As the summer rolls past and the end of the year catches up, dirt and grime build-up on your windows. They begin to look murky and filthy, preventing clear sunlight from entering into your home.
Filthy windows have an uncanny way of making a home look gloomy and lifeless. Cleaning outside windows can be a pesky thing, especially when you cannot easily access them.
Unless you have undergone some special training for window cleaning, it can be very challenging to clean windows well, without leaving any scuffs.
It can be a pretty complicated task, and finding the best way to do the job is not straightforward. There are many things to consider when cleaning your outside windows.
Firstly, you don’t want to fall off while cleaning the window, so safety should be your major consideration.
Secondly, consider the height of the windows, for you to know what type of special equipment you would require.
Also make sure to plan ahead, check the weather forecast for the day you plan to clean. If you pick a very sunny day the heat would make the cleaning solution dry quickly on the glass.
This might leave stains on your glass after cleaning. You might also need to take your time when cleaning high windows, this is because of all the obstacles to your cleaning, such as the height of the window, cleaning equipment, etc.
When you have done all your planning, it would be time to actually clean the window. Here is how to go about that:
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Gather Your Cleaning Supplies
- Broom with long handle
- Vacuum cleaner
- Dishwashing liquid
- Extension ladder (for high-rise buildings and apartments)
- Good quality squeegee
- Lint cloth
- Long-handled brush with attached hose
- Rubber gloves
- Scrubbing pads— preferably nylon
- Special brushes to clean window tracks
- Telescopic window cleaning kit
- Warm water
- White vinegar
Before You Begin
Cleaning windows is a tricky business. It is not as easy as hosing down the glass with water, or spraying any household cleaning material you find lying around.
The cleaning of windows requires a lot of skill and hard work. Not every window needs high-tech gadgets like telescopic squeegees.
Equipment like this might only be used once or twice a year, while it gathers dust for the rest of the year. You can use some of these tips to get cleaning your windows right the first time you go at it.
- Clear anything that may get in your way: Things like furniture, loose wiring, and drapes may get in the way and cause you to trip.
- Clear away cobwebs and dust: Clearing away loose particles of dust is a must before you begin cleaning. If you do not do this, your effort might only leave a soupy mess that would make your windows appear even dirtier afterwards. Run a vacuum over the dust, or sweep it off along with cobwebs in the hard to reach corners of the window sill.
- Pick an effective cleaner: There are various cleaners you can choose from for cleaning outside windows. Some branded cleaners manage to get the job done, but home-made cleaner recipes such as vinegar glass cleaner mixed with water can also work fine.
- Spray the solution copiously: For dirty windows that have dried off, you may need to spray a whole lot of cleaner to have any effect. If you don’t get enough of the cleaner on the glass, then it is likely that your windows would only be smeared with mud.
- Pick the right cloth: Microfiber cloth is the most effective option for cleaning windows. It prevents annoying streaks from forming, and it is also very absorbent and reusable. If you would not be able to get microfiber cloth, then using an old cotton T-shirt may work just as fine, just that T-shirts are not as absorbent. Avoid using paper towels for the glass, they may be very absorbent but would leave a lot of fuzz stuck on your windows.
There are three ways to go about this; bringing the windows to you, using a ladder and without a ladder.
Bringing the Windows to You
This is the most direct approach for cleaning windows you cannot get to. This way, you do not have to put yourself in any sort of danger.
You would be able to take your time with the cleaning, paying attention to even the finest of details to make sure your windows sparkle.
It is very important for you to know what type of windows you have. There are only a few types of windows that allow dismantling for easier cleaning.
If you are lucky enough to have sliding windows, it is not impossible for you to lift a few of them out of the edge.
When you have done this, make sure to give the windows an exhaustive scrubbing to get rid of the excessive dirt that might have accumulated on it.
Note that you should be very cautious when trying to remove sliding windows. As a general rule, glass is very fragile, even if some glass might not seem like it.
If you feel you cannot lift the glass on your own with the proper care, then it is better to call someone to help you with it. Before sliding the glass out, make sure you have prepared the floor space next to you to set it down.
Cleaning your window without a ladder:
- The safest way to clean windows that you cannot get to is to keep your feet on the ground and wipe the windows with an extendable squeegee and a hose. Here is the best way to do this.
- Gather the equipment you have prepared. For the cleaning, you would need a garden hose with a steam sprayer attachment, a bucket of water, cleaning detergent, a brush, an extension pole, and a squeegee that can be attached to it.
- Spray the window down with water using the hose.
- Prepare a bucket of water and add a few drops of cleaning solution to it. Dip your sponge or your brush into this mixture.
- Use your extension pole with a sponge or brush attached at the end to scrub the window. Make sure to start at the top and work your way down to make sure all the grime goes to the bottom.
- Spray the window with the hose again to rinse it.
- Remove the sponge from the extension pole and attach a squeegee. Pull the squeegee over the window to remove the excess water, this would help create a neat, finished look.
- For high-rise apartment buildings, ladders and extensible poles are of little use. If you want to clean your apartment windows properly, you can buy a U-shaped telescopic pole. These are designed mainly to help apartment residents maintain their windows. Get your pole and attach a squeegee to the end, this would help you conveniently reach your outside windows from the safety of your apartment.
Cleaning your window with a ladder:
Not all windows can be reached with an extensible squeegee on a pole. If you live in a block of flats it would require more resourcefulness on your part when it comes to cleaning those windows out of arm’s reach.
A ladder with sufficient safety equipment can get the job done easier. Reaching out of your room in an attempt to reach the furthest corner is unnecessarily dangerous and therefore out of it.
Using this method is best for you, because you do not have to constantly reach upwards with the pole in order to reach the higher windows.
If you are using a ladder, however, it is important to have someone within shouting distance, just in case of a slip, or some other emergency.
- Prepare the equipment you would need to clean the windows, such as a microfiber cloth (or paper towels), a spray bottle, a high-quality squeegee, a harness, a bucket, and last of all, a ladder.
- Find a level and secure spot for your ladder, and make sure your harnessing gear is hooked up the right way. If it is possible, get someone to hold the base of the ladder for you while you work.
- When you begin cleaning, go through the same process you would with your ground-floor windows. Apply window cleaning solution to your bucket at intervals, and use a squeegee or paper towels to wipe your windows.
If All Else Fails…
If you do not have the time or physical strength to do this task by yourself, we highly recommend recruiting a window cleaning expert to carry out the job for you.
The idea is to find a window cleaning administration that fits into your budget. A quick Google search can help you find the best window cleaning administration near you.
Remember that the best way to keep your windows clean is to make window cleaning part of your home care routine.