How to Get Your Windows Sparkling Clean—Cheaper, Better, Faster!

My husband and I moved into our new home in April 2015, just in time to experience our first Rocky Mountain spring. There are no words to describe this adequately, but this picture does a great job.

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The thing I noticed the first time I walked into this house—windows. Tons of windows framing our new view and every one of them dirty. It looked to me as if no one had ever washed them.

I did my due diligence in researching local professional window washers. For sure we would have to pay to have them cleaned properly. But it would be one and done. We would keep them clean and that would be an easy task. Of course.

The price was ridiculously high, but the job got done and the windows sparkled. That’s when I set out to discover the best (easiest, fastest, cheapest, sparkly-est) way to keep these windows clean—not only dust-free but also clean.

Surprise. It’s not with Windex, paper towels, newspaper or other methods I may or may not have recommended in the past, which produce a big mess—dripping, soggy, dirty paper towels and windows with streaks that can be difficult to remove.


MORE: How I Dry Cleaned My Windows


The right tools

I have invested in the right window-washing tools. You need the right tools, too, or you are going to waste a lot of time and money trying to get your windows streak-free and sparkling like diamonds. Look for tools like these at your local big box store, home improvement center, or online. For your convenience and also so you can see what I’m referring to below, I have provided Amazon links for each of these specific tools.

Microfiber Window Scrubber

This comes with a handle that can be attached to a pole, which you will use to wash the window. The key here is the microfiber.

Silicone Blade Squeegee

A silicone blade is far superior to rubber as it will not crack or tear. And it produces a streak-free result with no skips.

Combo Scrubber Squeegee

You can get the scrubber and squeegee two-in-one option where both of these tools are attached to one handle. It’s all a matter of preference. I like to use this combo option for the low windows I can reach easily with a step stool. However, I’ve found that when attaching it to a pole for high windows, it is awkward to turn the thing around to switch tools while they are attached to the top of a very long pole. As you may have guessed, I have both the combo and the separate scrubber and squeegee.

Bucket or Tub

This doesn’t have to be gigantic, just a container of a shape and size large enough to dip the scrubber into easily. The scrubber is 11 inches wide, so you want a tub or bucket that is at least 12 inches wide for easy dipping of your scrubber. This dishpan works well for me.

Blue Dawn

I’ll bet you already guessed this would be the cleaner of choice. You’re right.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cleaning cloths are soft and non-abrasive; will not scratch glass or painted surfaces. They clean well without chemical cleaners, leave lint- and streak-free results. And the best part—microfiber absorbs eight times its own weight. You can rinse and reuse these cloths hundreds of times, too.

Extension Pole(s)

If you use the combo scrubber/squeegee for second-story windows, you’ll need only one pole. I choose to use the tools separately for high windows, which requires two poles. NOTE: Extension poles come in differing lengths so be sure you get the one(s) that will meet your needs.


READ:25 Items to Help Organize Your Life

 

Window washing like a pro

Step 1

Fill a tub or bucket halfway with warm water. Add a few drops Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Step 2

Dip scrubber into the soapy water and shake so it’s not dripping. Apply it to the glass from left to right, starting at the top. Make sure you get into the corner then move in an “S” pattern, back and forth, until you have passed over the entire window.

Step 3

Switch quickly to the squeegee. Starting at the top left corner, wipe from one side to the other, left to right, until the entire window is clean and dry.

Step 4

Use a microfiber cloth reach into all of the corners, making sure to wipe the frame clean and dry and to catch any drops or drips you may have missed.

That’s it. Fast and easy—with amazing results.


RELATED: Meet My Spring Clean A-Team


Because you are using so very little water with this method, window-washing ceases to be the big, dirty, messy job you may remember it to be. And that’s a good thing for me because I am learning another new thing about living where we get four distinct seasons and the altitude is 5,280 feet. Windows don’t stay clean for very long due to the winds and the wide open high plains.

Want to lift your spirits, clear your mind and beautify your space? Get out there this weekend— or as soon as winter has passed—and wash the windows.

Your world is about to get even more beautiful!

Updated 3-24-19


The photo above is not the view from our windows but taken from about 40 minutes west, on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park.

This is our spring view …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And in autumn …

 


PREVIOUSLY: Ask Me Anything: Pet Stains on Hardwood, Cleaning Baseboards, Prepay Mortgage


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8 replies
  1. a woman called Sam
    a woman called Sam says:

    You are amazing! What a stunning view. I have also used car window wash with lots of water to clean windows. But how to clean screens?
    Thank you again and again for turning me on to my Eufy

    Reply
  2. PattiHath
    PattiHath says:

    Absolutely gorgeous views! My youngest son is a food scientist in Denver and he loves living there. Anytime we have a sunny day (no clouds) in Ohio, I think to myself this is a “Denver day”. LOL. Keep up the great posts. I really appreciate them!!

    Reply
  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    You mentioned that you had your windows professionally cleaned first. Will this method work for really dirty windows? ? ?

    Reply
  4. Ruth Cox
    Ruth Cox says:

    ordered the Squeegee and ProGrip Microfiber Washer (along with the pole) the day you wrote about it. By the time I clean the blinds and then the frame of the windows, I am exhausted. But this time, I felt rewarded by how quick it was to wash the windows PLUS they came out squeaky clean. It was almost like a reward for all the hard prep work. I cant thank you enough

    Reply
  5. Annie
    Annie says:

    Keep in mind, if the soapy water drips down into your flower beds or lawn it will kill either. I killed a path in our ivy washing the car with dish soap. It ran in a little path through the ivy and killed the ivy along the path. It took me a while to figure out why we had that trail of dead ivy. Your recipe for shower cleaner was posted on FB for washing windows, needing only to be hosed off. Same thing, it will kill whatever is in its path. Rather than give up the ease of washing windows with Blue Dawn, you could lay an old towel on the window sill to catch the drips.

    Reply
  6. JN
    JN says:

    My brother, who is a professional window washer, also adds 1/4 cup or so of ammonia to the wash water, along with the few drops of dish soap.

    Reply
  7. Lori
    Lori says:

    You say to go from left to right with the scrubber starting at the top….I’m having a hard time picturing the ability to do that while it’s on the pole. The windows you can reach without the pole yes, but not sure how you’d accomplish this on the pole?

    Reply

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