hand cleaning windows

Sparkling Results: Your Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Windows

Looking for a clear view? This guide provides straightforward steps to achieve streak-free windows. You’ll discover the best cleaning solutions—from store-bought to DIY—along with essential tools, and common pitfalls to avoid. Prepare to enhance your view with effective, easy-to-follow advice for sparkling windows.

Key Takeaways

  • The best window cleaning results come from using the right solution, whether it’s a commercial product like Clean On The Go Biorenewable Glass Cleaner or a homemade mix with vinegar and/or dish soap, and distilled water for hard water areas.

  • Effective tools for streak-free windows include a lint-free microfiber cloth and a squeegee, while newspapers and abrasive cleaners should be avoided to prevent residue and damage.

  • Preparation is key to clean windows: remove dust and debris, wash the frames with warm soapy water, and clean the sills. Regular cleaning and the right technique with a Z-shaped motion help achieve crystal-clear windows, both inside and out.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

cleaning window with window cleaner

The secret to dazzling windows lies in the cleaning solution. It’s the magic potion that banishes streaks and restores your windows to their original clarity, allowing you to enjoy unobstructed views. But what’s the best solution to use? Commercial options such as Clean On The Go Biorenewable Glass Cleaner, Sprayway Glass Cleaner, and Unger Easy Glide Glass Cleaner are designed to clean glass surfaces efficiently without leaving streaks. They’re convenient and effective, making them a popular choice in the window cleaning process.

Nevertheless, for those prioritizing sustainability or simply favoring DIY methods, combining water with a splash of vinegar or a sprinkle of dish soap can achieve impressive results. This homemade window cleaner is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly. And if you’re dealing with hard water, opt for distilled water to avoid mineral deposits on your glass. Whether you choose a commercial or homemade window cleaner, the key is to use the right amount of solution. Too much could leave you with residue and streaks, while too little might not effectively clean your windows.

Essential Tools for Window Cleaning

tools for cleaning windows

Having the right cleaning solution is a great start, but you’ll also need the right tools to ensure a successful window cleaning process. A lint-free dry microfiber cloth is a must-have tool in your collection. These are preferred for window cleaning as they won’t leave any residue, such as lint or paper particles, behind. The last thing you want is a beautifully clean window marred by lint!

A squeegee is another indispensable tool, instrumental for a streak-free shine when drying windows. Without a squeegee, you run the risk of leaving unsightly streaks that ruin the appearance of your clean windows. And while using newspaper is an option, it carries the risk of ink stains that could spoil your hard work.

The right tools, coupled with the right glass cleaning solution, will set you on the path to perfectly clean, streak-free glass windows, especially when it comes to cleaning windows with an effective window solution.

Preparing Your Windows for Cleaning

Prior to starting the window washing process, proper preparation of your windows is of utmost importance. This prep work includes removing dust, washing frames, and cleaning sills. It might seem like a lot, but these steps are important for achieving the best possible results.

Removing Dust and Debris

cleaning window sills

Before you start sloshing water and cleaning solution around, it’s important to remove any loose debris from your windows. Elements such as dust, pet hair, and miscellaneous particles can cause scratches or form streaks during the cleaning process. Using a feather duster or a microfiber cloth can efficiently lift these loose particles without damaging the glass.

For tougher build-ups, consider using a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. This ensures thorough removal of all heavy debris without damaging the surface. Don’t forget to pay extra attention to the windowsill and corners of the frame, where cobwebs and heavier deposits tend to accumulate.

Washing Window Frames

The next step involves cleaning the window frames. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare warm, soapy water.

  2. Apply the soapy water to a rag.

  3. Gently wipe down the window frames, removing any dirt or grime.

  4. Avoid using metal blades or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage special coatings or the frame material itself.

For stubborn stains, consider using mineral spirits. This powerful cleaner can remove buildup without harming the frame material. Remember, the frame is part of the window too, and cleaning it can make a significant difference in the overall cleanliness and appearance of your windows.

Cleaning Window Sills

The final step in the preparation stage is to clean the window sills. Use a damp cloth in conjunction with a mild detergent to wipe away dirt and debris. Regularly cleaning your window sills can prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, saving you from more intensive cleaning efforts down the line.

For those hard-to-reach areas in the window sill and tracks, a window sill brush cleaning set can effectively remove grime. Alternatively, a handheld steam cleaner with the appropriate attachments can simplify the cleaning process by dissolving the dirt in door and window tracks.

