It’s a sunny morning. With a cup of coffee in your hand, you slowly pull back the curtain and let the sunlight stream through your home.
But something feels wrong and different this time. Instead of feeling like you’re ready to conquer the day, you let out a sigh of disappointment as thick streaks and dust start to accumulate on your once-sparkly windows.
Poorly cleaned glass windows prevent you from basking in the natural light you deserve. And learning how to clean glass windows may seem simple, but it’s quite challenging to get right. One wrong move and you may end up with a permanent scratch!
We know how frustrating it is to squeeze window cleaning into your household chores. You have to clean the bathroom, stick to garden maintenance and do general cleaning once a week. Why bother cleaning something that can be covered with curtains anyway?
You can get the job done fast by hiring a window cleaning service in Singapore, or you do it yourself and enjoy the results. If you prefer the latter, continue reading below to learn the art of cleaning glass windows!
How To Clean Glass Windows Inside and Out: Tips To Consider
To make your glass windows streak-free, take a closer look at these helpful tips:
Pick The Right Weather
Cleaning glass windows on a bright, sunny day seems like a good idea, but the opposite is actually true. According to Good Housekeeping, you should refrain from cleaning your windows when they’re in direct sunlight. The intense heat will cause the lather to dry too quickly, leaving persistent streaks that will negate the effort you’ve put into cleaning them.
This weather will just have you cleaning faster and harder to no avail. We highly recommend that you wait for a cloudy day before you proceed!
Gather Your Tools
Gather your tools and supplies for window cleaning to avoid spending half your time going back and forth. No matter what type of window your place has, your window-cleaning products will likely be the same.
This includes a microfibre cloth, a feather duster, a small squeegee or a sponge and a bucket filled with cleaning solution. You may also go the DIY route and make a vinegar cleaner with these ingredients:
- Two cups of water
- A half cup of white or cider vinegar
- ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol with a 70% concentration
Make sure that you use distilled water if you live somewhere with hard water. The latter contains minerals that leave water marks on glass surfaces when it dries.
Wipe Away Dust
Once you’ve gathered your cleaning supplies, prepare the window frame before getting started on the cleaning process. Grab the feather duster to remove dust, excess pet hair and buildup to prevent scratching the glass.
It’s a lot like cleaning the floor surface. Before you apply any wet product, you have to ensure that it’s free of particles and debris so they don’t get damp and stick to the floor.
If you have screens, remove and vacuum them to get rid of dust and dirt. Use a spray bottle filled with water or a hose to moisten the screen before wiping. Next, use a sponge to clean the screen with warm water and dish soap. Let the screens air dry before putting them back in place.
Work From Top To Bottom
It’s advisable to use a lint-free microfibre cloth for window cleaning since paper towels usually leave lint and fibres behind. This makes your windows appear even dirtier than before.
Moreover, apply your glass cleaner to the microfibre cloth instead of spritzing it all over the place. This can protect your vinyl or fibreglass frames from potential discolouration caused by the cleaning solutions.
Start at the top and wipe in Z-shaped motions while working your way down to the windowsill. This approach will help you avoid missing any spots and leaving streaks.
Once you finish the entire pane, use a microfibre cloth to polish away any leftover solution residue. Make sure to do this promptly after cleaning to avoid streaks. If you have several windows to clean, complete them one at a time to achieve the best results.
Use a Squeegee
Image source: Nick’s Window Cleaning
The first-ever T-shaped modern squeegee was patented in 1936 by Ettore Steccone, a window cleaner in Oakland, USA. Since then, squeegees have earned a good reputation when it comes to window cleaning because they’re more ergonomic and lightweight.
They are known for removing excess moisture, preventing the formation of permanent water spots. Squeegees are also beneficial in cleaning hard-to-reach and large panels of glass windows, slashing the total cleaning time by half.
Although it seems easy on the surface, there is a right and wrong way to use a squeegee for window cleaning. Here are some tips to follow to get the job right:
- Always check your squeegee before you start cleaning! Glide your finger along the rubber edges to make sure it has a completely even surface from one side to the opposite end. It shouldn’t be too tight, overstretched or wavy.
