In last Wednesday’s blog post, we covered the basics of DIY window cleaning and the tools you’ll need. In this post we review the process as well as some specifics relative to window styles.
The Window Cleaning Process
Before you get out the water, first loosen any debris in the window tracks and sills with a stiff brush. Use a hand vac or a hose with brush attachment to suck out any loose dirt, dust, etc. An old toothbrush is good for getting in tight spots.
Now you’re ready for the wet part of this process!
Fill up a bucket with warm water and add mild detergent and vinegar (see our previous post for a simple solution).
If you are using a squeegee, first cover it with a cleaning cloth and dip it into the soapy water. (The cloth keeps the grime off the squeegee blade.) Wipe down the window with the solution and then remove the cover. Press lightly and drag the squeegee down the window to remove the grime and soapy water. Use the chamois to clean off the window from any streaks.
If you haven’t ever used a squeegee to clean a window before, you may feel a little awkward at first. That’s fine – if you watch professional window cleaners at work, you may get intimidated, but you’ll get the hang of it with a little practice. Here’s a great instructional video on using a squeegee, with tips for both right and left-handed use.
Dip your cloth into the soapy water and wring it out. You do not need a soaked cloth, just enough to wet the window. Once you’ve covered the whole window, use a dry, clean cloth to wipe it all down. Move from the top to the bottom. Use the chamois after to eliminate any streaks and a dry cotton cloth to clean up spills.
Cleaning Single Hung Windows:
These windows only have a bottom sash that moves. This means you have to remove the screens in the windows to clean them properly. You can then clean the screens once they are taken out. If the windows are on the bottom floor, you can clean them from the outside. Many modern single-hung windows now tilt in, which makes cleaning the exterior surface easier because you can do int from inside the home. You might need a ladder or to remove the sash to clean the window if it doesn’t tilt.
Cleaning Double Hung Windows:
Double hung windows are much easier to clean than some other types of windows. If your windows tilt or pivot, follow the instructions from the manufacturer. This allows you to clean both the inside and the outside. Using a squeegee for the top part of the windows can also make it much easier.
Cleaning Casement Windows:
These windows open instead of sliding. They crank open outward, which means bottom floor casement windows are easy to clean. If they are on an upper level, you need to open the sash and reach through the window to clean off the exterior side of glass.
Cleaning Other Styles of Windows:
- Since awning windows swing up and out, they can only be cleaned from the outside
- The exterior sides of sliding windows (also called glider windows) are often the easiest to clean, because the individual sashes can be lifted out. Check with your manufacturer for specifics on your particular windows. This helpful video demonstrates the process – but be careful; these windows are heavy and can be damaged if dropped.
- The exterior side of a fixed window such as a picture window or transom can only be cleaned from the outside.
Regular cleaning of windows is important to keep them looking good, for maximizing the sunlight coming through them, and for maintaining them in good working order.
If you find that your windows need more than a good cleaning, perhaps it’s time to replace them. Give us a call here at Window Outfitters to learn more about what we are able to do for you and the windows that you’d like to have installed.