One of the first things potential home buyers see when they pull up in front of the house beyond the paneling are the windows. Coincidentally, windows tend to be one of the least favorite places to clean. This can be for a myriad of reasons including height of the window, how the window opens, location of the window, difficulty, time consumed, or feeling like it is impossible to get windows clean. While there is no way to change the height, or location of the window without completely remodeling your house, there are ways to make them easier to clean with fewer streaks and lasting results. There are specific tools that are best to use, cleaners that are better than others, and a whole host of other information that will help anyone get the best clean possible for their windows. This is the type of information that you will find here. We will take a look at the various tools that you will need, different cleaners and products to use, and the best techniques. Basically, this article will be a basic guide to getting the best results possible when cleaning your windows.
The first thing that you need to do when it comes to window cleaning is to make sure that you have all of the necessary tools and decide on a cleaner to use. As far as supplies go, you will need a large bucket, a long-handled squeegee, a short-handled squeegee, at least two or three clean and dry cloth, and a sponge. Some squeegees have a scrubber side, this is fine to use, but a sponge allows for more control. If the window is up high, you will need a ladder and a friend to help you. If the window is incredibly high, you will also need some safety ropes, carabiners, and anchors. You will also want to wear old clothes that you will not mind getting dirty and possibly wet. A sprayer or garden hose is also incredibly helpful. When choosing a sponge, always choose one that is soft and does not have a scrubber side. You do not want to use anything abrasive on the glass as it could cause significant scratching.
Safety should always be the top priority when climbing to high windows. There should always be a second person to help monitor the ladder as you climb and keep it steady. This is true regardless of whether you are climbing five feet or fifteen feet. If climbing a great distance, use ropes to secure the ladder to the house and you to the ladder. You can use knots, carabiners, and potentially a harness to achieve this. You should still have a spotter even when you have properly secured the ladder and yourself. It is also a good idea to use a rope to hoist the bucket of water and cleaner up to where you need it to be. Never skip these safety measures as you never know what may happen. It is far better to take the time and make the extra effort and not need it than to skip safety and end up falling. Any number of injuries can occur from a fall off of a ladder, especially the higher up you are.
Now that you have gathered your tools and taken the necessary safety precautions, it is time to choose a cleaner. There are many possibilities, both natural and chemical. The first thing you need to do when choosing a cleaner is to decide if you want a chemical cleaner or a natural cleaner. So many of the chemical cleaners on the market boast various attributes such as "no streaks", "easy to use", "brand new formula". Many products make the same claims as others. If you choose to use a chemical cleaner, it can be incredibly frustrating to determine which product truly is the best. The truth of the matter is, while there are some undeniable differences between certain brands, there are also many similarities. The goal is to determine which ones are worth paying more and which ones are exactly like the cheaper varieties. Look at ingredient lists, this is where you will see the differences. If you do not know what the chemicals listed are or how the work, take the time to do some research. Because there are so many variables in possible ingredients, it is not prudent to attempt to list them all here. Keep in mind that there are now several options on the market that are made from natural ingredients. This means that you do not have to only use items from your kitchen to use natural cleaners. Find out what your local stores carry and research your top choices. This will give you the opportunity to compare them and see which one is best for you.
Once you have everything that you need, it is time to prepare for the actual washing. It is best to begin early in the day when at all possible. Not only will this give you more time to get done, but the warm sun will also help you see possible spots and help with the drying process. Before heading outside, change into comfortable old clothes. You will get dirty and most likely wet before completing your task. Also, it is far easier to begin inside and then get the outside. Therefore, gather all of your supplies and work systematically through all of the windows that are in any way accessible from the inside. As you are preparing, check the cleaner that you chose and prepare it if necessary. Some cleaners (both natural and chemical) must be combined with water to be used. Others are sprayed directly onto the window. Others still must be sprayed onto a cloth to be used. The most likely preparation will be mixing with a specific amount of warm water. This is where the bucket comes in. You will fill it with the warm water and then add the necessary amount of the cleaner. As for the actual cleaning, use the sponge to apply the cleaner infused water to an entire section of the window. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this part to protect your hands from any harsh chemicals as well as drying out from continued exposure to water. Then rinse and use the squeegee to get rid of the water. You will use a piece of cloth to wipe the squeegee blade as needed. You can also use a dry soft cloth to wipe the window after squeegeeing to get rid of any remaining water and eliminate streaks.