How to Clean Your Windows with or Without a Professional
Cleaning windows is not exactly rocket science but most people tend to outsource this job for the very same reasons. In other words, it takes time to clean windows and the process often involves working at heights, while the right equipment is needed to leave the windows with a sparkle.
On the other hand, there is a certain “knack” to cleaning windows and if you would like to take this on yourself, this is always an option. For this reason, we wanted to outline the best equipment and techniques for cleaning windows, and some common mistakes of dangers that you need to know about.
What Type of Equipment is Best for Cleaning Windows?
Depending on where you look, you will find an endless lineup of fancy window cleaning equipment with equally fancy names. Technopad and Smart-Microfiber Sleeve are two of the latest but there are literally hundreds of these contraptions in the online world.
At the same time, you can also find some pretty simple models on Amazon like the Ettore 8-Inch squeegee or the Ungur Microfiber Combo which also includes a sleeve. What’s more, they won’t cost a fortune and will at least get the job done in the short term.
Now, that’s not to say quality doesn’t matter but rather to explain how fancy equipment does not necessarily mean clean windows. In fact, no matter how advanced the squeegee might look, you will still end up with streaks and dirt if you don’t know how to use one.
As for what type of window cleaning equipment is best, here are some of the most useful items:
8-Inch Window Squeegee – Standard squeegee with a silicone rubber blade.
Window Scrubber – Mop or scrubber for cleaning the dirt off the window.
Adjustable Pole – Long pole on which you can place the squeegee or mop when needed.
Ladder – Sometimes there is no better substitute for a good ladder. But more on that in a moment.
Needless to say, you may not need a ladder for a one-story building and a telescopic pole can come in very handy for those hard-to-reach places.
What Chemicals Can Be Used to Clean Windows?
For many homeowners, some bundled up newspaper and a cleaning product is the best way to clean windows. In most instances, cleaning product can most certainly get the job done and these are most often designed to clean tabletops, ledges, mirrors and other surfaces in the home.
However, you might notice that many of these products are very aggressive which can seem rather unnecessary for cleaning most windows.
Vinegar – the Lesser Known Alternative
As you may know, vinegar is an incredibly powerful substance when it comes to cleaning carpets, walls and other furnishings around the home. However, most people are simply unaware that by mixing a quarter cup of vinegar in a bucket of water, you have a great solution for cleaning windows.
In case you might be asking yourself, vinegar is anti-bacterial and non-toxic which means it can clean germs without any negative impact on the environment. Vinegar is also very cheap but more importantly, the acidic nature of this vinegar is great for breaking down grime on glass surfaces. For this reason, it also leaves no streaks which makes it especially enticing for the inexperienced.
The truth is, no matter what equipment or chemical is used for cleaning windows, the end result is always down to technique. For this reason, soap detergent is most commonly used by window cleaning professionals who know that this solution is enough to remove most dirt and grim from a glass surface.
Caution About Using Ladders
Believe it or not, the HSE brought in legislation back in 2006 which stated that ladders should only be used for short-duration work. As part of this rule, the HSE stated that ladders should only be used when necessary and for low-risk situations.
In other words, ladders are not banned in the UK but this legislation was made for a reason.
You see, recent studies show that falls from a height is still one of the most common causes of injury and fatality in the workplace. In fact, the UK Ladder Association discovered that there were thirty-five fatalities last year which related specifically to ladder incidents. It’s no wonder so many “ladder safety” courses are popping up all over the country!
Anyway, the point is, many people underestimate the dangers involved with using ladders and this is especially true when cleaning windows. Think about it, climbing up there is one thing but then you have to maneuver and adjust while trying to clean a window high above the gourd.
About Telescopic Poles
As you can imagine, the above concerns are often avoided by using a telescopic pole. Unless the window is too high, you can use this pole to attach the squeegee or mop and keep your feet on the ground. That being said, the accuracy is not always as good and the outcome may not be as desirable.
Just so you know, we use ladders at Ebbsfleet Window Cleaners but we also have the necessary experience to use this equipment safely. We also use ladders only when needed and comply to all safety regulations when it comes to each and every circumstance.
7 Steps to Cleaning Windows for First-Timers
Whether you want to save money or spend some time in the sunshine, cleaning your own windows is always an option. At the same time, you will need to invest in the above equipment which will often cost just as much or more than hiring a professional. Either way, here are the basic steps involved:
- Set Adequate Time Aside
Unless you have experience, you can expect to spend most of the day cleaning both inside and outside the windows.
- Take Time to Watch Tutorials
Cleaning windows with a mop and squeegee looks easy and this is true – for professionals. That is to say, there is a definite skill involved and you might want to spend time on YouTube watching a few tutorials before getting started. Are we exaggerating? There’s only one way to find out!
- Practice, Practice, Practice
As you will find out, it takes plenty of practice to clean a window properly and this is partly why you will need a full day to do the job yourself.
- Move Furniture and Curtains Away from the Windows Dirty water can spoil curtains or blinds and the same can be said for furniture. Make sure you move these items away from the window.
- Wash the Windows Dip the scrubber (mop) in a bucket of soapy water and start cleaning the window. Put some pressure on the mop but no so much that the inside of mop pierces the fiber or scratches the window.
- Squeegee the Window
Using a squeegee is the trickiest part of the process and this step will decide the cleanliness of the windows. If you get this wrong first time around, start again. Likewise, if there is still dirt on the window after you use the squeegee, repeat step five and six.
- Clean the Window Sill and Frame
Make sure to clean up afterward with a cloth. Dirty water will stain the window frame and sill
As you can see, it really isn’t rocket science but you do need to have the right equipment and take time to practice with a squeegee in particular. We did not mention ladders above but the truth is, we expect that you will either do your own due diligence or contact a professional to take care of the job for you.
Last Minute Tips for Cleaning Windows
Don’t Wait – After cleaning a window with the mop, try not to wait too long before using a squeegee to wipe away the soapy water. When this water dries, it will leave marks – especially on a sunny day.
Do Buy Equipment – Unless you hire a window cleaning service, stop trying to save money by using a newspaper to clean your windows. Honestly, it’s just not the same.
Don’t Use Ladders – Try to use a telescopic pole where necessary and avoid using ladders. As professional window cleaners, we hear about accidents all the time and this is often why we are called in to do the job.
Do Be Careful with Blades – Most professional window cleaners will use a blade to scrape off the minor dirt that seems to be almost glued to the window. This is a great tactic but please, please be careful!
Don’t Use Harmful Chemicals – Do your bit for the environment and avoid using toxic chemicals. It’s true, some cleaning products should be used for certain scenarios but soap is enough for cleaning windows.
Hiring professional window cleaners in Ebbsfleet will not only save you money but also make sure that your windows get the attention they deserve. Besides, there’s also no point in doing half of the job so unless you have the right equipment, professional window cleaners are always the best options for accessing those hard-to-reach spots around the home.
Just so you know, Ebbsfleet Window Cleaners is a local service which covers Ebbsfleet Valley, Castle Hill, Northfleet, Gravesend and the surrounding areas.