Tell me all about washing windows

I’ve got a terrible urge to wash windows. I’ve got seven regular-sized and 3 small windows in my kitchen-living-dining areas, and I want to take the storm windows off and wash all the glass, inside and out.

Thing is, I’ve never done this before (with the storm windows and all). I know how to take them off and get them back on, but I wonder things like:

Do I need to keep the storm windows in a certain order as I remove them?

Is there any particular cleaning solution which works best?

Should they sun-and-air-dry or should I use some kind of towel?

Should I only work with a few at a time, or should I remove all the storm windows at the same time?
I’m sure that there are a lot of other things which haven’t occured to me since I’m such a n00b at this.

Please educate me!

I have been in this house 15 years and haven’t done it since, but I’ve heard using newspaper as opposed to cloth is the way to go. Doesn’t streak, etc. Definitely don’t air dry them. You’ll have water spots. As far as any of your other questions, I’ll let someone else tackle them. I will warn you though, make sure when you move the storms up (if you do) that they are fully locked into place. When we built this house and I was cleaning all the factory gunk off the windows, a storm slipped down and slammed on my fingers. I gashed three of them. It was very bloody and painful.

My Mom just told me about a new trick she thought of.

For a good cleaning solution use a mix of water and car windshield wiper fluid. It’s made to work on outdoor windows, cleans great and doesn’t leave streaks.

If I ever clean my windows I’ll give it a try:p

If this is something you don’t want to do often (and who does?) consider buying window glass wax.

You wash the windows, then put this thin wax on a cloth. Wipe the cloth over the windows until you get a thin covering of wax. Let dry. Then buff the wax off. It’s much easier than it may sound and the windows will look fantastic and stay cleaner longer.

I think it’s Rain-X that’s the very similar product for car windshields. That might be cheaper, though I don’t know.

Whoa! Neat. I wonder, do regular home-improvement stores carry that, or somthing like it?

Possibly. I bought some at a local “general store” chain called The Andersons, but they have some weird stuff.

I’ve used tea and newspapers to clean an entire house. The tannic acid in tea cuts through a lot of the grime and newspapers work great to wipe off and dry the windows. Don’t know about the window wax mentioned but I use a wax on my plane that can be used on glass. When it rains it helps roll off the residue. I use to clean the computer screen at work with tea and it worked great (nothing added obviously).

I bought some sort of glass cleaner concentrate at Home Depot, a scrubber that can be attached to a broom handle, and a squeegee that also can be attached to a broom handle. I needed the broom handle and a stepladder to reach the upper-story windows.

I definitely recommend the squeegee. I wouldn’t even bother with newspaper (well, you could use it to wipe the squeegee off, I suppose.)

Clean windows with a warm water/vinegar solution, then dry/shine with newspaper. My Granma swore by it!!

We have a ton of windows here and salty rain, and they get really gross looking quickly. The best thing I’ve found is to get one of those squeegy/scrubber things that they have by the gas pumps at gas stations for washing windshields(some place like auto zone will have them and they aren’t expensive). They have a longish handle on them, so as long as you don’t have 2nd story windows you should be good. Then pour a couple of cups of vinegar and a splash of alcohol in a bucket of warm water. Scrub and squeegie. I can do 18 large windows in about 1/2 an hour with this method.

Thanks for the replies …

What about the inside? Use the same method?

(you can tell I’ve REALLY never done this before :smiley: )

I used to subscribe to Family Handyman, and they had a great step-by-step article on how to wash windows. I’ve done it this way for the past couple years and it works fantastic.

Ah, found it!:

The first time we washed our windows we were stunned by how much better our house looked inside. We were actually kind of appalled by how dirty the windows were before without us really realizing it.

If possible, clean the windows on a cool, maybe slightly cloudy day. You don’t want direct sun on the windows if you can avoid it, because it will dry the soap onto the panes before you have a chance to wipe it away. OTOH, if the day is too overcast, it can be difficult to see the dirt & streaks on the windows as you clean.

Aw, shucks. :slight_smile:

I am the vindow viper… damn, anyone remember that story?

I have a ton of windows on my house, and I live on a lake. I would do what this article recommends. If you watch professional window cleaners, that’s what they do. You can get an average sized window done in less than two minutes, once you get the hang of it.

I just mentally counted, I have 73 windows. I have to wash them about 3 times a year. Takes me about 2-3 hours total, inside and out.

Yeah, I’m a spaz, and I’m not paying $500-600 bucks 3 times a year for someone else to do it.

It all depends how high up the windows are ,to begin with. The degree of difficulty increases exponentially when a ladder and long handled sqeegees are involved. Washing windows looks much easier than done.
Decide what level of cleanliness you want achieve before you start. Seriously.
First rule of window washing;Do Not Use Soap on the Window Glass. Evah!
White vinegar,or ammonia. No Hot Water. (causes clouding on the cool glass.

I bought one of these these to help when washing the inside of car windshields. If you’ve ever tried it, you have to lean and twist all sorts of ways to reach the corners.

I also found it handy for doing house windows, but if you wash one that’s very dirty you’ll have the cloth pad dirty pretty quickly. But it’s good for bay windows and hard to reach places, gets into corners well.