Window Washing: A Do It Yourself Guide

Hopefully you live in a building where the association takes care of window washing once or twice a year. But if you live in a townhome, or if you have a balcony with windows and doors not included under the association’s window cleaning contract, you’ll likely find yourself tasked with the job of periodically washing your own windows.

Here are some tips to help you get your windows sparkling clean and streak free so you can enjoy the lovely view from your home. Items you will need: vacuum, large bucket, clean rags, a sponge, rubber squeegee, dish soap, vinegar and a large towel (keep by the bucket to clean up spills).

window being cleaned

Hopefully you live in a building where the association takes care of window washing once or twice a year. But if you live in a townhome, or if you have a balcony with windows and doors not included under the association’s window cleaning contract, you’ll likely find yourself tasked with the job of periodically washing your own windows.

Here are some tips to help you get your windows sparkling clean and streak free so you can enjoy the lovely view from your home. Items you will need: vacuum, large bucket, clean rags, a sponge, rubber squeegee, dish soap, vinegar and a large towel (keep by the bucket to clean up spills).

No matter what your association covers on the exterior of the building, you are likely responsible for removing and washing screens. Having clean screens will enhance the clarity of your view, and because dirt and grime on screens can transfer to windows, keeping the screen clean will help prevent windows from getting dirty again quickly.

Remove screens from windows and gently vacuum them to remove dirt. Ideally, this should be done outside as it can be a very dusty task. Don’t forget the screen door, which can be done in place with a hand held vacuum. Spray your screens with water before wiping them with a sponge or cloth soaked in a solution of water and vinegar or dish soap. After the screen is wiped clean, spray with water again and let it dry completely while you finish cleaning the rest of the windows.

Clean stains on your windows first. Bird droppings, heavy dirt, grime and mineral deposits are common on the exterior surface of windows. Undiluted vinegar, or products such as CLR work well along with a sponge or razor blade for really gritty stains. Don’t use these products on the entire surface, just on the stains, which will make the rest of the cleaning process much easier.

When you are ready to start cleaning the windows, do a quick “pre-cleaning” wipe down over the entire surface with a wet cloth or a steam cleaner on a low setting to remove a fine layer of dust and dirt. Then, mix your cleaning solution in the large bucket, about 2 gallons of water per teaspoon of dish soap, or equal parts water and white vinegar. Soak your sponge in the solution, wring it out and wipe the windows. Use the rubber squeegee to dry the window and then follow with a clean rag. This cleaning method along with these cleaning solutions should result in no streaks.

Before your replace the screens, vacuum the inside frame and corners of the windows to clean out any dirt and dust and then follow the same cleaning method for the inside of the windows to get that perfectly clean window!

It’s a dirty job, but you can do it! After your windows are clean, sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

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