Struggling with streaky windows? Feel like getting your windows clean is taking way longer than it should? Windows can often get quite yucky, and even when you haven’t necessarily noticed the condition they’re in! If you’ve ever wiped a cloth over a relatively clear-looking window and it’s come back black with dirt, you’ll know what we mean. Exterior windows can get especially nasty, because they’re exposed to the elements – and that means whatever the wind happens to be carrying.
Your windows are literally your “window to the world” from your home, and it feels great when they’re sparkling clean! Here at Westview Glass, we’ve spent decades helping people to enjoy their best views through beautiful windows, and we know that your windows can really uplift your life. And having sparkling-clean windows is the icing on the cake, because you’ll get more natural light into your home, and enjoy the best views of your outdoor spaces. But because cleaning your windows feels like a big job, they often get deprioritised in the cleaning process. However, it doesn’t have to be as hard as we often make it; this deceptively simple chore is one that many of us aren’t doing quite right, adding a lot of extra time and effort. Fortunately, with these tips, it gets a lot easier!
What to use when cleaning windows
Fortunately, when you do window cleaning right, it can be pretty easy. Let’s start with what to use. There’s plenty of window-cleaning products available at your local supermarket or Bunnings; however, you can make quite an effective window cleaner at home – just open up your pantry and grab your white vinegar! Mix up one part white vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle, and you’re ready to get that streak-free shine. (You can also add a little lemon juice!)
When to clean your windows
Did you know that windows streak more on those bright sunny days? Where you can, clean your windows on cloudy days so that your window-cleaning solution doesn’t dry on your windows and leave streaks.
Cleaning your interior windows
What we recommend for the side of your windows that faces into your home is slightly different from the exterior, as you’ll see below. Let’s start by filling a bucket with clean, cool water, and add a few drops of washing-up liquid. You’ll also want to place a large bath towel underneath the window so you can catch any spills.
With a clean microfibre cloth or a sponge, wipe the surface of the window from the top to the bottom, and then wipe down the frame. At this point, spray the window with your preferred cleaning solution, and use a clean, lint-free towel to dry the window completely using a Z-shaped motion. (Pro-tip: you can also use the black-and-white pages of a newspaper for this step – guaranteed lint-free! And clean paper towels will do the trick as well.) You can also use a window vac to vacuum up the water.
At this point, if there’s any dirt or streaks left over, just spray and dry one more time. We find you’ll usually need to do this second round to really get that sparkling clean.
Cleaning your exterior windows
The outside of your windows will tend to be dirtier and more stained, simply because they’re exposed to all sorts of things that the inside of your windows aren’t exposed to.
Let’s get started by rinsing your windows off with your hose, and then grabbing a bucket with clean, cool water and adding a few drops of washing-up liquid. Next, grab a soft microfibre cloth or a sponge and wipe the surface of the window; for higher windows, you can use a sponge mop on a pole. Once this is done, rinse again with the hose, and spray or mop your window surface with your preferred window-cleaning solution. Wipe the window dry with a squeegee, angling it towards the bottom of the window and working from top to bottom. Every time you reach the bottom, wipe your squeegee clean either with a clean, dry towel; or you can directly dry the windows instead with the towel (make sure it’s lint-free!) or black and white newspaper pages.
You can also use a window vac for this process: rinse your window, spray your window cleaning solution, use the squeegee attachment on your window vac to give it a good clean, and then take the squeegee attachment off and vacuum up the water. Too easy!
For those hard-to-shift dirt and stains, you can either:
- saturate the window thoroughly with vinegar and water and let it rest for a few minutes before you dry the solution off, or:
- rub with a soft non-scratch “scrubbie” (for example, these ones at Bunnings); but absolutely don’t use steel wool or a harsh scrubbing cloth, as that will scratch your window. Feel free to add a bit of baking soda at this point, but remember to be gentle so you don’t scratch your window.
Lastly, it’s time to clean your window screens! Just rinse these with plain water, spray with a vinegar-water solution, and rinse once more with plain water. Wait until they’ve completely dried before putting them back.
Cleaning windows that are stained by mineral deposits
Especially if you’re living in one of the many areas of Perth that have hard water (you’ll find a suburb-by-suburb list here courtesy of the Water Corp) you may have mineral deposits staining your windows, making them hard to clean. These mineral deposits can be cleaned with a commercial descaling product like CLR, or if you want to keep things natural, spray vinegar (or a half-vinegar half-water solution) directly on your window, sprinkle a little baking soda on a wet sponge or paper towel, and VERY gently scrub on the stain – being very careful not to scratch the glass! Leave the ingredients to react for a few minutes to break down the stain, and rinse well.
Cleaning windows doesn’t have to be a pain if you follow these simple steps, and it’s so worth it to be able to enjoy your windows to the fullest! For more great tips on cleaning your glass surfaces, check out our blogs on how to clean shower glass, and keeping your sliding door in tip-top shape; and for ideas on how to beautify your home through glass and window upgrades, check out our blogs on Window Replacement: Before and After Showcase, Door Replacement: A Perfect Facelift For Your Home and Ultimate Home Makeover: Westview Edition! And of course, if you’d like to talk about your best-ever home renovation project through glass upgrades, get in touch with the Westview Glass team today; we’ve helped many hundreds of Perth homeowners achieve better views, and we can’t wait to do the same for your home.