Has it already been a year since you washed your windows? Or longer even? Understandable. This is not one of life’s most looked-forward to chores. If you’ve vowed this is the season you’re tackling the windows, here’s the best way to get them sparkling clean inside and out.
Obviously, the easiest way to wash your windows is to hire someone else do it. If that’s not possible, this is the method I’ve found that’s fastest, most cost-effective, and leaves them virtually streak free.
First, get the proper tools. You’ll need a bucket, a squeegee, several sponges, several microfiber cloths, a chalkboard eraser (seriously), a fluffy, mop-type applicator, and window cleaner. It’s also nice to have a steam cleaner and a hose-type vacuum cleaner, but they’re not absolutely necessary. You’ll note I didn’t include glass cleaner or paper towels on this list.
When you go to the hardware store, there will be lots and lots of squeegees to choose from. Get one that’s about 12-15 inches wide, preferably with a metal handle. If you have windows that are high you may want to invest in a pole that will fit onto the end of the squeegee and extend your reach from ground level. A word of caution, don’t use a bathroom shower squeegee. They’re not made to do this job.
You’ll need something to mop the sudsy water onto your window surfaces. That’s where the “fluffy, mop-type applicator” comes in. I was actually lucky to find a two-sided squeegee that has the rubber squeegee on one side and a moppish applicator on the other side. Saves so much time to have a two-in-one tool! If you can’t find that, any kind of soft applicator will work. Look in the car wash aisles, there are sudsing applicators there as well.
This is not a commercial, but the best window cleaner I’ve found is a concentrated liquid soap made by Ettore. This stuff is so good that I’ve washed all the windows in two houses and only used about half of the 16-ounce bottle. Oooh-la-la…that’s the kind of bargain product I like. (By the way, I’ve also used this same cleaner on my granite counter tops. It left them mirror-shiny). If you want to make your own window cleaner here’s a good formula: Mix together two quarts of warm water, ½ cup of ammonia, one pint of rubbing alcohol, or vinegar, and a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent.
I use a steam cleaner to steam down the window, the frame and screen first. It loosens up the dirt and grime so I don’t spend so much time scrubbing. It’s always best to take your screens off and hose them down separately, but steaming them clean is a…