I swear they look worse when I am done cleaning them. Any tips on how to do this well?
Hire professionals to do it. :-)
Tina, I think I need to get different microfiber cloths. The cloths I have are duds. They have never done a good job on my mirrors either.
forhgtv, I had my windows cleaned professionally one time in this house and it was so nice! It is not in my budget right now so I am determined to try it.
We use a local guy who washes windows. I could never get the tilt-wash windows to tilt (major PITA), and could never get DH to help clean them.
We have the guy come to do them in the spring (should have them cleaned twice a yr probably, but once a yr works, too!). I'll clean the sliding door in the LR, and the kitchen windows at least a few times during the course of the yr by myself (those I can do easily enough), as well as the sidelights by the front door. The rest I leave 'til spring.
I use Perfect Glass (from BB&B) and Brawny paper towels. No streaks, even when the sun is shining on them.
My husband does ours. He uses the Windex Outdoor All-in-One Kit for the outside. He is even able to use it on our 2nd story windows with a long extension pole. Inside he uses a squeegee.
Here is a link that might be useful: Windex All-in-One
We have big plate glass windows (no muntins, real or fake) so I have a scrubby and a squeegee that mount on a telescoping pole. Thankfully the pole is enough and no scaffolding is required(!) I use some sort of soap/cleaner that mixes in water and is designed for this use. Unfortunately I always manage to mis some areas.
I understand about budget, believe me. However, most of my windows are inaccessible on the exterior without an extension ladder, so I'm forced to use a pro. That's a good thing and a bad thing, right? I usually have mine cleaned twice a year.
Hey cat mom. I have the Perfect Glass cleaner, too. Must be the cloths I am using. I am constantly cleaning dog nose smudges from back door, front storm door and sidelights too :) If I was going to hire someone to clean I would wait until Spring. Too dreary and dark in the winter to worry about it too much. That is why I thought I would try it now.
Thanks for the link, terriks. Also, I have never used a squeegee. Might have to look into that.
jakabedy, I have new windows on the second floor that tilt in so I can clean them without going outside. I do have muntins that will make it a little more work. I hear ya about missing areas. I swear I clean my front storm door really well and an hour later I am standing there saying "What the heck?"
forhgtv, I really don't have an excuse not to do mine. Except that I am really bad at it.
I use Perfect Glass on mirrors, tv's etc. inside. Hubby cleans all windows (inside and out), and I'm not sure what he uses. I know my MIL uses the microfiber towels and water only - and she's compulsive about cleaning, so it must look good!!
KK, for windows I get the microfiber cloths that are in the auto area with car wash supplies.
I have the dog nose smudges too. Lovely. I clean those off practically every day. When I try to clean whole windows, it ends up looking like a 5-year old did it!
I really love the way they look when professionally done- amazing how they can do it so perfectly. They seem to have a certain stroke that they use with the squeegee, and I think mine use dishwashing soap and water.
Windows? We're supposed to wash windows? Wish I could find someone who will remove the storms and clean either side of them. No one wants to do that. What's the point of washing any part of the window if the storm window remains filthy?
We just accept that we must gaze at the world through a haze of dirt!
Thanks for the auto dept microfiber cloth tip, Tina.
At least you are up to a five year old, nancybee.
Hi stinky. I don't have storms so that isn't an issue. Some days I think my windows look so bad that I don't need to close the window coverings at night. If I can't see out then they can't see in. One thing I can do is get the cottonwood stuff out of my screens. Screens I can handle.
I have a ranch style house and all windows are reachable with a 6' ladder. I try to clean them twice a year. In the spring, when they are the dirtiest, I use a cleaning rag and soapy water to clean the worst (bugs, pollen, etc) then follow up with Windex and CHEAP paper towels, store brand or Sparkle. The cheaper ones have no softening additives which streak.
I use to stress over the perfectly cleaned, shining window with no streaks. NO MORE! Two weeks after cleaning, blowing rain will splotch, pollen will collect, and bugs will "bug". So the perfect clean window is all in vain.
I do quick cleans on the interiors as I have time and try not to steak :).
Wite vinegar in a spray bottle and scrunched up newspaper as your "cloth". No fibers leftover at all. And the windows are squeaky clean!!! A squeegee is a help, too.
I have tried nearly every trick in the book to clean my windows and I just cannot get them clean. Used commercial cleaners, scrubbers, squeegees, soap& water, vinegar, ammonia, micro fiber, chamois, newspaper, you name it. They have this weird film on them that will not come off and it looks like water spots.
Its only on the windows, not mirrors or TV's or other glass surfaces. It is more prevalent on the outside, but I still have trouble on the inside too. Any suggestions? Besides a pro?
Pesky, Do you have double-paned windows? If so, the film/spots you are seeing are probably between the two panes of glass. I've seen that happen when the seal is broken. I've heard that there's a new process where they can drill a small hole in one pane, douse the inside with a cleaner, dry it and then, reseal the glass, but I've been wary of trying such a new technology.
