Tips for Cleaning Windows

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

Windows may look clean, but when the sun shines on them you can see every little smudge, Window cleaning is a large task but can be simplified by using techniques and equipment made for doing windows.

A professional brass or stainless steel squeegee, available at janitorial supply stores is a helpful tool. Use a window cleaning solution, which contains ammonia, vinegar and/or a liquid dishwashing detergent. These work well if used sparingly. You may purchase these products or make them yourself. Too much chemical or soap solution causes streaks and leaves residue on the windows. Ammonia cuts heavy greasy soil and vinegar helps remove hard water spots.

Homemade Cleaners for Windows:

  • Mix two tablespoons of ammonia OR white vinegar with two quarts or warm water.
  • Mix one-half cup ammonia, one pint of 70 percent rubbing alcohol and one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent. Add enough water to make one gallon liquid.
  • Mix one-tablespoon liquid dishwashing detergent with one quart water.

Helpful Hints:

  • Don’t clean windows in direct sunlight – the window may dry too fast and streak.
  • Wash exterior windows first with a hose or clean water to remove grease and grime.
  • Wash windows side to side on the inside and up to down on the outside. If there are streaks, you will know which side they are on.
  • Change wash and rinse waters often.
  • Vacuum screen to remove dust, etc
  • Outside screens can be scrubbed with warm water and rinsed with clean water. Allow to air dry.
  • Squeegees do not work on textured or stained glass windows.
  • Choose a “hard” paper towel (soft ones leave lint) or cotton cloths such as old t-shirt or socks.

The new micro-fiber cloths work well for cleaning windows. Follow the instructions for use of the cloths. When washing micro-fiber cloths or towels do not use fabric softener as it reduces the absorbency.

Eleanor Summers
Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences

Posted on May 21, 2010
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