How to Clean Windows Effectively!


After someone pointed out to me that my patio door needed cleaning, I had not realised how much dirt and grime had accumulated on the panes of glass, both inside and outside, without being in a dirty environment.

The glass had gone from crystal clear to smeary, milky-grey in colour and obscured the garden view. As I could not see clearly through it, it was obviously time for a clean!

Top hung windows in Anglian orangeryImage of the timber Orangery at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2013 with very sparkly clean windows

From my own experience it’s a good idea to clean your windows and doors on a cloudy day. Direct sunlight dries the cleaning solutions leaving a streaky mess on your windows before you have had a chance to polish the glass.

Related: How to Give Your Windows a Spring Clean

How to Clean Windows

First of all get all of your tools and cleaning materials together to avoid starting the job and then realising that you are missing items of cleaning equipment, i.e. bucket, water, detergent, sponge, cleaning and drying cloths/clean rags  or newspaper, although this is optional.

  • Fill a bucket with warm water and add a small amount of the detergent of your choice. Remember that sometimes the chemicals in the detergents can be harmful to uPVC, wooden and aluminium frames, so always check the instructions and cautions before you start.
  • Remove any excess cobwebs, dust or dirt from the inside and outside of the windows with an old brush, soft broom or cloth.
  • You may need to use a garden hose and a brush or a cloth for those stubborn marks that just will not wipe away. Use a soft toothbrush or cotton bud/swab to clean the corners of your windows.
  • Clean the window frames thoroughly with a soaked sponge.
  • Soak your sponge in the bucket filled with water and detergent, and start cleaning your windows.  Wash windows from the top down to the bottom to prevent drip marks.

Try following one of these suggested methods of cleaning.

a) Start on the upper-left side of the window and make an s-shape downwards until you reach the bottom-right corner of the window. If you are left handed you may find it easier to start on the upper-right side of the window and then follow the s-shape downwards.

b) Start cleaning the window from the upper-left corner and drag the sponge straight down. Use a chamois or a dry rag to remove any excess water from the squeegee and start cleaning the next line until you reach the right side of the window. Wash windows from the top down to prevent drips.

Make sure that you rinse one window at a time, so that water spots do not dry on the windows.

Finally to give your windows that extra shine, polish with your dry cloths, clean rags or newspaper. The newspaper will leave a film on the window that is resistant to dirt.

We hope that you will have gleaming windows once they have been cleaned! Anglian Solaroof with Laura Ashley chandelier

Image of the wooden Orangery roof at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2013,
letting the sunshine flood in through the crystal clear windows.

How often do you clean your windows? Do you have any tips for us? If so please send them to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Anglian Solaroof with Laura Ashley chandelier

Image of the wooden Orangery roof at the Hampton Court Flower Show 2013 letting the sunshine flood in through the crystal clear windows.

Then it got me thinking about other dirty things around us that we use perhaps on a daily basis and found this list of things from Useful Info that might make you think twice before you touch something.

A toilet seat may not be as dirty as you think and there are dirtier things:-
– Kitchen sink 500,000 bacteria  per sq inch in a drain
– Light switch, 217 bacteria per square inch
– Door knobs, are hardly cleaned and are hands are the dirtiest parts of our bodies
– Computer Key board can be a health  hazard.
– Money 126,000 – 135,000 bacteria. This is why you should always wash your hands after handling money.
– Kitchen sponge, when you wipe a surface with a dirty cloth, you are transferring dirt over all the surfaces.
– Fridge Handle, clean regularly to stop germs multiplying and transferring to other things in the kitchen.
– House and mobile phone.  These contain more than 18 times more harmful bugs than your toilet seat.
– TV remote.  The changes are that it is handled by more than one person in your family.

Don’t be put off too much by the above list, just make sure that you wash  your hands regularly to clean away all those nasty bugs, and help to prevent the transfer of germs.

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