True confession: I like washing windows. I’ll trade toilets for windows any day of the week. I think I like it because it’s an easy way to brighten up my house. Windows go from really dirty to really clean pretty quickly. Also, I’m dealing with dirt, not germs. Somehow that makes me feel better.
Get to know your windows. Especially figure out if they have tricks to get behind the screen. Some of mine lift out of the track pretty easily, or others tilt in. These make it a lot easier to clean. Also, if there are windows that you won’t be opening for the winter, consider taking the screens out and storing them in a shed or garage. Your screenless windows will let in a lot more light and warmth – reducing your electricity and/or gas bill – and they’re a lot easier to clean. (Take note not to keep all your windows closed through the winter – you still need to change out your air regularly.)
Some very well meaning people have given recipes for a window washing solution that includes mixing Castile Soap directly with vinegar. Don’t do that, as I explain in my past blog, A Word of Caution about Vinegar and Castile Soap.
One final tip, don’t wash your windows when the sun is shining directly on them. The spray will evaporate before you have a chance to squeegee it off, and you will be left with spots or streaks. The perfect window washing day would be overcast, but not raining. If that’s not happening, though, work around the sun’s schedule. Get the western facing windows earlier in the day, the eastern facing windows later in the day. The tricky ones (if you’re in the northern hemisphere) are those southern facing windows. Keep an eye on the shadows and dash out to clean them when you notice they’re fully shaded.
I address cleaning the interiors of windows and mirrors in this blog post.
A summary of supplies I mention in the video:
- 2 squirt bottles: One with ½ tsp. (7.5 mL) of Sal Suds diluted in a quart (1 L) of water.
- The other with pure club soda or half vinegar/half water.
- 2 microfiber cloths: sold least expensively in the car washing section
1 high quality squeegee: you get what you pay for – buy the good on
Other option: Use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in place of Sal Suds, if you prefer. Dilute 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) of Castile Soap in a quart (1 L) of water for your squirt bottle.