How To Clean Windows
There is a reason why being a window cleaner is a job that people pay others to do. Many people have never learned how to clean their windows effectively themselves or find it frustrating when they just can’t do it right.
After all, there is nothing worse than putting your time and effort into cleaning a window, then seeing the light hit it just right and realising that the glass is covered in streaks. It’s arguably worse than if you’d just not bothered, right? Wrong. We’ve all been there, but it’s important to keep your windows well-maintained so they stand the test of time and help to preserve the value of your home.
Read on to find out what causes streaky windows, how to avoid them when cleaning your own windows, and how to make your own cheap window cleaner from scratch!
Window streaks - why do they happen?
There are a couple of reasons that windows can become streaky when you clean them:
- The amount of sunlight hitting the windows
- The cleaning product you use
Firstly, cleaning your windows on a very hot day or when they are in direct sunlight is the number one thing window cleaners learn not to do. This is because overly sunny or hot conditions cause the water to evaporate too quickly, which can leave behind a soapy film or residue. It’s this residue which then causes the visible streaks that appear just as you’re admiring your handiwork.
Secondly, certain ingredients in household window cleaners are more prone to leaving streaks behind. If you find that you’re struggling with leaving streaks using a shop-bought cleaning product, you should make sure you are using a ‘streak-free’ variant or, if that doesn’t work, simply make your own homemade window cleaner. This is easier than it sounds, check out our quick method for whipping up a homemade solution below.
Make your own window cleaner
Most recommended homemade window cleaning products contain vinegar, and ours is no different. This is because vinegar is acidic enough to effectively break down and dissolve the film and scum that can build up on the surface of a window. If you need to give the cleaner an extra kick to tackle tough grime, you can also try adding a small amount of dishwasher powder. But try to avoid too many suds, as this can contribute to leaving streaks behind.
- - One part water
- - One part white vinegar
- - Half a teaspoon of dishwasher powder (optional)
- - Mix together the vinegar with the water to dilute the solution. If your windows are especially dirty, you may want to use less water so that the mixture has a higher concentration.
- - Add the dishwasher powder and mix until fully dissolved (optional).
- - Keep the solution in a large bowl if you intend to use a sponge, or pour into a spray bottle.
- - We recommend making the window cleaner in bulk and storing in a spray bottle for use in the future - just make sure you shake it up before each use!
How to clean your windows without streaks
To ensure you keep streaks to an absolute minimum when cleaning your windows, we recommend using the following method:
- Spray the solution onto the window from top to bottom. Make sure to use enough so that you can cover the surface of the window entirely when you wipe.
- Wipe the solution across the window using a microfibre cloth, from side to side as though you are drawing a snake.
- Be sure to get into the corners properly and clean out any dirt that may have accumulated there.
- Follow up with a second dry microfibre cloth to buff the glass until it gleams. Check that this cloth is lint-free and won’t leave behind any surface dust!
This method will work using either homemade window cleaner or commercial glass cleaning products. Happy cleaning!