Washing windows is a chore most people don’t generally look forward to doing. After all, it can take a lot of time to do, depending on how many windows you have, and trying to get your windows look perfectly clear without any streaks can be frustrating. But this is something that should be done at least once, if not twice a year. And if you’ve recently replaced your old, worn out windows with new vinyl replacement windows, you’ll want to keep them looking as nice as possible. The good news is that if you have the right tools for the job, washing your windows and keeping them streak-free doesn’t have to be a challenge.
First of all, always wash your windows on days when the windows won’t be getting much direct sunlight. If you wash windows while they’re in the line of direct sunlight, it can cause your cleaning solution to dry and leave streaks and water spots behind.
Whether you’re washing your windows from the inside or the outside, a squeegee can be one of the best tools you can possibly have to keep your windows streak-free. There’s a good reason why they’re a must-have tool for professional window washers! You should be able to find some for sale at your local hardware store. While you’re there, it couldn’t hurt to pick up a couple extra replacement blades so you’ll have some extras handy in case your blade gets nicked or worn as you’re working. If you start seeing streaks as you wash windows with your squeegee, it’s time to replace your blade.
You can still use squeegees even if you have multi-paned or divided windows. If you aren’t able to find a squeegee in the size you need, it’s possible to cut down a larger one. All you need to do is remove the blade and use a hacksaw to cut the blade holder down until it’s slightly smaller than the width of your window panes. Sand down the cut edge until it’s smooth, then cut the blade down to fit using a utility knife.
Another major key to getting streak-free windows is to start getting rid of dirt, cobwebs, and other debris before you start using cleanser and your squeegee. If you’re washing your windows on the inside, you can simply take a lint-free cloth and wipe the windows, window sills, and window tracks. For outdoor windows, simply spraying them down with a hose should do the trick. This will get rid of the major pieces of dirt so they don’t get stuck to your cloth and get spread around the window as you wash it.
When you apply a cleaning solution to your windows, it’s important to use just enough to get the job done. Using an excessive amount of cleanser can cause streaks. If you’re applying a cleanser with a spray bottle, spray on enough to get the window damp, but not dripping wet. If you’ve made your own cleanser and are applying it from a bucket, apply it with a damp sponge or lint-free cloth, not one that’s soaking wet.
While we’re on the subject of cleansers, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on a special cleanser. A window cleaner like Windex will do just fine, or you can make your own cleanser using one part white vinegar to two parts of water. You can either put this mixture into a spray bottle or in a bucket, which ever works best for you.
If you’ve washed and dried your windows once and still see streaks, wash and dry them again. It’s very common for windows, particularly very dirty ones, to need to be washed and dried more than once. Last, but certainly not least, be sure to take a clean lint-free cloth and go around the edges to pick up any excess water or drips that may have been left behind. By now, your windows should be as nice and clear as they were the day they were installed!