- To avoid damaging your window frames and edges, the rubber should stick out from the ends of the squeegee channel, extending by about 0.5 centimetres or 5 millimetres.
- Replace your squeegee rubber regularly. For optimal results, switch to a new window squeegee rubber every 4 to 6 hours of continuous usage.
- Don’t hold the handle too tight and apply too much pressure to the window! If you do, it will leave streaks on the glass, cause muscle tension and make the job a lot harder than it is. Just relax your wrist and let the squeegee rest on the glass. The tool should create the pressure, not your hand.
- Follow the ‘S’ squeegee window cleaning technique. Pull the squeegee up and to the left corner at a slight angle, then repeat on the other side. Focus on the front edge of the squeegee and don’t be concerned about the lower end—the motion pattern will naturally return to that area later.
Use a Step Tool or a Ladder
One of the biggest challenges of this task is when you live in a high-rise condo unit and your windows are too hard to reach. If this is your situation, you need something safe and stable for access.
You can opt for a ladder that’s tall enough and placed on a level surface. Make sure it’s stable enough to hold your weight and have someone hold the base for extra support to prevent it from tipping over.
Alternatively, a specialised window cleaning kit for high-rise condos is also recommended. These kits typically include a long handle with a squeegee and scrubber specifically designed for tall or hard-to-reach windows. For safety, read the instructions carefully before you start cleaning.
The safest option, however, is to hire a professional window cleaning service with the right equipment and training.
Clean Your Window Tracks
Image source: The Spruce
A lot of homeowners often focus way too much on cleaning glass windows that they end up neglecting window tracks. Even if your windows are squeaky clean and the view outside is breathtaking, looking down on window tracks filled with dust and debris can take away the joy.
Take note of the following steps you should take:
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool attachment to clear loose debris from the tracks.
- Once done, take your spoon and generously sprinkle baking soda all across the window track. Make sure you cover all the small gaps and corners since that’s where most dirt and debris tend to gather. Let the baking soda sit for a while.
- Make a cleaning solution by mixing equal amounts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap and give the bottle a good shake. Once done, spray it onto the baking soda and ensure the entire window track is evenly covered with your cleaning solution.
- If the mixture is bubbling, grab a toothbrush and scrub the caked-on dirt away. You can also use a toothpick to remove dirt in tight spots that the toothbrush can’t reach.
Debunking The Most Common Window Cleaning Myths
While some still prefer to hire window cleaning services to get the best results, others do the chore themselves to save money. Besides, all you have to do is grab a few tools, choose the best green cleaning products and start swiping away, right? On the surface, it seems easy to get everything right and achieve a streak-free window.
The problem is, some homeowners are unaware of the most common window cleaning myths. Keep in mind that as times evolve, products and materials change too. What was effective before might not be now, and sometimes could even cause problems.
Let’s examine and debunk these window cleaning myths below:
Myth # 1: Newspaper is a Good Material For Polishing Windows
Several decades ago, people used newspapers to clean windows since they believed that the ink used was effective in getting rid of streaks. This may have been true—newspapers back then were cheap, absorbent and dense.
But due to cost-saving initiatives, newspapers became a lot thinner, making them practically useless for window cleaning. Moreover, the ink from the newspaper can discolour your UPVC frames and rub off on aluminium or woodwork.
Your windows will just appear dirtier than before. Isn’t that counterproductive?
Myth # 2: Rain Effectively Cleans Windows
It’s not shocking that some people find it unnecessary to clean windows on rainy days because it seems pointless. However, this isn’t entirely true.
Sure, a good rainstorm can slightly make your windows a bit clearer and cleaner. But when there’s a buildup of bird poo and pollen on your windows, rain mixes with these substances and makes dirt more noticeable.
Additionally, rainwater leaves mineral deposits on the glass which makes it look cloudy and streaky.
Myth # 3: No One Notices Dirty Windows
If the dirt and dust on your windows are spread out evenly and you don’t expect them closely, you might not really notice how dirty your windows are. However, when the sun hits the window at a certain angle, any dirt becomes visible as a hazy layer that only accumulates over time.
