As far as sitcoms from a few decades ago are concerned, “I don’t do windows” was comedy gold. It was even applied to other situations, too: “I don’t do (blank)” was always good for a laugh. It usually referred to a difficult job that nobody in their right mind would take on if they didn’t have to.
However, without windows, our homes would be very bleak indeed. No natural light, no fresh Spring breezes, and no view to the outdoor world. Pretty grim. So, we’re stuck with them – and all of the maintenance that goes with them.
Messy little hands, dog nose prints, and the accumulated dust of a few years would make any 1970’s tv show housekeeper wince in disappointment. And that’s just the inside!
In the Pacific Northwest, we’re no stranger to wind and rain. All it takes is one winter storm to add a layer of film on the exterior side of the window. This doesn’t take into consideration second-story windows or battling landscaping to even reach the windows.
Sometimes, washing windows can make matters worse.
Clean Your Windows With Care
Even when we manage to get up the courage to start cleaning, it doesn’t always turn out with the best results. Grabbing window cleaning solution, a gallon of warm water, and pull the squeegee out. White vinegar, undiluted vinegar, or any other kind of vinegar that Good Housekeeping has used in the past.
Sometimes we go simple: just a spray bottle and an old rag. We clean with great care, wiping up excess water from the bottom of the window, and gently drying the window. Somehow, we still manage to leave streaks on the window. Sigh.
Is it even possible? Window washing that prevent streaks? Absolutely! For a streak-free window (or other glass surfaces for that matter), follow these tips:
- Avoid ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners: Cleaners that use these additives actually cause more streaking than using just water alone. They also leave behind a film that actually attracts dust and other particles found in the air. Cleaners like Windex only do half the job – they dislodge the grime, but don’t remove it. So it just gets moved around the window, leaving streaks.
- Keep the razors in the bathroom: No matter what the stain is – paint, candle wax, etc. – do not use a razor to scrape it off. It can leave behind scratches that will never be fixed and actually damage the glass beyond that.
- Watch what you wipe with: A microfiber cloth is the best way to rub in a solution, but any soft, lint-free cloth or paper towel can be used. All you really need is soapy water to wash your windows. The trick is when it comes to drying the window. Dry/Rub from different directions to decrease streaks, starting from the top of the window.
- Finish with clear water: Once finished, inspect your work. If you still have a streak here or there, dip your cloth in clean water and wipe away the leftover cleaning solution. Again, be sure to dry in different directions to have windows without streaks.
- Don’t Dilly Dally: It doesn’t matter how careful you are if you leave the water, soap, or other cleaning solutions on the window for any amount of time. If left behind and dries on the window, you just gave yourself that much more to do. And you don’t even want to be here in the first place!
For other tips on how to clean your windows, read our rundown of both interior and exterior windows. This includes avoiding Windex, steps to remove pollutants that can mar windows, and ways to make cleaning exterior windows easier. Because unlike our friend Mrs. Garrett, Mr. Belvedere, and Alice at the Brady household, we all have to do windows at some point.
For windows in really bad shape, or on that hard to reach story, it probably makes sense to call in the professionals. The crews at Heaven’s Best have the tools and experience to get your window exteriors clean and streak-free safely. Want to get your windows clean enough to impress even the grumpiest housekeeper? Contact Heaven’s Best today.