How to clean windows effectively

To understand how to clean windows effectively, you need to begin changing the term “window cleaning” for “window washing”! In this article, when we say “washing”, it brings the ideas of water and soap, which is exactly what you will need in the process of your window cleaning. I’m mean… window washing! Everything in this post is meant to help with time and the best way to clean windows.

Professional Process


Window Cleaning Mistakes


What to avoid when cleaning your windows

To make more sense, here is a list of things you should avoid when washing your windows:

  • Using paper tower directly on the glass
  • Scrape the glass anyway it seems necessary
  • Using clothes directly on the glass
  • Using just water
  • Using too much soap
  • Scrubbing with any kind of scrubber
  • Using excessive force, especially when drying corners

Now that you know what is not effective, let’s talk about what is effective. Diving into three parts, we have a window scrub, squeegee, and cloths or paper towel. First, you need to apply the right kind of soap, and the right quantity. If there’s too much soap, you will end up spending 2 to 3 times more time to remove it from the glass, and if the temperature is warmer, you will end up with marks all over your glass. So it’s important to combine just enough water and soap.

The window washing process

Next, you will need a soft scrubber. Scrubbers that you use to wash dishes, are not appropriate for windows and may result in marks on your glass! To avoid that, you can easily buy a window washer online. When scrubbing, you may notice black dots, watermarks, and hard stains in your glass. Watermark is not a topic for this post, because it requires very specific treatment. These are signs of a long time window between last cleaning and current.

Using a window scraper

To remove black dots, and some of the hard stains, you may need to use a window scraper. Don’t use just a blade that wasn’t designed and built for this purpose, the damages could cost you a lot more than buying even a pro scraper.

Some homeowners, and definitely professionals will know whether to deal with E-Glass or not, and that could save you from a lot of trouble. E-Glass was created to minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that comes through your glass from the sun, without minimizing the amount of light that enters your home. Low-E glass windows have a very thin coating that is transparent and reflects heat, and that thing coating is very sensitive and will be easily marked when scrubbed or scraped, so don’t do it if you are not sure about your type of glass.

The scraper needs to be used in single directions, while the water and soap are still on the glass, to make it smooth and make sure that it won’t mark the glass. It’s not a best practice for homeowners, because keeping a sharp scraper around the house or even using them is very dangerous and can quickly cause bad accidents for non-experienced users. Although, scrappers are sometimes the soul of the window washing process, giving that professional touch to your windows!

How to clean window tracks?

Cleaning window tracks will take a little bit of creativity, you will need a pointed object that can go inside the track to remove dust or other types of debris. At least to break if it has solidified. The use of a small vacuum makes the process very easy, especially because it will remove deeper than any other tool you might consider using!

After removing dirt, you will also need to use a moist cloth to remove any hard stains over the tracks, just to make sure it is completely clean.

Many people have also used toothbrushes to clean window tracks, but the problem with those is with toothbrushes, you always have to move it against a certain direction, so you can have double of the work when pointing all the dirt to the window sills, or glass, making it harder to conclude your window washing process.

Preserving window sills

Wood sills, can be damaged or get marked during the process of your window washing. Every time you take the scrubber with water and soap, it can easily fall down on your window sills, and leaving that water sitting there for too long, can be quickly absorbed, creating a watermark that will later be difficult or impossible to remove.

Make sure to use a moist cloth every time you drop some water on your window sills, that will not only make sure it will remove the water, but it will also clean your windows!

Finishing your window washing like a pro

The final step is also the secret of a window washing process, the use of the squeegee. There are many different ways to position a squeegee to begin removing the water and soap from the glass, but one thing is in common when finishing using it. It cannot lose contact with the glass! Yes, that’s the secret, although it seems easy, it can leave you with a sore arm at the end of the day :).

It doesn’t really matter how you start with it, as long as you can continually make a “wave” move from one side of the panel (for larger panels) to the other, you should be fine! The temptation here is to try to squeegee in columns, one side and then the other… I’m not saying it won’t work, but it is definitely easier to leave marks, especially in the middle of the panel. It will also take much, much longer considering effectiveness.

Considerations for painted wood frames

Another important consideration to clean your windows effectively is to be careful when washing windows with wood frames, especially when painted. Painted window wood frames, depending on the quality of the paint, can come off in the process of washing, or drying the corners (around the glass) with cloths, leaving strange marks on your window frame.

You can quickly identify that after using the cloth one or two times. The paint comes right off on the cloth, marking it with the color of the painting used on the frame.

Final thoughts

In fact, anyone can wash a window, but when you get to multiple of them, this can easily turn into a day or more days task. The lack of experience and habit of doing it can be painful in many ways. Jokes aside, professional window cleaners can be used once every year, or every other year. Keeping after a pro window washing cycle will definitely be valuable and worth the money, physical challenge, and time!

A-Z cleaning has been for more than 5 years cleaning windows from more than 40 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and we are growing to support you in the best way we can. Try our window & gutter cleaning, and enjoy the real view through your windows!

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