Cleaning and Washing Interior Windows
How to Clean Interior Windows
Everyone knows that cleaning windows properly is not an easy task. It might seem like a simple task but even the best of us home DIYers can make mistakes.
Summertime is the time of year I make sure my windows are always clean, clear and streak-free. A clean window that doesn’t have dirty bugs, spots and a layer of dust on them really lets in the maximum amount of natural light in the house.
There are many commercial glass cleaners that can do a good job and leave your windows streak free but even the best of them will leave a residue behind. A residue you may not know is there until you clean them with a simple solution made from vinegar and water.
Things to Avoid When Cleaning Windows
To keep windows looking good, streak free and scratch free there are a few things to avoid.
- Don’t clean windows when the sun is out as it will dry the cleaning solution quickly. Wait until later in the day when it’s not so hot out to avoid streaks.
- I know many people say to use newspaper but it can actually smear ink around plus it makes your hands pretty dirty. If you want to recycle paper, try using brown paper grocery bags or lunch bags.
- Don’t scrape off stuck on gunk (like dried paint) or stickers when the window is dry as you could scratch the glass. If it’s a sticker, remove what you can – then for gunk or remaining sticker – apply something like Goo-Gone, let it sit then wipe off. Repeat as needed. Then clean windows as normal.
- Paper towels will leave lint behind so use a lint free cloth, coffee filter, microfiber cloth or the like.
How to Avoid Streaks
Nothing is worse than spending time cleaning and washing your windows to find that you have big streaks and smears in them. One thing about cleaning windows that we would all like to know is how to avoid streaks.
We mentioned above some things to avoid when washing windows but what else can you do to avoid streaks?
- If you do buy a commercial glass cleaner, look for something without a scent, no dyes and no soap.
- Spot clean stains first.
- Use a squeegee and clean the blade.
- When possible use a side to side (or horizontal strokes) cleaning motion.
- Use the squeegee to make a narrow stripe down one side of the window. This will make it easier to start with clean horizontal strokes.
Making Your Own Window Cleaning Solution
The old question of what to clean and wash your windows with comes up time and time again. You can always purchase a window cleaner such as Windex or similar brands but why not just make your own?
- In a spray bottle combine 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups water. If windows are a little dirtier than expected you can mix equal amounts vinegar and water.
- For large jobs you can mix together in a bucket 1 gallon vinegar to 1 gallon warm water.
Prior to cleaning the inside of your windows, place a large towel on the windowsill to catch drips and spills.
As we stated before, commercial cleaners can leave a residue behind and you may notice this the first time you use vinegar and water. If you clean with the vinegar and do notice streaking, don’t get frustrated, it’s from the previous cleaner and you will need to clean the residue first to remove the buildup it caused.
- To remove residue buildup caused from commercial window cleaners, add 1 teaspoon dishwashing soap to the vinegar and water mixture. Hopefully you will only need one pass but it may require two.
Once the residue is gone, spray the window thoroughly with your cleaning mixture. Make your horizontal clean strip. Then starting at the top of the window, press the squeegee blade on the glass and pull across the window.
Wipe the squeegee blade on a clean towel to remove excess dirt and water then be sure to overlap the previous stroke and continue cleaning down the glass.
With a clean rag wipe off excess water from around the frame and clean the window tracks.