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Let me see a show of hands… who likes to clean windows?
That’s what I thought. Hardly anyone enjoys cleaning windows!
Why is that?
I have a good idea that it has something to do with time, ladders, and unsatisfactory results for all of your hard work. Am I right?
I’m with you… believe me.
My Window Cleaning Horror Story
I have a home with a lot of the old-fashioned, multiple-pane windows. I counted them recently and discovered that there are 270 individual window panes in my home! (I know – I was surprised, too.)
Is it any wonder that cleaning windows in my home is a burden and gets put back in the job jar when I pull it out?!
If I want every single window in my home to be truly clean I would have to take the time to clean 540 individual panes (inside and out). That’s not something that I look forward to.
I’ve always used window cleaners and paper towels and/or newspaper to clean them. I’ve gotten decent results, but there were always streaks once the glass dried and the sun shone through the windows.
I’ve even tried the type of exterior window cleaner products that you hook up to your water hose and spray away. That never seemed to give the type of results that I had hoped for.
The solutions that I’m offering below are cheap, readily available, and they truly do give the best results!
Professionals vs. Homeowners: Opinions Vary Greatly
I was recently presented with an opportunity to earn a little extra cash by cleaning the windows of the building at my workplace. First impressions are everything, so I wanted to be sure and do it in a professional manner.
I did a little research online and made some interesting discoveries. I don’t mind telling you that the windows at my office look super clean now — thanks to doing a little research and following the best tips I could find.
Gathering the best information online can be difficult, if not impossible, because of everyone’s varying viewpoints and experiences.
I went to professional window washing websites and a few “home” sites.
Surprisingly, the professional window washing websites were pretty consistent in the supplies needed and the cleaning formula used. Whereas, the “home” sites varied widely in cleaning solutions and the materials needed to get the job done.
As you might have guessed, I took the advice of the professionals over homeowner DIY sites for that reason. Plus the fact that the pro sites are cleaning windows for money. And in order to make money, they have to get the job done efficiently with great results.
You might be thinking…”Hey, this is a home site too, so this guy may not know what he’s talking about.”
As I stated above, the windows at my office are sparkling clean and streak-free because I chose to follow the combined advice that I gathered from pro sites. My window-washing results speak for themselves.
Supplies Needed For Washing Windows
I had to gather a few key components first. This meant that I needed to make a trip to my local Home Depot to purchase some window washing supplies.
I spent $90 on all of the supplies. One-third of that cost was attributed to a 16-ft. extension pole, so you will need to consider that extra expense when you consider the height of your windows from the ground and whether or not you will be using a ladder.
- Microfiber window scrubber – with a pole attachment option
- Squeegee – good quality
- Extension pole – optional
- Microfiber towels – they’re lint-free!
- Window cleaning solution – commercial grade
- Sponge – a big one, like those used to wash cars
- 6-gallon rectangular bucket – that the scrubber will fit in. (NOTE: This was also a large portion of my total expense. You won’t need this size bucket if all of your window panes are 8-10″ wide. A regular bucket should do just fine.)
I decided on a window cleaning solution made by Unger. It was convenient and fairly cheap. All you do is add a couple of cap-fulls of the solution to a gallon or two of warm water, and you’re set.
You may decide to make your own window cleaning solution, which is more cost-effective than buying a ready-made product, however your cleaning results may vary.
Here is the basic recipe for a good DIY window washing solution:
- 1 gallon water (warm is better)
- ¼ pint rubbing alcohol
- Couple of squirts of dish detergent (Joy or equivalent)
Helpful Window Cleaning Tips
The major thing to remember when you’re cleaning windows is to scrub them clean with your microfiber window scrubber attachment, and then quickly remove the cleaner from the window using a clean, dry squeegee blade.
Dry the squeegee with your lint-free cloth in between each swipe. A clean, dry blade that is free of liquid and sediment is an important part of the window washing process.
Another great tip is to squeeze out the excess liquid from the microfiber window scrubber before applying it to the window. It only needs to be wet — not drenched.
Also, you don’t want to make a bubbly, sudsy concoction with your window cleaning solution. Suds make the squeegee process much more difficult.
Wash windows on a cloudy day to reduce the possibility of streaks occurring. Otherwise, the sun will dry your cleaning solution on the window, which requires that you wash the window again to remove the streaks.
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.