Q: I like to clean the windows in my house in the spring but it is such a messy time consuming job. I hate standing on the ladder with all that stuff dripping all over me, running down my arms, yuck. ………………………...Jesse, S
A: Spring! The most awaited time of year. We welcome the bright sun and begin to notice it’s time to clean the windows, all the windows. From the windows in the car to the big picture window in the living room. But how to go about cleaning them the best and fastest way? If you have a second story or older house with hard-to-reach windows, hiring a professional window cleaning service is often cost effective.
For those of us who want to tackle the job ourselves we can take advantage of a combination of the ‘old’ and the latest in technology to get the job done as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Equal parts vinegar and water make a good general cleaner for pretty much any window surface. Put this combination in a spray bottle and very lightly cover surface to be cleaned. Using a high quality microfiber cloth to actually clean the surface will leave a clean streak free surface. Follow up with a finer grade microfiber, called a polishing cloth, to pick up the remaining moisture on the glass. Glass is somewhat porous and ‘holds onto’ some of the water, possibly leaving streaks behind so the polishing cloth will guarantee that you will be happy with the results. Note: If the surfaces were previously ‘cleaned’ with other products there may be a remaining residue on the glass and it may take an additional cleaning to get the best results.
If you are using a high quality microfiber cloth ie: one that has fibers that are 1/100th of an inch thick you only need to use water to clean all your surfaces and do not even need the vinegar. (Check the online blog of this column for more information and sources.) Cleaning without products does not leave a residue on the glass so it stays clean longer. There is nothing left to attract the dirt.
These simple, low/no cost solutions for cleaning your shiny surfaces can be used all over your house. Don’t forget your mirrors, medicine chests, picture frame glass, shiny counter tops and your car windows. All cars, even those with non smoking owners, have dirty interior windows. Consumers Reports indicates it is a by product of the plastics used in manufacturing the automobile, which leaves a film on the inside of the glass. Use the microfiber to clean the glass and dash for a sparkling clean car.
A spray bottle of water and some cloths are a lot easier than using buckets of water and paper towels. Enjoy your nice clean windows as you welcome in spring.
PS: If you really are interested in efficiency and green technology, washing the windows in the fall makes more sense. The windows can take in more heat from the sun if the windows are clean, thus more ’free’ heat in those frigid winter months.