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How To Get Your Windows Squeaky Clean

Proper window cleaning requires quality cleaning products and window cleaning equipment. You might ask: "Why not use a commercial spray from the supermarket, plus some rags, paper towels, or newspaper? Spray, wipe, and you're done." Unfortunately, these quick and "dirty" methods lean toward "dirty," since they tend to leave streaks or lint at best and/or scratches at worst.

Here are three tips for getting a streak-free shine:

  1. Use liquid to loosen the dirt: You can use patented liquids like Windex®, but water, laced with common chemicals like ammonia, alcohol, vinegar, and/or soap work, as well. The proper combination can provide a non-streak dirt-killer. Many professionals rinse with pure water to minimize residue.
  2. Find something absorbent: This is to apply the liquid and enable scrubbing. A sponge is best, especially one made for the job. For windows, a sponge with small pores is preferable. Among synthetic and natural varieties, the synthetic sponge is uniform in texture, while a natural sponge is more absorbent but irregular. Rags and paper towels don't cut it. They'll leave either lint or little shards of paper.
  3. The squeegee rules: Its flat, rubber blade wipes away everything in its path. Squeegees come in many sizes and, in steady hands, clean a wide, tidy, swath. Clean the whole window in a single S-shaped pass.

Other optional window cleaning equipment includes:

  • Ladders to get at the high places
  • Long handled poles for squirting, cleaning, and squeegee-use
  • Platforms with specialized safety harnesses

Safety is an important consideration when attempting to clean difficult to reach windows. Place your ladder on a clear, flat surface and have a friend or family member steady it while you work, if at all possible. Avoid working on a very windy day, and consider wearing a hard hat if you are really climbing to reach a window. It may be wise to hire a professional service to handle very high windows.