Window Washing Tips For a Streak-Free Finish

by Rachel Laurendeau on May 8, 2013

Washing windows never seems like a fun task, but at least if it’s done right, you don’t have to do it as often. Forget the never-ending paper towel and spray cleaners; learn to wash your picture windows like a pro.

The tools:
• Large bucket with warm water and just a squirt of dishwashing soap. Keep the suds and bubbles to a minimum as residue can be sticky and attract dirt as soon as you’re done. Alternatively, you can simply use hot water and vinegar in a one to one ratio.
• Squeegee
• Strip applicator
• A few lint-free rags like chamois, microfiber cloths or even old cloth diapers.

The steps:

1. Prepare the warm water solution in your bucket.
2. Using the strip applicator, wash the window with lots of soapy water to remove the dirt. If you don’t have a strip applicator, a sponge will do.
3. Start in the top left hand corner and pull the squeegee over the window in a reverse-S pattern. Wipe the squeegee blade with a rag after each stroke.
4. Dry any wet spots with a chamois or microfiber cloth and use a rag on the windowsill.
5. While you’re at it, don’t forget to wash the inside of the windows and vacuum or wash the screens.

While you’re getting up close and personal with your windows, inspect them for chips, cracks, leaks or other signs that you may need replacement windows. Also check to see if your screens have any holes, snags or tears that need patching or replacing.

Final tip: clean your windows when it isn’t too hot or sunny out. If the windows dry too quickly you can end up with streaks or water spots.

Washing your windows is such a simple and inexpensive home improvement project but it can have a huge impact on the quality of light in your home and make you feel like you’ve got new windows. The weather forecast is looking good for the weekend; I know what I’ll be doing on Saturday!

Resource: This Old House

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