Professional Window Washing Tips
All winter long, we dream of bright sunny days with birds chirping, flowers blooming, children playing outside, us laying outside .... days at the beach, drives through the mountains, vacations ... all good things.
But when the sun finally drives the clouds, rain and snow away, what do we see? Dirty windows. Good grief! How did that happen?
Environmental dirt consists of dust and smoke that is almost always present in the atmosphere. It's carried through the air by fog and breezes.
Even if you live in a forty-mile woods, the outside of your windows attract scum (including mildew and pollen) that shows in the most unflattering ways when the sun breaks through.
So now, you have a film of dust, smoke, pollen, mildew and other nasty stuff that keeps you from fully enjoying the appearance of your windows and you have to do something about it.
How to Wash Windows Like a Professional
You might never achieve the lofty heights as some window washers do but you probably don't want to climb up that ladder anyway. Nevertheless, you can excel at window washing by just implementing a few tips that make it easier.
Ideal weather conditions for cleaning the outside of your windows is a dull, overcast day with no breeze. It if is sunny, however, wait until the windows you want to clean are shaded.
You don't want the solution to dry on the surface before you get a chance to scrub and wipe it dry yourself.
Professional window washers are never without a squeegee. A squeegee is absolutely essential if you want a streak-free window.
Gather your Supplies
Gather your supplies, including the squeegee, household sponge, plastic scrubby (same you use for Silverstone or Teflon surfaces), soft, white and absorbent cotton rags, a bucket with cleaning solution made of:
- 1/2 Cup Ammonia (the non sudsy kind)
- 1 C Rubbing Alcohol
- 2 TBL. Cornstarch
- 3/4 Gal. of Warm Water
Stir the above ingredients gently making sure that the cornstarch is thoroughly dissolved.
Cleaning Exterior Windows
Dip the sponge into the solution, beginning at the top and work your way down. Be generous with the solution and apply with a rotating motion making sure you get right up against the window casings, top to bottom and side to side.
When the window has been thoroughly covered, you can use the scrubby and go over it again while it is still wet to dislodge any dried on dirt. Work fast. Then you can go over the surface again with the sponge.
Take one of the soft clean cotton rags and run it along the top edge of the glass, drying about 3-4 inches down from the top. Then take the squeegee and begin wiping the solution from the window, using strong, smooth strokes. Start at the top and work down.
At the end of each stroke, wipe the blade of the squeegee with your soft clean rag. Continue until the whole window has been dried with the squeegee. You may have to use your soft absorbent rag to go around the edges and mop up solution that dripped.
If you have a two story home, please be very careful if you decide to do the upper windows yourself. Be sure someone is there to steady the ladder or - hire a professional window cleaner to do that part of the job for you.
Cleaning Interior Windows
It shouldn't be a big deal to keep the inside of your windows clean and streak-free. In homes with children and pets, it's often an ongoing job and one that must be tackled frequently. We often receive calls at Mrs. Clean that begin something like this, "Do you do windows? Yes? Oh, good!
My patio doors are a sight. I have dogs that push their noses against the doors and they jump up on the doors, too!" That's a hazard of having doggies - and children, too.
Slobber gets smeared around and dries on windows and patio doors. While it's kind of a nasty thing that goes with the territory, it's not all that hard if you know the tips.
Prepare the solution from the recipe above.
Get your bucket, the scrubby, squeegee, clean, absorbent rags, and household sponge and get to work. You probably won't have to apply a lot of elbow grease along with the sponge, and you will want to avoid drips that might get on your wall paint or carpeting. Just exercise a little restraint and caution, and you shouldn't have a big mess.
Start at the top with the sponge and work down. Then dry a two or three inch strip at the top of the window as a starting place for the squeegee. Draw the squeegee down, with smooth, strong strokes. Wipe the blade of the squeegee often to avoid drips and so that you don't spread the dirt around.
As each window is finished, use a soft absorbent rag to go around each edge and mop up all the remaining moisture.
Check for Smudges and Streaks
One last thing- Peek through your windows at an angle or while crouching down and if you see smudge, use a clean rag to buff it away. Chances are, if you get at it right away, it won't leave a dry, dirty mark.
When all is clear, it's full steam ahead - you're on your way to enjoying a bright new day with sparkling clean windows.