What is the best way to clean very large windows

rosetroiSeptember 1, 2008

We just moved into a new house that has huge glass windows and was wondering what is the best way to clean them. Who makes the best squeggy and what is the best solution to use.

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I don't know who makes the best equipment, I just bought what was available - a terrycloth covered tool to wash, a squeegee, and some microfiber cloths, and a bucket wide enough to fit the tools.

I use a cleaning solution I found on the internet:

In 1 gallon of warm water:

1/2 cup ammonia;
1 cup white vinegar;
2 tablespoons of corn starch.
Mix well.

I use this solution both inside and out. Outside, I hose down the window first to get any heavy crud off.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 3:20PM
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Best squeegees are made by Ettore, Pulex, Sorbo, and Unger. They cost just a wee bit more and are well worth the money.

Home-brew: 2 quarts water, 1/2 cup sudsy ammonia, 1 pint rubbing alcohol, 1 Tbsp Dawn dishwashing liquid, and 1/4 cup white vinegar.

First, use a sponge that has a white scrubber on the other side (don't use the green ones; they are too coarse). Wet your window with the sponge side, then flip to the white scrub pad side and scrub the window. You'll be able to "feel" when it's clean. You'll feel rough patches, etc., when it's not clean. This is a step most people fail at. If the window simply isn't clean, it's going to look cloudy when done. Scrub well.

You'll also need lots of clean cloths: diapers, cheesecloth, or microfiber all work well. Dry by hand a 1 inch strip at the top of the window. The trick for no streaks with a squeegee is to place the dry rubber blade on a dry window.

Take the dry squeegee and place it at the top of the window in that 1 inch dry strip. Pull down smoothly. Wipe the blade of the squeegee with a damp cloth each time. A dry blade on dry glass will skip. Next place the squeegee horizontally in the dry area and pull down, lapping over the dry clean area each time. If needed, do one last sweep left to right at the bottom of the window. Take a dry, clean cloth and run your finger down each window side and across the bottom to clean and dry the edges.

If you don't want to bother with making a home-brew, the October 2008 issue of Consumer Reports rates 10 glass cleaners:

1) Windex No Drip Streak Free Foaming Action - 95 points
2) Sprayway Ammonia Free - 88
3) Windex Crystal Rain Ammonia Free - 85
4) Glass Plus - 82
5) Streak Free with Ammonia (WalMart) - 79
6) Windex Original with Ammonia D - 75
7) Weiman Professional No Drip Streak Free - 74
8) Method Window Wash Blue Sky - 70
9) Earth Friendly Products Window Kleener - 68

  1. Seventh Generation Natural Glass & Surface - 64

They cost between 10 and 16 cents per ounce, except the WalMart one at 3 cents per ounce. CR says their home brew costs about 1 cent per ounce and would rank below the Weiman. The home-brew I use is very similar to CR's recipe except that it's a bit more concentrated and adds white vinegar.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:24AM
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You might find this link helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Wash Windows

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 5:31AM
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2) Sprayway Ammonia Free - 88

I love this glass cleaner but can no longer find it in stores.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 8:38AM
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stir fryi: A contractor who installed some large mirrors in our home many years ago first told us about Sprayway. Found it in local hardware stores and also saw it at Home Depot several years ago and at Safeway more recently.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2008 at 12:34PM
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I was recently looking for Sprayway Crazy Clean. Another one of their great products. Found this site, (never heard of this company before) clicked on Locate us, put in my zip code and found a few of them around town--one just a few miles away. Picked up a couple cans for less than $4. each.

Here is a link that might be useful: find Sprayway

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 11:15PM
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Oh, and I use plain water to clean windows. As stated earlier, you can feel when they're clean then just dry well with anything clean and absorbent (no fabric softener in it) and you're done. Its the easiest and most streak free way I've ever used.

Just did a load of windows this way today in a house going up for sale and needs to sparkle. Just give it a try. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 11:43PM
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I once had a piece of glass cut for a dining table of mine. The man who installed it left a can of what he said was the finest glass cleaner in the world, DIRTEX.
That was 15 years ago and I'm still using the stuff. It's about $3.00 a can and I have only been able to find it at paint stores like Porter paints, etc.
I buy it by the cases! It's good for all kinds of things, not just glass.
Jewelry stores use it too. I use it in my kitchen on my stainless steel appliances as well. Love the stuff!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 12:03PM
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