Access to natural light can make or break a space. But before you move into the apartment with southern-facing gems, make sure you know how to clean windows. There’s a lot of research that suggests having plenty of access to sunlight is good for your health and happiness, but grime, buildup, and otherwise dirty windows can be a buzzkill when you’re trying to bask in that afternoon glow.
Dishes get scrubbed, clothes get washed, and floors get mopped, but all the while, windows hardly ever get cleaned. And that’s probably why your openings to the outside world are covered in a layer of dirt and maybe a few smudges, too. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with this obstructed view for long, because you’re the grownup who’s about to learn how to clean the really grimy windows of your home. Make this part of your spring cleaning ritual and your windows will be clear and perfect in time for all that summer sunshine just around the corner. Below are simple cleaning tips so you can clean your windows like a pro.
No matter what type or how many windows your home has, your artillery of window cleaning products will be pretty similar. However, you do have a few options for how you stock your supplies. At a minimum, you’ll want some kind of cleaning solution and a way to wipe the windows until they sparkle.
For a DIY window cleaning solution:
If you’re all about that DIY life, we’ve got just the thing for you. Combine two parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle and you’ll be all set with a homemade window cleaner. You can also combine warm water with a few drops of dishwashing soap if you prefer.
For a hassle-free store-bought cleaner:
If you’d rather go the store-bought route, there are plenty of commercial window cleaning solutions or sprays, like Windex, on the market, and many will work really well for your window washing. Just try to avoid glass cleaners that are ammonia or alcohol based, as these may leave streaks or light films that attract more dust down the road.
Whether you’re going the DIY or store-bought route for the cleaning solution, the best way to wipe down your windows is with a clean microfiber cloth or wipe. This is key for streak-free windows. Squeegees can also work well if you’re putting lots of water on the windows—just avoid paper towels as they can leave lint films all over your glass windows. For outside windows, grab a broom just in case there are any cobwebs or sticks on the window frame that may need to be knocked down.
Another simple trick: It’s never a bad idea to place a bath or beach towel underneath the window before getting started. This will catch any excess water, drips, or spills and keep you from making another mess while you try to clean.
Once you’ve got your cleaning tools, it’s time to do some minor prep before you get started on the actual cleaning. Similar to sweeping your floors before mopping, you want to get rid of any dust or particles on the glass before you go in with wet products. Gently wiping a dry microfiber cloth, a lint-free cloth, or a duster across the glass should do the trick. Don’t forget to dust the frame and windowsill while you’re at it.
Next, spray your solution, then take your microfiber cleaning cloth and wipe in Z-shaped motions to dry and clean the windows.