Clean replacement windows can allow more light into your home and make a literal difference in how you view the world. If you agree, we have some good news for you—it’s possible to keep your windows as spotless as the day they were installed. And if you follow a few simple guidelines on how to clean your replacement windows, it can be an easy task as well.
Proper replacement window cleaning will ensure that your home windows and patio doors look great and retain value for years to come. Here’s everything you need to know.
When should I clean my windows?
Older windows may require more cleaning, stronger solutions, and more elbow grease, but replacement windows require very little maintenance. Ideally, your windows should be washed twice a year. Experts suggest a cleaning in the spring after the long winter, and then in the summer or late fall before the holidays.
Many homeowners prefer to clean their windows on sunny days, and we have many of those days in Texas; however, we suggest waiting for a cloudy day because the hot sun can dry windows before you get the chance to fully wipe them down. Everything dries so much faster in the sun, and it’s going to streak or leave soap scum. If you can’t wait for a cloudy day, you can clean in the morning or evening when temperatures are mild.
How do I get started?
Before you bring out the cleaners and tools, dust your shades and blinds. You can refresh many types of curtains by putting them in the dryer for 15 minutes on an air-only cycle.
Next, sweep dirt from the window frames and sills with a brush and vacuum any dust or dirt. Many folks want to jump right to the windows, but it’s best to wait so you don’t end up soiling them after working so hard to clean them.
Finally, clear the area of any furniture or knickknacks that might get damaged or in the way. Then, lay down a sheet or drop cloth to protect your flooring or carpet. Spills could easily damage them and add more clouds to your cloudy cleaning day.
What tools and cleaners do I need?
- Two buckets (one for your tools, one to mix cleaning solutions)
- Rubber-edged squeegee with new blades
- Soft, lint-free cloth
- Soft-bristled counter brush (optional)
- Cleaning solution (vinegar or mild dishwasher liquid and water)
- Spray bottle
- Garden hose
- Rubber gloves
- Small towels
Cleaning Mix: There are many no-drip, no-streak window cleaning solutions and prepackaged wipes available for purchase at your local stores; however, we suggest an all-natural cleaning solution using a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and hot water. You can also make a solution with dishwasher soap and water.
Not only is vinegar economical, but it’s also non-toxic, anti-bacterial, and it safely kills germs. This is good news for you and any kids, pets, or significant others around you.
Never use power washers or harsh chemicals on replacement windows. These can ruin the finish, break the seals, or scratch the glass coatings.
Squeegees: Do it like the pros, with a squeegee. For starters, it’s just fun to say, but you’ll also find that it’s a valuable tool that comes in a variety of sizes, and squeegees with a screw-on extension will let you reach those high spots. When using squeegees indoors, place a towel along the windowsill to catch drips.
One extra tip from the pros: keep your squeegee fitted with a sharp, new rubber blade. Purchase two or three to have on hand. You won’t get the results you desire if the edge of the blade becomes nicked, sliced, or rounded over with use. If your squeegee leaves streaks or just isn’t performing like new, don’t hesitate to replace the blade.
Cloths: A lot of people simply use paper towels, but these can leave lint behind. Your grandmother may swear by coffee filters or newspaper to clean the glass on their windows, but that is old news. A microfiber cloth is soft, lint-free, very absorbent, and reusable.
Scrub brush: In addition to the cloths, a brush can be used to wipe away the pollution, dirt, grit, and grime that build up on the surface of a window. Choose a brush with soft bristles.
What is the best way to clean replacement windows?
Are you ready to clean your windows? Gather all of your tools into one bucket and keep a second bucket on hand to mix cleaning solutions.
Mix the vinegar and water, and then add the mix to your spray bottle. Don your stylish rubber gloves, dampen your cloth with cleaner, and wipe the frames. If needed, you can use a soft-bristled counter brush.
Using a wet squeegee (a dry blade will skip), start at the top of the window and work side-to-side. Working horizontally makes it easier to push excess water toward the unwashed part of the window. Some experts suggest wiping windows dry in a horizontal direction on one side and vertically on the other side. If streaks appear, you’ll know what side they’re on.
Return to the top and repeat, slightly overlapping the first stroke. Use a clean cloth or a chamois to dry the squeegee between strokes.
Next, use a cloth or towel to wipe up the water that drips down onto the sill as well as the corners of the panes.
For extremely large windows, professionals favor the snake method. Starting in an upper corner, pull the squeegee horizontally across the window. At the opposite corner, turn, lower the squeegee to the waterline, then pull it across the window. Work your way down and touch up the edges with your cloth.
How do I clean the windows outside?
Outside windows often have more dirt and stains. If this is the case, start by rinsing them with a garden hose first. For stubborn dirt and stains, including bird droppings and worse, saturate the windows thoroughly with vinegar and water and let it stand for several minutes before drying.
Don’t forget your window screens. Rinse them with your vinegar and water solution and then rinse one more time with just water. Let the screens dry thoroughly before placing them back on the windows.
What if I can’t do this myself?
Depending on the height of your windows or the number of windows you have, professional window washing may be needed. To hire the best window cleaners, search for a professional who is insured, bonded, and has good reviews. Plus, check how long the service has been in business.
For most homeowners, cleaning new replacement windows doesn’t have to be a pain. With a few simple tools, you can make a clear difference with a minimal amount of work.
For more information about how to maintain your replacement windows to be their best, feel free to contact your expert team at Clarity Windows and Doors for more information.