American Janitorial Cleaning Services Association

How to Clean Windows The Green and Better Way

Clean windows enhance the ambience and beauty of a home or office. Here is the best way to clean them, using a more effective and safer method than dangerous commercial window-cleaning products. You can purchase everything you need at a Dollar Store.– To save money, preserve your home’s healthy environment, have it smell fresher, and to do a better job just follow these simple directions:

Cleaning the Inside of Windows: Fill a bucket with clean, cool water and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Place the removed window on a large bath towel to catch any spills. Before washing the windows, use a clean microfiber cloth or sponge to go over the surface of the window, starting at the top and working down to the bottom. Don’t forget to wipe down the frame as well, both inside and out.

1.                   Spray the window thoroughly with a one part vinegar and two parts water solution. (Or if you prefer, another option is mixing one capful of ammonia with two gallons of water.)

2.                  Using a clean, lint-free, cotton towel, paper towels, or a newspaper, dry the window completely. (If dirt or streaks remain, spray and dry again. (Dirty windows often require two rounds of spraying and drying.)

Cleaning Windows from the Outside: Outside windows require a bit more effort, due to having more dirt and grime. – Use the same method as for interior windows, except begin by spraying the windows with a hose if possible. This will cool the windows down and remove some of the grime.

Elevated Windows (Tall or multi-storied windows): There are window washing kits available that provide extension poles, sponges and squeegees. These are good for buildings that are 3 stories or less. — For any building higher than 3 stories, you will need a carriage, attached to a crane on the roof. — But here are directions for homes and smaller buildings.

For homes with standard window frames, it can be easier and safer to clean upstairs windows from inside the house. Most homes have double windows for the bedrooms. One window slides, and the other is locked in place. – The sliding window can be removed by lifting-up on it. Place it on a thick towel on the floor below the window, and clean both sides, and the inside of the other window. – Then for cleaning the outside of the window locked in place, use a two-sided squeegee with a short extension (like the ones provided at gas stations), lean out of the window and sponge and squeegee the other window. – Then, using de-ionized, distilled, mineral free water (found in most grocery stores), wet and squeegee the window again. (This will prevent water stains and leave the window sparkling clean, even without drying. But if possible, lightly wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth will make it even better.

How to Use a Squeegee: True professionals have a technique that is fast and thorough. Use the edge of your squeegee to clean the top and side borders of a window. Then start at the top and side of the window, moving your squeegee horizontally, back and forth, to the bottom. – But for novices it is easier to go from top to bottom straight down. Just create a clean border at the top for your squeegee to begin.

Window Screens: There is not much point in cleaning windows unless their window screens are also cleaned. – Take them outside. Raise one side to keep the screen from touching the ground. Rinse with plain water, then spray with a vinegar and water solution. Rinse again with plain water. Give them a shake to release trapped water, then let dry thoroughly before replacing the screens on the windows.

Hard Water Mineral Deposits: Some windows may be stained with mineral deposits that do not come off with the standard method of cleaning. This is when Lemon Juice comes in handy. Pour two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice into a spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with vinegar, leaving an inch at the top for distilled water. Leave on for 30 seconds and then wipe clean with a sponge.

If this method is ineffective, use the cleaning product called CLR (calcium, lime, rust). — But this is Not a Green product by any means, and it must be used with caution and sparingly.

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* If you are interested in starting a profitable cleaning business, please visit the American Janitorial Cleaning Services Assn. (

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