Years ago, someone on The Cleaning Forum claimed that cornstarch mixed in water was the best solution for window cleaning; someone else said that newspapers were the best for wiping. I used to use blue Windex and paper towel, but the formula changed and it doesn't work as well. Also, do not wash windows in the hottest part of the day as the liquid dries too quickly and causes streaking. I like Hope's Perfect Glass for mirrors and, pardon me, dog snot, which, in my house, smudges windows at alarming heights now that the baby Great Pyrenees isn't such a baby anymore. Then, too, the composition of dirt varies. It's agricultural here and some of the flying dirt is red, some has limestone in it, etc. So, you have to experiment.
We've got newer vinyl windows, so they're not the double paned. Even my brand new windows have this problem. It's making me nuts! I'm probably going to have to break down and hire a company.
Tuesday, I like the idea of washing once to get all the bugs and dust off first. Then do a second finishing so I am not just moving dirt around.
jmc, I have added vinegar to regular window cleaner. Maybe I should try only vinegar. Definitely going to get a squeegee.
pesky, I am glad that I am not the only one so frustrated. I feel like I have bad window cleaning karma. Maybe due to hanging sheets on my windows in my early apartment years?
KD, cornstarch? Hmmmmm. I have heard that you shouldn't wash windows in the sun. Good to know about hotter days too. And OMG, you have a puppy Pyrenees? You should start a thread and post pics!
I love great Pyrenees too!!! We have friends who breed them. I have a picture somewhere of me with a litter of 11 or so pups - even at a few weeks they were not little! Such sweet dogs.
Long, long ago, I used to clean the windows with vinegar and water, and dried them with newspaper. Now I rely on curtains. nuff said.
Bucket of water with Sudsy Ammonia ( 1/2 C.) & a squirt of dish soap. Wash window with one of those micro fiber cloth/sponge thingees ( I found mine in the automotive dept of Wal Mart ) & a squeegee & micro cloth to finish up around the edges & voila nice clean windows!!
They are sweet dogs. I've been working on throwing treats and having the Pyr retrieve them and return to me for a reward. The chickens show up and often ace him out of his treats and he just lets them do that. He's technically a guardian, but I think he thinks they're his friends and plays with them. It's hilarious--this 100 pound dog and these little chickens together. He's an indoor dog, but his livestock guardian urges are very obvious. He even wants to play with our huge bull--which may not be such a great idea.
Anyhoo, my big window issue is the spray lacquer over spray from when our painters stained our window frames and the lacquer saturated the paper they used cover the windows. I pretty much had to wait for the lacquer to bake and chip off. Still, there is a bit near the frames on some of the windows. I even tried lacquer thinner and a razor blade and cannot get it off. Suggestions?
But Sue....Like the song says, you have to Let the Sun shine in.
ogoopogo, you seem to know what you are talking about. What are you doing this weekend?
KD in the dell, what a hoot. We will now need pics of the pup, bull and chickens. Sorry about the frames. I was going to suggest lacquer thinner or mineral spirits, too.
Windex All in one. Take a garden hose to the windows, wipe with the pad (it's got cleaner already in it) and hose them off again right away. I LOVE doing my windows since I've found this. I could do the entire first floor of a 3200 sq ft house in less than 30 minutes.
And by the way, each pad lasts MUCH longer than the package claims. The only downside is that you can only use this outside.
Cup of white vinegar, cup of NON-sudsy clear ammonia in a bucket of water. Use sponge side of Squeegee to apply, then clean off with rubber blade side and wipe off the blade after each swipe. No streaks ever, easy.
That said, I hire someone these days, but still use the formula in a spray bottle for touch ups where pups noses and paws leave marks. :)
For the inside I use half Vodka/half water and a drop of dish soap along with a microfibre cloth to wipe and one to dry. No I do not drink the Vodka, I use it to clean the windows!! I bought my microfibre cloths from Sam's and I can't wear them out after a million washes. The key to washing them is to not use fabric softener or dry sheets. If you do put them in the dryer, set it on medium and no higher.
For outside we use a broom dipped in a bucket with soapy water, then rinse with a hose and then squeegy.
The very best window washing suggestion I ever received works so very well and is extremely quick and easy. Buy a gallon of automobile window washer fluid; buy an automobile window washer with an extended handle and the head with the material for scrubbing bugs off the windshield on one side and a squeegee on the other side (hope I am making sense). Pour some of the windowshield washer fluid in a spray bottle. Spray your windows, then use the squeegee on them, use the scrubber, if necessary. My windows end up clear and streak free and the windshield washer fluid has the additional benefit of helping the windows not to get dirty so quickly. I do both the inside and outside of the windows using this method.
I typically use a white vinegar/water mix with a sponge/squeegee on a telescoping handle.