Dirty windows are problematic for a number of reasons. Not only are they harder to see through, but they’re also a pain to look at, hurt your home’s curb appeal, and can even affect its energy efficiency!
If you’re not sure how to clean your windows, don’t worry – we have you covered. In this guide, we’ll show you the best way to clean windows from the outside of your home, so you can start enjoying that clear, streak-free view in no time.
Have the Right Tools
Keeping your windows pristine and clean starts with having the right equipment to do so. Regardless of your home’s size, you should always have the following tools in your arsenal:
- A squeegee (10 or 12 inches in width is ideal)
- A scrubber or sponge
- A bucket (aim for five gallons or larger)
- Dish soap
- Small towels or lint-free rags
If your home is multi-storied, you’ll also need a ladder and ladder stabilizer. It’s recommended to have two people whenever cleaning windows on a second story or higher – one person to do the actual cleaning, and another to act as a spotter.
Breaking the Process Down
While the process of cleaning windows from the outside of your home will vary based on their size and layout, the actual job itself is pretty straightforward:
Formulate a Cleaning Solution
Start by formulating your cleaning solution. In most cases, a simple mixture of dish soap and water will suffice. Fill your bucket with lukewarm water and add a few squirts of dish soap. Some people also opt to use vinegar, which can help to cut through tough grime and residue.
If you’ve put the job of cleaning your windows off into a colder season, it’s possible that the solution you use will end up freezing on the glass. To prevent this, add windshield washing fluid to your solution – this will help to lower the freezing point, keeping your windows cleaner for longer.
Scrub the Glass
Once your solution is mixed and ready, it’s time to start scrubbing the glass. Use your sponge or scrubber to work the solution into the window, paying special attention to areas that seem to be dirtier than others.
If you’re cleaning windows on a second story or higher, make sure to use extra caution. You don’t want to accidentally drop your sponge or scrubber and have it come crashing down on someone or something below!
Create a Starting Strip
Once you’ve scrubbed the entire window, it’s time to start on the squeegeeing process. To do this, dip your squeegee into the bucket of soapy water and then run its tip along the side of the window from top to bottom. This will create a starting strip, which you can then use to help guide the rest of your squeegee cleaning process.
Using even strokes, run your squeegee down the window from top to bottom. Be sure to keep the blade as close to the edge of the window as possible – this will help to ensure a clean, streak-free finish.
After each stroke, wipe the blade of your squeegee clean on a towel or rag. This will help to remove any excess water or soap, and prevent streaking.
Wipe Off Excess Water
Once you’ve gone over the entire window with your squeegee, use a small towel or rag to wipe off any excess water. This will help the window dry evenly and prevent water spots from developing.
Dirty windows can be a pain to clean, but it’s important to keep on top of it to maintain the appearance of your home. By following these simple tips, you can make sure that your windows are always clean and streak-free!