The windows in your home provide a window to the world outside; they also play a big role in the overall look of your home. If they’re dirty, they’re doing to disservice to your home and your quality of life. Whether you clean the exterior of your windows or pay a professional to do the job, you’ll probably still need to clean the interiors regularly.
To make this essential household task as easy as possible, there are a few handy window cleaning shortcuts you might want to try. They’ll speed up the process and make your windows shine.
1. Embrace the squeegee
The humble window squeegee isn’t just for outside. A good squeegee can remove dust and dirt without leaving unsightly smears behind. Always use clean water, and wipe the blade of the squeegee between each stroke. Once you’re finished, you may need an additional cloth to clean the window frames and windowsills.
2. Clean with coffee filters
Coffee filters are great at cleaning windows in a hurry. They don’t leave streaks behind, and when combined with a solution of white vinegar and dishwashing liquid, they perform miracles in windows — inside and out. People used to use newspapers for the same effect, but they can leave ink everywhere, including all over your hands.
3. Use a homemade cleaning agent
There are some very effective commercial window cleaners on the market — many of which contain hydrogen peroxide. However, you can get just as good results from a homemade concoction of your own. The simplest agent you can knock up in your own home includes just water, white vinegar and dishwashing liquid. A solution of two parts water, one part vinegar and one part dishwashing liquid will give you a surprisingly powerful cleaning solution. Put your solution into a clean spray bottle, and rub it in with a few coffee filters for a professional finish.
4. Go back to school
If you’re still finding that streaks are a problem, there is a clever trick of the trade that might work. Buy an old-fashioned school blackboard eraser from a stationery store. The soft, absorbent surface is ideal for picking up tiny dirt and grease molecules that lead to streaks. Simply spray your homemade cleaner onto the surface of the window, and rub it off like you’d rub chalk from an old school board.
5. Don’t forget the detailed cleaning
Even the tiniest of accumulations in the corners and on the edges of windows can lead to problems down the line. Once you’ve cleaned the main area of each window, perform some detailed cleaning with small tools such as cotton buds and toothbrushes. Finish off by rubbing the entire area down with a chamois leather.
6. Use the power of steam
The latest steam mop systems can be used as handheld cleaning devices, which makes them suitable for using on windows. There is often a squeegee tool specifically for windows, along with a range of accessories to get into tight spaces. The great thing about using steam is you don’t need cleaning agents, as the superheated steam cleans and sanitises at the same time. There’s also minimal water to soak up afterwards.
7. Homemade cleaner for blinds
Cleaning the surface of your windows isn’t all you need to think about. If you have venetian blinds, for instance, you might want to clean and dust them at the same time as you clean your windows. Just take a normal pair of kitchen tongs, and wrap both ends with a microfibre cloth — tying them in place with elastic bands. You can then simply grip the slats (like you’d grip a piece of food), and run the cloths along them, removing dirt and dust in the process.
You’ll never have to worry about streaks or stains again, as long as you’re prepared with these seven handy window cleaning hacks.