5 window cleaning tips
The days are finally getting longer, spring has sprung and the sun is tempting you to go outdoors – which means it's also time to get your home ready for Spring. There's nothing nicer than waking up to see the sun beaming through your windows, but to make this happen, your windows need to be clean and streak-free. What makes this tricky is that window cleaning is a real art form. But by using the right tips and tricks – and the right tools – you'll master it in no time.
Before you start cleaning your windows: what tools do you need?
A bright flat enhances your quality of life. But to ensure your home lets in as much light as possible, your windows need to be completely clean and streak-free. This is a time-consuming job which doesn't always lead to the desired result. A decisive factor when cleaning your windows is whether you're using the right equipment. A bucket, a sponge, a squeegee with a rubber wiper lip, two microfibre cloths and a ladder are the basic tools you need to get started. Or if that sounds like a bit too much effort, you could use a cordless window vacuum instead. It usually consists of two parts: first, a microfibre cloth and a spray bottle for applying the cleaning fluid. Secondly, to remove the cleaning fluid, use the window vacuum fitted with the wiper blade attachment. It sucks up the fluid and the dissolved dirt, which ends up in the window vacuum's tank. And the result? Streak-free windows in next to no time.
Tip: the most important piece of equipment is the squeegee's wiper lip. A high-quality rubber lip will make your work a lot easier.
Don't forget the window frame while cleaning
Before you start cleaning your windows, you need to do a little bit of preparation. It would be a shame if your gleaming, streak-free windows were ruined by dusty window sills or frames, so to start with, clean all the dirt and dust from them. Usually, a hand brush, a dust cloth and a rag soaked in warm soapy water are all you need. Do you have wooden window frames? Then you may want to apply a protective layer after cleaning.
Window cleaning is all about the technique
Once your window frame and sill are clean and dry, you can start cleaning your windows. Stick to this routine:
1. Soap up the windows: Apply warm cleaning fluid to the window from top to bottom. Wipe it in an "s" shape to dislodge the dirt.
2. Wipe down the windows: Afterwards, remove the fluid from your windows in horizontal or vertical strokes using a squeegee. Let each stroke overlap a little bit with the previous one so that no streak marks are left behind. Dry the squeegee in between strokes.
3. Shine your windows after cleaning: Once you've removed all the liquid from the window, dry the corners using a microfibre cloth. If you can still see streaks, you can try wiping them away using a microfibre cloth or wash-leather. If the window is still not clean, repeat the previous process of soaping up and wiping down.
If you're using a cordless window vacuum, soap up the windows as described above before removing the foam using the vacuum. Thanks to its suction power, you don't need to spend time wiping down the rubber wiper lip.
Which cleaning fluids work best for window cleaning?
The type of cleaning fluid you want to use for window cleaning depends on your preferences. Here are the different types you can choose from:
- Ready-to-use window cleaning fluid from DIY stores
- Hot water with a shot of dishwasher detergent or rinse aid
- Hot water with vinegar or a dash of vinegar essence
- Hot water with a dash of lemon
- Hot water mixed with methylated spirit
If you're using a cordless window vacuum, it will usually come with some window cleaning concentrate. Dilute the concentrate with water in line with the instructions on the packaging and fill the spray bottle with the mixture.
Tip: don't use too much cleaning fluid otherwise foam tends to build up, which results in streaks and smears.
Window cleaning tips and tricks
How often should I clean my windows?
How often you clean your windows depends on external factors. Cleaning them every two months is about right. But if you don't have the time to clean them that often, twice a year should be enough to ensure a clear view – once in spring and once in autumn.
When should I clean my windows?
There's no such thing as a perfect time for window cleaning. But cleaning your windows when it's raining won't give you the best results and cleaning them when it's really sunny outside can also make things more difficult, since the cleaning fluid will dry up more quickly, leaving streaks behind.
How can I get rid of streaks on my windows?
Here's a secret tip: use scrunched up newspaper to shine your windows. It removes streaks in a flash.
Otherwise, work quickly and carefully and above all, make sure you use very hot water. Do you find that you have to force yourself to clean your windows regularly? If so, forget about your bucket and squeegee and try using a cordless window vacuum instead. We bet that it will make this tedious chore a lot more fun!