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9 Tips for Clean, Streak-Free Windows

By Leslie Reichert, Houzz

Have you ever sat in your favorite chair and looked out the window, only to see streaks and smears? Or looked out the kitchen window, only to see a community of spiders and bugs all over your screens? Windows can be a challenge to clean. But here are nine tips, trick and tools that will make your windows clean and clear.

windows

David Heide Design Studio, original photo on Houzz

1. Suck it up. Before cleaning your windows, pull out your vacuum and attach the brushed upholstery tool. Vacuum the window tracks and sill to remove dust, bugs and spider webs. If you have blinds, vacuum them both closed and open to get all the dust.

windows

Innes Architects, original photo on Houzz

2. Clean like the pros. You should clean large windows with a squeegee, just like the pros.

You’ll need a bucket of hot water with a few drops of dish soap. The soap will work to lift the dirt off the window and suspend it in the liquid solution until you get a chance to squeegee it off.

windows

Howe Lumber Company, original photo on Houzz

3. The eyes have it. Windows with panes can be a real “pain” to clean if you don’t know this quick tip. Most pharmacies today sell those little cloths used to clean eyeglasses. This cloth will remove spots on glass with just a spritz of water. Spray the cloth directly with the water and wipe it over spots and smudges on the glass to get a crystal-clear clean.

4. Reach for the sky. You can clean extremely high windows using a telescoping microfiber duster with just a spritz of water. These windows usually aren’t that dirty, but they should be wiped lightly to remove any foggy buildup.

windows

Carney Logan Burke Architects, original photo on Houzz

5. A clever trick for streaks. How do you know if the streak you missed is on the outside or inside of the window? When cleaning the outside of the window, clean and dry it with a horizontal motion. Clean the inside vertically. If you’ve got a streak you will then know if it’s inside or out.

6. The latest news. Everyone has heard of using newspapers to dry your windows. This tip is supposed to help avoid streaks and smears. However, avoid using newspapers if you are cleaning around a white wall, white trim or white window inserts. The newspaper leaves an oily film on the windows that helps to stop streaking, but you don’t want to get dark smudges on your beautiful wood trim. Use a clean microfiber cloth instead.

windows

The Homestead Shop Inc, original photo on Houzz

7. Screen clean. Window screens accumulate a lot of dust and pollen over the spring and summer months. Don’t bother washing them. Instead, wipe them with a large-looped microfiber cloth. The dry microfibers will extend through the screen and pull off all the dust with a few wipes.

8. Drapes, meet dryer. Draperies also need attention when you are cleaning the windows. A simple way to remove the dust and dirt is to place them in the dryer for a few minutes on a warm setting. The dryer will remove dust and allergens in the fabric. Remove them from the dryer and hang them up quickly to prevent wrinkles.

windows

Think. Design Office, original photo on Houzz

9. Take it outside. When cleaning your exterior windows, you can use a broom wrapped with a rag to remove dust and cobwebs from the glass. Scrub the windows with the same solution of dish soap previously mentioned to lift the dirt off the windows. Dry with either a squeegee or a microfiber cloth.

Related Links:

Hire a Professional to Replace Your Windows
Replace Dated Drapes With These New Options
Why You Should Consider Roman Shades for Your Home

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