Wash windows with homemade window cleaner
So wonderful when the sun shines in at home, but suddenly it also shows how filthy the windows have become. Street dust, pollen, rain and debris make your windows dirty and at regular intervals a window cleaning is needed. Not always the most fun job, but when you have the right cleaning solution, tools and method, it becomes much easier, goes faster and you get a shiny result. Here are our best washing window tips!
How to make your own window cleaner
There are countless products to buy for window cleaning but did you know that the pros use regular dishwashing liquid? Do like the pros do and get the neighborhood's cleanest panes.
Wash windows with dishwashing liquid
Just as dishwashing liquid makes your drinking glasses sparkling clean, it also gives your windows a shiny result. Cleaning windows with dishwashing liquid is good in more ways than one. On the one hand, it's something that you probably have at home so you don't have to get a special product. The dishwashing liquid also makes it easier to use the squeegee against the window, it slides easier and more frictionlessly.
Mix two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of warm water. It doesn't get cleaner with more detergent, rather it becomes more difficult to get the windows clean because too much detergent can form a film on the panes.
Clean windows with vinegar
Vinegar is good for a lot of things and also works great for window cleaning. Fill a bucket with water and add a couple of tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and a couple of decilitres of vinegar. The vinegar helps to dissolve ingrained dirt and helps to get your windows clean with a sparkling result.
How to wash windows
Follow these steps to wash windows and get shiny panes and clean frames.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and possibly a couple of decilitres of vinegar into a bucket of warm water.
If you take the opportunity to wash the window frame, do so before you start cleaning the window pane. Dip a microfiber cloth into the water, rub off the dirt and wipe clean.
Wet the window pane thoroughly with a cloth or sponge and dissolve the dirt by going over the surface a couple of times and rubbing a little extra on more stubborn stains.
Make sure you don't wipe off the water but leave the window really wet.
Use a squeegee and pull it from top to bottom so it drains away the water.
Wipe the rubber on squeegee with a lint-free cloth after each pull.
Continue in the same way over the parts of the window that are still wet with a few centimeters of overlap until you've scraped clean the entire window.
Wipe the glass closest to the window frame by pulling the lint-free cloth one turn along the joint so that it catches drops where the squeegee didn't reach.
Wipe handles, fittings and window sills with a microfiber cloth.
Finish by wiping the window sills on the outside with an old cloth.
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6 tips for window cleaning
1. If it's spring, it may be a good idea to wait until your street has been swept before you start cleaning the windows. The brushes that rotate on the sweeping truck swirl around the road dust and if you are unlucky, your work may be undone if you clean before they've been in place.
2. Wash one window at a time instead of soaking several windows at once. When the water dries, there will be streaks and the result is worse than if you do all the steps on one pane before you move on to the next.
3. Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight. The sun causes the water to dry before you have time to scrape and streaks form.
4. You can wash windows in the winter! Add a little rubbing alcohol to the water so you can clean windows despite sub-zero temperatures.
5. Skip the newsprint. In the past, newsprint was often used to clean windows. It has its explanation in that the printing ink at that time had substances in it that helped to make the glass shiny, but today's newsprint can give the opposite effect and you can instead get a patchy result.
6. Use lint-free rags for window cleaning so that they don't shed on the windows. Old cotton sheets are perfect. For an entire home, it takes a few rags, so tear apart and save for the purpose.
The right tool for window cleaning
The right tools make everything easier and thus also more fun. This also applies to window cleaning. When you have good stuff, it's easier to get it right. Here are some tips on what's good to have at home when you're cleaning your windows.
A 10 liter bucket with handles is good to have. In it you can then store your window cleaning tools between sessions.
T-bar with sleeve
The pros use T-bars, T-shaped holders, with furry attachments called sleeves when they clean the windows. They're available for purchase in well-stocked stores, but you can also use a rag or sponge to soak the windows and rub away the dirt. No matter what you use, be sure to wash them between sessions so there's no dirt left that can scratch the next time.
A squeegee or window scraper as it's called is worth investing in. You can wipe to clean a window with a lint-free cloth, but the result is never as good as with a squeegee. You buy it in the hardware store or home improvement store. Choose one with a replaceable rubber blade because rubber dries out after a while.
The easiest method to use the squeegee is to pull from the top down with a few centimeters of overlap. The professionals often use the S-method where the squeegee is moved like a hairpin curve around the window and pulls away all the water in one sweep. Challenge yourself and see if you can do it!
If you have windows with many small panes, it may be worth customizing a squeegee for it. Use a hacksaw to saw down the scraper to the correct width and cut down the rubber blades to the corresponding dimensions.
Cloths or rags
To finish your window cleaning, use a few clean lint-free cloths. It's good to have several because you don't want to transfer any remaining dirty water from one window to the next, so change the cloth when you no longer have a dry and clean surface left.
An old well-used and washed-out cotton sheet is a good candidate to tear into window cleaning cloths. The rags should only be used in the joint between the window and the frame, because no matter how lint-free they are, they still easily leave traces behind.
An alternative to cleaning windows with rags and a squeegee is a device for window washing. It's a rechargeable tool that with its accessories washes and sucks away the dirty water from the windows.
Extension pole or ladder
If you have windows that you can't reach from the floor or the ground, aids are needed. An extension pole allows you to clean further up than your arms reach and a ladder is a good complement.
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