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Whether you’re a clean freak or not, those streaks, smudges and cloudy film fogging up your windows are enough to ruin even the prettiest view. Although getting clean windows may sound like a (tedious) all-day chore, it won’t take over your Saturday (we promise!) if you follow these easy-peasy window-washing steps. Now, let the sun shine through!
Step 1: Bring on the Suds
Prepare a bucket of warm water and squirt in a dime-size dollop of dishwashing liquid. Or, try one of these homemade cleaning alternatives to get the job done—they work just as well as soapsuds or any other industrial-strength cleaners.
Infuse two cups of warm water with ¼-cup of club soda, and a tablespoon of cornstarch.
Substitute the club soda with lemon juice, and mix with the two cups of warm water and a tablespoon of cornstarch.
Mix ¼-cup denatured alcohol with a quart of simple cleaner—the alcohol ensures the solution won’t freeze if you’re cleaning windows in low temperatures.
Whichever method you choose, clean windows on a cloudy day, because sunshine actually dries the glass too quickly and can cause streaks. (Who knew?!)
Step 2: Soak the Windows
Submerge a handheld natural sponge (for multi-pane windows) or a strip applicator (forlarge windows) into the solution, and apply to the glass.
Step 3: Sick the Squeegee On It!
Don’t cleanwindows with paper towels— a linty cloth merely moves the dirt and debris around the glass and creates pesky streaks. Plus, that tired old method puts a static charge on the windows, attracting additional gunk more quickly. Instead, use a squeegee for a streak-free clean.
To Clean Multi-Pane Windows:
Move the squeegee from left to right, and then top to bottom on each pane. Use a bristle brush for loosening dirt in the corners and along edges.
To Clean Single-Pane Windows:
Guide the squeegee from the top left downward, moving in a backwards “S” pattern, according to Handy Man Matters. Wipe the squeegee blade clean periodically to remove any residue.
Step 4: Dry the Window Frame
Dry the window frame and windowsill with a rag to prevent erosion or paint removal.
Step 5: Dry and Polish the Glass
Run one of these unusual materials over the glass for a crystal-clear, lint-free look.
Glide this super-absorbent, lint-free cloth over the glass to soak up any remaining wetness.
Crumple up a few sheets of newspaper and wipe. (Note: Wear rubber gloves to keep your hands clean.)
Run a filter along the glass for a pristine polish.
Once the inside windowpanes are complete, move outside and repeat the process. Don’t forget: Remove any screens, douse in a cleaning solution, rinse with water, and let dry before securing back to the exterior frame. You’ll have sparkling clean windows in now time!
Christine Petrozzo is a freelance writer living in San Francisco, Ca.