When your windows are looking a bit dirty and streaky, you probably reach for the vinegar or glass cleaner, a few sheets of kitchen paper towel and get to work.
But this old favourite window cleaning method may not do the job you think it is. Vinegar is great for creating a streak-free look, but – shock horror – it doesn’t necessarily remove the dirt, grime and bacteria.
In fact, you’re probably just moving it around into the corners and edges. Which means a lot of wasted elbow grease.
Sure, going over them after they have been cleaned is a great way to make them nice and shiny, but it should be the finishing step as opposed to the only step.
How To Effectively Clean Your Windows
Professional window cleaners never carry around a spray bottle of distilled vinegar and water solution. They use good old soap and water.
You will need:
- Cleaning sponge
- Dish soap (such as Fairy Liquid)
- Window vacuum
- Microfibre cloth
- Window cleaner solution or vinegar
- Kitchen paper
- Before you start anything else, ensure everything around the window is clean, such as the window sills and ledges. Use a vacuum cleaner to rid any dust. You may also need to remove curtains and blinds to make it easier
- Fill a bucket with hot water, then add a squirt of dish soap to the water and mix. You want it to be a bit bubbly, but don’t put too much in as this could dry before it is removed so will create streaks
- Grab the sponge, and get to work. You can also use it to clean the frames, but be careful with painted surfaces
- Use the window vacuum to remove the water. Go from the top to the bottom of the window, and try to work as quickly as possible, so the water doesn’t dry
- If any water remains in the corners or frames, use the microfibre cloth to get rid of it
- For a finishing sparkle, use dedicated window cleaner or add two tbsp vinegar to a bucket of water and wipe with some kitchen paper (newspaper can leave streaks)
Tip: Do this on a cloudy day. You may think that sunlight helps you see the streaks easier, but the sun dries the water and cleaners quicker which can actually produce more marks and streaks!
If you don’t own a window vacuum, you can use a squeegee to remove the water in an ‘S’ formation instead. Should you think they’re a great idea though, we have reviewed some of the best window vacuums, including the household favourites Kärcher.