When windows become dirty or dingy, they tend to keep the light out. Sparkling clean windows will bring the light back in—and this can be achieved with just a few simple tricks. Many of these tips can be completed with items that are likely already in your pantry at home, and just a little elbow grease.
1. Prevent Dust from Building Up
When you discover that dust is a huge problem for your windows, use an antiseptic spray to keep it from building up. Be sure to clean the blinds prior to applying the antiseptic spray, like Static Guard.
2. Prevent Streaking
Use a squeegee made with a soft and smooth rubber edge. Start the squeegee 1 inch from the edge of the window, after you have dried the 1 inch edge strip with a piece of crumpled up black and white newspaper. This should also be done when cleaning outside windows.
3. Start With a Sponge
Remove excess dirt with soapy water, but it is important to remember that there should be as little suds as possible. When using cleaning solutions, take care not to damage the paint around the window. Rinse the sponge often, so that you are not smearing dirt around the window.
4. Get Rid of Mildew from Frames
Window frames should be washed with a detergent and bleach solution. This will work for gray or black mildew spots that can be seen on wooden window frames. To make the solution, mix 2 ounces of bleach with 1 ounce of laundry detergent, per one quart of water. Make sure that you wear rubber gloves for protection. Sponge the solution onto the spots and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with clean warm water.
5. Keep Shades Clean
You should be dusting your shades regularly with a duster, soft cloth, or the dust brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner. Both sides of the shade should be dusted, and when they become stained, they will need a more thorough cleaning. Remove the shade and place it on a work surface. Vinyl shades can be washed with a solution of 1 quart of warm water with ¼ cup of white vinegar. The blinds should then be rinsed off with warm water.
6. If Your Windows Get Dirty Quickly
Your home’s air filter may need to be changed if your windows become dirty quite quickly. Modern homes are airtight, leading to dander, pollen, dust, and dirt to become trapped inside of the home.
7. Clean Your Screens
Dirty screens will make the glass on windows look dingy. When this happens, remove them and wash them. It is best to wash them outside, using a soft bristled brush to scrub both sides of the screens using hot or warm water with dishwashing detergent. Lift the screens by the edges while holding it at an angle so that the screen is facing the ground. Against a firm surface, wrap the screen to shake any dirt loose. Then, rinse the screen off with a hose and then allow it to air dry.
8. Wait Until a Cloudy Day to Wash Windows
Direct sunlight does make it easier to see dirt on windows, but it also makes windows dry too rapidly, which will leave streaks on the glass. An overcast day will ensure that the windows stay a moderate temperature.
9. Buffing Your Windows
You should buff the clean, dry glass with a pad of newspaper that has been crumpled up. The newsprint will give the windows just a bit more of a sparkle and shine.
10. Extremely Dirty or Greasy Windows
Create your own cleaning solution by mixing two tablespoons of domestic borax or household ammonia with one gallon of water, and then rinse with a solution of two tablespoons of vinegar mixed into a small bucket of warm water. Dry the windows with a clean, lint-free cloth.