Cleaning windows might seem a relatively straightforward task, but there’s a reason there’s a thriving industry for skilled window-cleaners – the difference between a professional and amateur approach will be apparent to anyone who’s ever taken a look at a streak-covered, botched attempt at cleaning a window. So what is it, precisely, that separates the professionals from the rest of us?
As with so many things in life, success is a result of the right tools being combined with the right skills.
What will I need?
When it comes to washing windows, you won’t need too many items:
- Warm, soapy water
- A sponge
- A squeegee
- A dry rag
In order to make things a little easier, you might choose to use a specialist window-cleaning solution – or a tried-and tested combination of newspaper and vinegar, which we’ll get to later. Be sure that whichever detergent or chemical additive you’re using isn’t going to damage the frame of the window. The last thing you’ll want is discolouration on the wood or uPVC surrounding the glass – as this will ruin the look of the window, and therefore the building as a whole.
Cleaning the Windows
Now you’ve assembled your materials, it’s time to actually clean the windows.
First, you’ll want to remove any obvious dust and cobwebs from around the window. This will form an unsightly and sticky mess if you try to clean it off with water, so use a dry, soft brush, or a duster. If there are any particularly stubborn marks, simply dab on your soapy water and scrub with a toothbrush or a cotton bud. Once they’ve been eradicated, you’ll be able to move on to the window as a whole.
Using a soaked sponge, wash the panes of your window one by one. You’ll want to move from top to bottom, in a zig-zag shape, in order to prevent drips. As soon as you’re done washing a single panel, you’ll need to remove the suds, as allowing them to dry will cause those undesirable stains.
The tool we use to remove suds is a squeegee. They work by forming a tight seal against the glass.
If you’ve seen a professional window cleaner at work, you’ll have noticed that they tend to move their squeegee in a long, snaking pattern down the length of the window. This is on order to ensure that suds aren’t able to collect in any one area, but are instead scooped from the entirety of the glass in a single motion.
Clearly, this is a skill that requires a little bit of practice to master, but once you’ve achieved that mastery, you’ll be able to clean every window of your house in no time at all – and achieve a professional finish for a miniscule investment.