The Window Washing Process

cleaning window with squeegee

With your windows thoroughly prepared, you’re now ready to begin the window washing process! This involves applying your cleaning solution, and then it’s time to wash windows, followed by drying them for a streak-free finish.

Interior Windows

Regular cleaning is necessary for dirty windows, especially the interior ones. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or simply as soon as they appear dirty from dust, fingerprints, or pet ‘nose art’, it’s important to keep them clean. Start by using a microfiber cloth with a soapy water solution to remove the initial dirt and grime.

After tackling the initial dirt, use a clean, lint-free towel to dry the window in a Z-shaped motion. This will help to ensure a streak-free finish. This technique avoids leaving streaks and ensures a polished finish. After the initial wash, apply a vinegar-based solution to the windows to ensure a streak-free shine.

Exterior Windows

The task of cleaning exterior windows demands a different approach. Professionals often use a two-bucket system; one bucket holds clean soapy water while the other contains rinse water. Before you start scrubbing, spray your windows with a hose equipped with an adjustable nozzle. This helps remove dirt and debris before the actual cleaning begins.

It’s advisable to clean exterior windows at least once a year, preferably in the spring. However, the frequency can depend on your location and environmental conditions. If streaks are still present after cleaning, rinse the window again with water and dry it a second time to achieve a streak-free look.

Caring Window Screens

Despite being frequently neglected, window screens play a crucial role in maintaining a clear view and the overall cleanliness of your windows. Regular cleaning of window screens prevents the buildup of dirt and debris.

Cleaning Window Screens

man washing window screens

Cleaning window screens can be done effectively by following these steps:

  1. Remove the screens and spray them down with a hose.

  2. Use a vacuum with an upholstery brush attachment to remove any loose dust and dirt.

  3. For the main wash, create a homemade cleaning solution by mixing dish soap and water.

  4. Use the cleaning solution to address grease spots and other residues on the screens.

By following these steps, you can easily clean window screens and keep them looking fresh.

Use a brush with soft bristles or a specialty window screen cleaning brush to gently clean the screens without damaging them. After cleaning, make sure to rinse the screens thoroughly with warm water and let them dry completely before reinstalling.

Avoiding Common Window Cleaning Mistakes

Even with the right tools and techniques, mistakes can still happen during the window cleaning process. A frequent mishap involves using an excessive amount of cleaning solution, which could result in unattractive streaks and troublesome residue buildup. It’s important to use the correct amount of solution, such as a few drops, to achieve streak-free windows.

Safety should also be a top priority during the window cleaning process. Always work with a buddy if you’re cleaning high windows, and don’t forget to wear protective gloves. These safety measures can reduce the risk of accidents and ensure a smooth cleaning process.

When To Hire a Window Cleaning Pro

window cleaning professional

Even for the most committed DIY enthusiasts, some windows may pose a challenge that’s too daunting to tackle. Whether it’s hard-to-reach windows or stubborn grime that won’t budge, sometimes it’s best to call in the professionals. Window cleaning services, such as:

  • Window Washing Companies in the Chicago Area

  • Window Washing Expert

  • My Window Washing

  • Property Refresh

can tackle these tough jobs.

Professional window cleaners not only have the proper tools and experience but also have the expertise to deal with any window cleaning issue that might arise. So, if you’re facing a window cleaning challenge that seems insurmountable, don’t hesitate to call in the pros!


We’ve journeyed through the world of window cleaning, from choosing the right solution and tools to preparing windows for cleaning, washing, and even hiring professionals when needed. Remember, the key to sparkling, streak-free windows is not just about the process, but also about using the right tools, cleaning solutions, and techniques. With this guide, you’re well on your way to enjoying clear, clean views from your windows all year round!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best homemade cleaning solution for windows?

For clean and streak-free windows, mix water with a dash of vinegar or a few drops of dishwashing soap. It’s an eco-friendly and effective homemade cleaning solution.

How often should I clean my windows?

You should clean your interior windows weekly or monthly, and your exterior windows once a year in the spring. Keep those windows sparkling!

What’s the proper way to dry my windows after washing?

After washing your windows, use a squeegee or a clean, lint-free towel in a Z-shaped motion to prevent streaks while drying. This method will give you a streak-free finish.

How do I clean my window screens?

To clean your window screens, remove them and spray with a hose, then scrub with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. Let them dry before reinstalling.

When should I consider hiring a professional window cleaner?

You should consider hiring a professional window cleaner when you have hard-to-reach windows or tough grime to deal with. It can make the job much easier for you.