What’s more, dirty windows can block natural light, potentially affecting your health and well-being.
Myth # 4: It’s Okay To Choose Pressure Wash Windows
It’s true that pressure washing can make window cleaning a lot easier and simpler. However, although pressure washing can be efficient in cleaning a window’s exterior, it’s important to do it properly to prevent potential damage.
Using this cleaning method incorrectly can lead to chipped, cracked or shattered glass in extreme cases. What was once a dirty window can be completely broken in an instant, leaving you with a major headache and a huge replacement bill.
Pressure washing can also push water into the window frame, resulting in mould growth and water damage.
Myth # 5: Hiring a Window Cleaning Service Isn’t Worth The Money
We understand that doing the job yourself is a more cost-efficient option than hiring a window cleaning service in Singapore. Yes, it might work in some situations, especially if you live in a small house with simple windows. DIY will always be your first choice.
For people who live in high-rise condos or multiple-story houses, having a professional window cleaner by your side is worth the investment. Window cleaners possess the right knowledge, experience and equipment to clean glass windows efficiently and effectively.
Here are some of the benefits of hiring a professional window cleaner:
- It prolongs the lifespan of your windows.
- Getting your windows professionally cleaned makes the cleaning process faster and safer.
- It drastically improves curb appeal.
- Hiring a professional window cleaner helps you save time and energy. Instead of spending your hard-earned rest days removing dirt off your windows, you can focus on things that truly matter to you.
This means that you also reduce the risk of injuries and avoid spending extra money on cleaning tools. You won’t have to pour hours and hours of your day manoeuvring around tight spots just to achieve the best results.
How Often Should Your Glass Windows Be Cleaned?
One of the most common questions homeowners ask is: how often should glass windows be cleaned? When is the right time to hire a professional window cleaner to get the job done?
The general rule of thumb is to clean your windows at least once or twice a year, including window screens. However, when to arrange window cleanings will depend on your location and how prone your windows are to getting dirty.
Always consider environmental and climate conditions, such as:
- If you’re renovating or remodelling your home
- When there’s ongoing new construction nearby
- If your surroundings have abundant trees and pollen
- If you live on a busy street
- If you’re in a region prone to strong winds
If any of these situations resonate with you, you should clean your windows more often.
For commercial properties like retail establishments and restaurants, it’s advisable to have your windows cleaned more often—once a month, to be exact.
Due to higher foot traffic, commercial property windows tend to accumulate dust, grime and handprints. For restaurants, bi-monthly cleaning might be preferred to ensure customers have a pleasant dining experience without being distracted by dirty windows.
Dirty streaks, fingerprints, water spots and smudges—these are the culprits of dirty windows. They obstruct natural light and beautiful views, reducing the warmth you and your space receive on a daily basis.
And if you ever plan on selling your home one day, having unclean windows can deter potential buyers from considering your property. Keep in mind that crystal-clear windows are a sign that the home has received proper attention and care.
Might as well learn how to clean glass windows while you’re at it, right?
Windows are an investment, and like any investment, you reap what you sow. We assure you that if you make window cleaning a priority, your home will remain as beautiful as it is when you first bought it.
There’s no shame in asking for help. If you feel unsafe when doing window cleaning, let our team of cleaning professionals do the work for you. Our cleaning services include spring cleaning and post-renovation cleaning that will keep your windows in good condition: streak-free, shiny and crystal-clear.
Ready to let the precious sunlight in and enjoy the scenery outside without dirt blocking your view? Book a service with us today!
How do I properly clean glass windows?
To properly clean your windows, here are some tips you should consider:
- Pick the right weather.
- Work from top to bottom.
- Use a good-quality squeegee.
- Use a stable ladder for hard-to-reach and large windows.
- Don’t forget to clean your window tracks.
What should I avoid when cleaning my windows?
When cleaning your windows, you should avoid using a newspaper for polishing and purely depending on rain to wash away dirt. You should also refrain from pressure washing your windows since it can easily shatter the glass.
What is the best way to clean windows without streaking?
For a streak-free shine, wipe in horizontal and vertical strokes. Grab a damp cloth to wipe away the remaining streaks.