though you may also buy one online, such as this 14” Ettore Window Washer on amazon.com.
- Watch the weather. It’s best to wash your windows on a cloudy day as a warm sun dries the windows too quickly, leaving water spots. Wash just one window at a time so the detergent doesn’t have time to dry on the glass.
- Remove sliding windows. Remove your sliding windows from the sill using a flat screwdriver or putty knife. Check out our how-to video below for quick and easy instruction on how to remove a horizontal window from its track. Do you have vertical windows? Click here for information on how to remove a vertical window from its track.
- Cleaning solution. Fill your bucket with warm water and add just a squirt of dish soap – the less suds the better.
- Gently clean weather stripping. After you remove your window, take the opportunity to check and clean the weather stripping on it. Dampen your sponge, wring out excess water, and gently wipe the weather stripping.
- Check the rollers. This is also a great time to check the bottom of the removed window to make sure the rollers are functioning properly.
- Wash. Next thoroughly wet your window scrubber and use it to wash your window panes in small circles.
- Wipe. Starting at the top left, use your squeegee to remove water from the soapy pane in a reverse S pattern, wiping the blade of the squeegee clean with one of your absorbent towels after each stroke. If your squeegee is squeaking, add a bit more detergent your bucket.
- Detail. Dampen the remaining towel, thoroughly wringing out excess water, and use it to soak up any extra water remaining on the edges of the window. This soaks up the wetness without leaving streaks.
- Clean those tracks. Use the toothbrush to loosen dirt and grime in the tracks, then use your sponge to soak up the dirty water. Repeat as necessary. Having trouble getting to the edges? Cover the tip of your flat screwdriver with your damp absorbable towel and use it to reach the nooks and crannies. Once those tracks are sparkling clean again, use your absorbable towel to soak up the excess water.
- Put windows back in the track. If you removed your window, now’s the time to slip it back into its track and admire how smoothly it opens and closes now. And look at that sparkle!