Washing Windows

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For some reason, people seem to run into all sorts of frustrating problems when they wash windows. They end up replacing the stains and crud marks with even uglier smears and water spots. Or they have great difficulty reaching up high to clean certain windows in their home. And what about those gross bugs? How do you deal with that?

Having the right tools and techniques to work with can make all the difference. Suddenly you'll find that washing windows is not really all that challenging at all and in fact, may be a little fun!

Whether you're trying to get a small kitchen window spotless and clean or you you're trying to tackle the huge window of your patio door, you can still use the same items and methods to get the job done!

Before you begin washing a window, make sure that it is at least cloudy or shady outside. With a glaring sun staring at you, you'll be too blinded and there will be too much of a glare for you to do an adequate job.

Firstly, what cleaner should you use? Will simple Windex do the trick? Dish washing detergent sometimes works better, surprisingly. If you mix some liquid detergent with some warm water in a bucket, you're ready to wash those windows clean of their sins – or in this case, pesky dirt and grime. But if you don't want to leave behind nasty water stains, then you better apply the cleaner the right way.

Prior to getting into the rhythm of cleaning your windows, it's a good idea to remove surface dirt first with a simple wet rag.

Then, after you dip your scrubber into the bucket, make sure to squeeze it a bit before you take it to the window. You want it to be damp, not dripping wet. Now, tilt the scrubber at a 45 degree angle from the window. Start by cleaning the edges of the window. Remember that if you're dealing with a tall window, you're going to have to have a scrubber that is elongated for those hard-to-reach areas.

Ideally, you want to move your sponge from left to right, gradually going from top to bottom. As you do this, you'll have to also wipe off trails of water that your sponge leaves behind – otherwise they'll leave water marks. Once you've made it to the bottom of the window, you might find it best to work your way back up the window, going left to right again.

If you're cleaning a window from the inside, remember to place some absorbing pad – thick paper towels or a rag – at the bottom of the window pane so that the water collects there.

The best thing to do is to invest in a powerful “squeegee,” as it's commonly called. Be prepared to spend over ten bucks on it! But don't worry, it will be worth it.

Some other tips to washing windows are a little surprising. For example, cornstarch and water make a great cleaning solution! But for those windows that are a special challenge, you'll want more heavy duty cleaner. And that may come in the the form of liquid dish washing soap, ammonia, and rubbing alcohol. Talk about a killer trio. In fact, don't use this combination on windows with mild stains because it might be too powerful. But for pesky mineral deposits, it will work wonders.

Other tools you might want to use include a scraper that can pick up gunky buildup and dead bugs, which often collect around the edges of windows. For marks left behind by bugs, consider using baking soda and water to deal with those. In general, whenever you're dealing with tough-to-remove stains and grime, nylon scrubbers, as opposed to a traditional squeegee really will be of use.

And don't forget about investing in that extension pole if you've got windows that stretch up high.

The moral of the story is a spray bottle and paper towels is really not the way to clean your windows. By abandoning that idea and just using a squeegee and more powerful cleaning solution, instead, you will suddenly see things more clearly through your sparkling windows.

Moreover, think outside the box. Just because it's called dish washing liquid, doesn't mean you can't use it for your windows. We often forget that windows may be just as intensive to clean as other things like a hardwood floor or oven. But they can be just as difficult and thus require as much planning and preparation!

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