The Ultimate Guide to Pristine, Streak-Free, Windows

16 08 2013

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Erich Ferdinand

Cleaning your windows isn’t a task you should have to do too often, unless you have young children or pets, both of whom just love to get their sticky fingers and paws all over your windows. If you don’t have a local window cleaner or don’t wish to pay for one, you may also need to clean the outside of the windows. This is a much bigger undertaking and requires proper equipment and you must pay attention to relevant health and safety protocols to ensure your own safety.

There are many tools available to help you with cleaning windows, from micro-fibre cloths, squeegees, an e-cloth or an electric karcher window vac. Most of these products can be found at your local supermarket or online at Makro. If you have no chemicals available to you, all you need to clean your inside windows is some vinegar diluted in water (1:4 ratio), a cloth and some crumpled up newspaper. Clean with the vinegar solution and a cloth then buff clean with the newspaper. When cleaning the outside windows you will need a lot more just the vinegar solution, at the very least you will need washing up liquid dissolved in water to tackle the dust and grease from the roads. When cleaning inside and outside window sills, you will need to shift all the mildew that has gathered from your houses moisture. Use a nylon scrubbing brush, washing up liquid and a lot of elbow grease. If your frames have any cobwebs in the corner, use a broom if you can’t reach them.

The best tool for cleaning a large area of outside glass is a simple squeegee. These can be picked up at most supermarkets. The key to success with a squeegee is to buy a good quality squeegee and keep it fitted with a sharp new rubber blade. A squeegee such as this is what the pro’s use, when purchasing one, be sure to pick up 2 or 3 spare blades as once it becomes nicked or damaged in any way it won’t work nearly as effectively. Here are 7 quick steps to ensuring you gain a streak free shine from your squeegee;

–        Dip your scrubber (a sort of long stiff sponge on a stick) into a solution of 2 gallons hot water and 1 teaspoon of dish-washing liquid.

–        Scrub the glass, cleaning every inch

–        Wipe down one vertical line with the squeegee, right next to the edge

–        Then clean the rest of the glass with horizontal wipes

–        clean the squeegee blade on the scrubber or a clean towel

–        Then repeat the vertical and horizontal wipes

–        Finally use a micro-fibre, to wipe up any excess water

If you need to reach a higher floor than just the ground floor, you will need a safe and reliable ladder, ordering these online may be more trouble than it’s worth, head down to your local Wickes or B&Q, check out their selection online first, you may have to reserve the one you want.

If you live in a high rise building, you windows may be removable, lift them up off the tracks and pull them into your apartment, give the windows a proper clean with a cleaner such as Mr Muscle. You windowsills are a bit more of a maintenance job than the rest. Again use a nylon scrubbing brush, elbow grease and some detergent, then buff dry with a cloth. While cleaning you should also be checking for rot. If you find any rot this will need removing and replacing the same goes for crumbling putty. Flaking paint can be touched up with a small brush. A quick guide for repairing cracking putty can be found in the article here.

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