How to clean windows like a pro

05/30/2014 3:09 PM

05/30/2014 3:09 PM

Don’t let dirty windows obscure your view of nature in its summer glory. Whether you do the job yourself or hire a pro, few home investments are as immediately satisfying as clean, sparkling windows.

Here are expert DIY tips that an Angie’s List research team gathered from window cleaners:

If your windows are standard glass, not leaded or stained, and they aren’t tinted, you should be able to safely use common window-cleaning products.

But you can always just clean with hot, soapy water and rinse with water and a small amount of vinegar to improve shine. Or combine a cup of rubbing alcohol, a cup of water and a tablespoon of vinegar.

For glass that’s cloudy, try straight ammonia. (Don’t combine vinegar and ammonia, as they cancel each other out.)

Good wipe-down materials include paper or microfiber cloths and newspapers. Avoid plain cotton towels, which will leave behind lint.

For cleaning hard-to-reach outside windows, consider an extendable tool with a telescoping handle that has a soft scrubber on one side and a squeegee on the other. Spray the scrubber with cleaning solution, clean the window, and squeegee to remove the cleaner.

To more easily see streaks, wipe the inside of glass in a different direction than the outside. For instance, go side-to-side on the inside and up and down on the back.

If you would need to use a ladder to clean windows, you may want to hire a professional. Expert window cleaners also have supplies to more readily remove paint, glue and other material from glass, plus experience in cleaning other window components and dealing with window problems.

Before you hire a window cleaner, make sure the company has positive reviews on a trusted site, is appropriately licensed and insured, has proven experience, and is willing to provide a free estimate.

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