Cleaning your windows: A quick how-to

Cleaning a window can be easier than you might think.

In case you forgot, it's still Spring Cleaning season, and that means going over every inch of your house to get things looking good. It goes without saying that windows can be a little tricky to clean, especially in an older home. There's no need to dread this task, though: Cleaning windows might be easier than you think.

So the next time you have time set aside, roll up your sleeves and start scrubbing with these tips for making windows nice and clean:

1. Wait for an overcast day
Let's talk about the preparation behind the cleaning first. You might assume that a sunny day will help the windows dry faster. House Logic actually said that this isn't true. In fact, it recommended that you wait for the opposite and clean the windows when the sky is cloudy.

Why? Simply put, the sun can leave streaks on your windows when you clean while it's out. When there's no sun, there's less of a chance of streak marks getting left behind, which will ultimately save you some work. 

2. Try a natural solution
Vinegar is often thought of as the go-to home remedy for gross windows. While this can be useful, it's also important to mix it with water to dilute it properly. You'll want to have a vastly larger amount of water compared to the vinegar to help overpower it, though the exact measurements can change.

"You'll want to have a vastly larger amount of water compared to the vinegar to help overpower it."

You can also mix in dishwasher detergent to add some soap to the mix, House Logic said. This isn't just a way to add fortified cleaning power, but a greener way to get those surfaces shiny as well.

3. Get the proper height, but stay safe
For hard-to-reach windows, you essentially have two options: an extender or a ladder. You'll have to use your best judgment to decide which one is best. Either way, you should consider how much pressure you'll be able to put on the brush as you clean and where you can stand on the steps for the best access. Take your time and work slowly if you have to.

4. Use the right amount of water
This is another tricky part. Filling your brush, squeegee or rag with too much water will likely leave a huge mess behind to clean up, and no one wants that. You also should watch the angle of the cleaning brush and make sure you don't drip too much dirty water onto spots that are already clean.

Solve this by avoiding soaking up too much water in the first place. Have a drying rag ready, as well, to get the excess just in case there's overflow waiting for you to mop up. Watch for water on the floor around you as well as the sill and window frame, especially if you're up on a ladder.

"Have a drying rag ready to get excess water just in case."

5. Work in a smart path
Before you get to work, you should plan out how you're going to clean the window to leave minimum streaks. While you're doing this, you may want to move from one corner of the window to the other, as MarthaStewart.com suggested. 

Your goal should be to both clean the entire surface and overlap a little so there aren't any smudges. If there's one big or high-up window to tackle, you can get it out of the way first so the major work is done.

Like a lot of chores, you'll feel way better once this is over, and you'll even be able to see the results for yourself!

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