When you put together your spring cleaning checklist, you’re probably including tasks like cleaning out closets, donating clothing and shoes, and airing out rugs, in addition to working out a plan to tackle the various rooms in your home one-by-one. But sometimes we overlook the deep clean that certain parts of our house need, such as the windows. For your spring cleaning plan, it might be time to do more than spray some glass cleaner on the panes of your windows. Instead, think about giving them a deep down clean from the inside out.
- Microfiber cloth or sponge
- Dish detergent
- Plastic scraper blade or single sided razor blade
- Synthetic brush or broom
- Towel or sheet
- Toothbrush (optional)
Depending on the kind of window you have, you will either wash the outside facing glass from the inside or outside of your home. If you have older windows that don’t safely and easily tilt inward the way our double hung windows do, or have removable sashes like our sliding windows, for example, you will likely have to wash them from the outside. Use a fresh cloth or sponge and clean the window panes with the detergent/water mixture. Finish by using a squeegee to remove any excess moisture.
The outside of your windows collect the most dirt and grime buildup, thanks to their direct contact with the elements. You can scrub the interior for hours, but if you don’t clean the exterior, it won’t have the impact you’re hoping for. It’s best to focus on the outside on an overcast day without wind to avoid streaks from the sunlight and getting sprayed by your cleaner.
- Make sure all of your windows are closed and sealed up tight before heading outside.
- From there use your broom or brush to gently wipe debris from the screens and tracks.
- Fill a bucket with water and dish detergent and use a cloth or sponge to clean the frame and tracks a bit deeper.
- Remove the screen to give it a more thorough scrubbing.
- While the screen is off, clean the outside-facing window panes with the detergent.
Remember to always protect windows when caustic cleaning materials are used to clean the exterior of your home. And never use a pressure washer to clean your windows and doors, as this can cause irreversible damage.
When cleaning the window panes, it’s important to handle with care. Spray cleaners, rags and paper towels leave behind moisture and are absorbed into the glass surface, which causes softening and leaves behind deposits of chemicals, particles and dirt, causing streaks and smears on your window panes.
- Lay down a sheet or towel under the window to catch any drips.
- Use fresh detergent and water mixture and a clean sponge or cloth.
- Wipe down the frame and sill.
- Dust often collects around the locks and in crevices, so use your cloth or a small tool like a toothbrush to really get in there.
- Use that same solution to clean the panes of glass.
- If you’re able, tilt the window sash in to easily clean the outside of the glass as well.
- Squeegee excess moisture.
Removing stuck-on adhesives, bugs or other debris
Whenever you have to scrape something off your window, be sure to proceed with caution. A plastic scraper blade or single sided razor blade are your best options.
- Saturate the window with cleaning solution to soften the contaminant.
- While still wet, use the plastic scraper blade or razor blade to gently remove the contaminant.
- Tempered glass has a softer, yet rougher surface. Extreme care should be taken when cleaning tempered glass with a single edge razor blade. Change the razor blade frequently as the edge becomes dull and damaged and can cause scratches to the glass.
This should get you on your way to some thorough spring window cleaning!