Your windows are vital—they let light in, let you see out, circulate fresh air, and keep you warm and dry. For all their benefits, the least you can do is keep them sparkling clean! A clean window will go a long way to making your whole home feel brighter and tidier, and we have tips to help you tackle this chore with finesse and ease.
If you clean your windows when it's bright and sunny outside, heat from the sun can dry up your cleaner before you have a chance to wipe it, and the glare can make it difficult to see streaks, fingerprints, dirt, or debris on your glass.
Instead of cleaning windows in the daytime, get them done at dusk when there's still enough light to see what you're doing, but the panes have cooled down a bit. Alternatively, consider cleaning your windows on a cloudy day.
Making your own window cleaner is easy and effective: just mix half a teaspoon of dish soap, two cups of water, and a quarter cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Not only is this homemade solution a great way to get streak-free windows, but it's also cost-effective and free of toxic chemicals.
Paper towel has long been considered the best way to clean windows and other glass, but when compared with a microfiber cloth, it's the inferior choice. Microfiber does a great job of absorbing, rather than smearing, the cleaning solution, wiping away dirt, and leaving no lint or fluff behind. The cloths are also reusable, which is an eco-friendly win.
A squeegee is a rockstar tool for getting your windows clean without the streaks. First, use a cloth and cleaner to get off the grime. Then, use a rubber squeegee to scrape excess water and cleaner off the glass.
To keep your windows streak-free, use a rag to dry your squeegee between scrapes.
A clean window can help your home feel bright and beautiful, but if it's paired with a dirty screen on the outside, that cleanliness won't shine through and isn't going to last. Before you clean your windows, remove the screens and wash them in your tub or outside with the hose.
Alternatively, you can run a lint roller or damp magic eraser over the screens to quickly get dust and dirt out from between the weave.
After you clean your windows, there's a good chance a streak or two remains, however careful you were. To get rid of these final streaks, gently rub a clean, dry chalkboard eraser over the streaks to buff them out.
Window tracks tend to collect more dust and dirt than any other part of the window—or the house, for that matter. Luckily, a little bit of baking soda and vinegar can get your window tracks looking as good as new.
First, vacuum the track with a brush attachment to remove bigger bits of dirt, then sprinkle some baking soda into it. Follow that with a touch of vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it clean with a dry cloth. Use an old toothbrush if some grime is still stuck in the corners.
If you've taped holiday decorations or your kid's crafts to the window, you might find they left a sticky residue on the glass. Most cleaning solutions won't be able to handle this mess, as well as other adhesives and some paints.
A new, clean razor blade can do the trick, provided it's not tempered glass. Simply wet the window and push the blade alone, angled just slightly above the glass. After every pass or two, wipe it clean and repeat. As always with sharp implements, be careful and use gloves or a special razor tool to avoid cutting yourself.
If you've got small scratches on your window, you don't need to hire a professional; you can easily buff them out yourself. Use a baking soda toothpaste that's not gel-based and a damp microfiber cloth.
Just place a pea-sized amount of toothpaste directly on the scratch and rub the damp cloth over the scratch for 30 to 60 seconds.
Whether you have verticals or horizontals, gauzy curtains or blackout, your window treatments run a close second to the tracks in the most-dirt-collected competition.
If you schedule this chore for every month or two, you'll find your blinds are pretty easy to keep clean. Try squeezing a microfiber cloth around each slat using tongs and sliding it along. The vacuum works great to quickly clean heavy curtains of pet hair and dust, but you'll want to take them down and wash them every six months or so.