Smudged or smeary, marked with fingerprints, bird’s mess, dog licks and dried insects. Are your windows in need of a good clean? If you want to do the job properly, read our 8 tips to get shiny, streak-free, gleaming windows, direct from NZ’s window cleaning professionals at CMOS commercial cleaning.
Tip 1 – Prepare the area
The last thing you want is to be dragging dirt and dust around your windows, causing smearing and even worse, scratches. Clean around the windows by vacuuming and dusting around the corners and edges of window sills and the floor before you tackle your windows. Tricky corners? Use a wet cloth or a dampened cotton bud to get into tight spaces to expel the dirt.
Tip 2 – Make your cleaning solution
Rather than buying expensive shop sprays, make your own. Either add a few drops of liquid detergent to a bucket of water (the idea is that you don’t make the water too sudsy or it will prove difficult to remove from the window) or use vinegar. Vinegar is non-toxic and has anti-bacterial properties, so it’s safe for your family and pets. To make up a window cleaning solution, use an old spray bottle and fill with one cup of vinegar to one cup of water.
It’s always best to use cold or lukewarm water for washing windows. If the water is too hot, you risk the liquid evaporating and leaving behind a residue.
Tip 3 – Get the right equipment
If you want to do the job properly, arm yourself with the tools that get the job done first time (and make your workload lighter). As professional window cleaners, we use a sponge, a squeegee and a lint-free cloth. Buy a squeegee that is the right size for your windows. If you have small windows or individual panes, you can cut the squeegee to size. It’s also possible to buy squeegees on extendable arms if your windows are high or hard to reach.
Tip 4 – Use the right technique
Now that you have the right cleaning solution and equipment you are ready to tackle your windows. To avoid streaks, it is best to rub the windows with your sponge and cleaning solution first, making sure that you scrub at any stubborn dirt or marks. When you have dealt with all the dirt spots, use your squeegee and work vertically from the top of the window to the bottom. Each time you get to the bottom of the window, use your cloth to dry the squeegee’s blade. Repeat. When you have cleaned the entire window with your squeegee, you can then deal with the drips that have formed at the bottom. Wipe your blade and drag your squeegee across horizontally. Repeat with the next window.
Tip 5 – Cleaning inside
You can apply the same window cleaning technique to the inside of your windows as the outside. However, you will need to be mindful of drips and detergent puddling on the sills and floor which could stain woodwork or lift paint. If you have old towels, place them at the bottom of your window to catch any drips. Shake off any excess water or solution from your sponge and squeegee before use.
Tip 6 – Dry your windows
For gleaming windows, you will need to dry them after cleaning. Use a microfibre cloth, old cotton T-shirt, newspaper or coffee filters (unused) – all of these are perfect for drying off windows without leaving a mess. Avoid using paper towels, or regular kitchen cloths as these will leave a residue and undo all your hard work.
Tip 7 – Buff any scratches
Sometimes a scratch or scrape appears on your window. As professional window cleaners, we deal with these regularly. However, at home, you can use baking soda toothpaste and cloths to smooth out a scratch. Dab a small amount of toothpaste to the scratch and rub in a circular motion, wipe off the excess paste with a clean, damp cloth and then dry with another fresh (and lint-free) cloth.
Tip 8 – Unstick stickers
Whether it’s a business logo or one of your kids has gone rogue with Batman. It’s not too difficult to remove sticky labels if you have the right liquid solution, (which you might find in your fridge). First, get as much of the sticker off as you can using a plastic card or a blade (gently). Then, use olive oil, mayonnaise or vinegar and apply to the area, leaving it to soak in and lift away from the window. Rub with a soft, lint-free cloth.
About Us: At CMOS, our teams of window cleaning experts can deal with just about any window cleaning job – big or small, urgent or on a regular basis. Equipped with environmentally-friendly products, our team of professional window cleaners will ensure your business is seeing clearly.