How to Clean Windows Like a Pro

How to Clean Windows Like a Pro

Ideally, windows should be washed twice a year, but it’s a task most people don’t look forward to. Part of what makes window washing such a chore is that homeowners insist on doing it with wadded-up paper towels or newspaper, spray cleaner, and a ton of elbow grease.

It’s easier and more effective to clean glass like the pros do: with a squeegee and a few other readily available tools

Step One – Wash with a strip applicator

Picture windows call for large tools. The long cloth head of a strip applicator soaks up a lot of soapy water and knocks dirt loose without scratching the glass. For cleaning solution, just use dishwashing liquid with warm water – the less suds the better.

Step Two – Wipe clean with squeegee

Starting at the top left, pull the squeegee over the soapy pane in a reverse-S pattern (left-handers would start at the top right). At the end of each stroke, wipe the squeegee’s blade clean with a lint-free rag. Cloth diapers or old linen napkins are perfect for this task.

Step Three – Dry off remaining drips

Remove any water remaining on the edges of the glass with a damp, wrung-dry chamois, which soaks up wetness without leaving streaks. Dry the windowsill with a rag.

Step Four – Customize the squeegee

To clean a divided-light window, you need a squeegee that fits the panes. You can use a hacksaw to cut one to size. You can trim the metal ¼ inch narrower than the windowpane, and cut the rubber blade to fit the entire pane.

Step Five – Scrub the panes (Multipane)

A handheld sponge or hog-bristle brush works best on multipane windows. You can use the same solution of dish-soap and water.

Step Six – Wipe clean with squeegee (Multipane)

Pull the squeegee down each pane in a single stroke from top to bottom. After each stroke, clean the blade with a rag so it doesn’t leave streaks. (If the squeegee squeaks a lot, add a bit more soap to the water.) As above, remove any streaks on the glass with a chamois, and dry the muntins and sill with a rag.

Step Seven – Get rid of stubborn spots

Over time, hard-water runoff from masonry or rain falling through metal window screens leaves stubborn mineral stains on glass that normal washing can’t erase. After regular cleaning, you can wet the glass, and gently use fine 000 steel wool to “superclean” stubborn spots.

Source: This Old House