Window cleaning tutorial

When I was in graduate school, I cleaned my apartment a lot. I am pretty sure that I left it about 500 times cleaner than when I moved in. One day I got especially motivated (and by motivated I mean I was procrastinating on writing a paper) and decided to clean my windows. I vacuumed, scrubbed, and wiped them down until they were super shiny (as shiny as you can get for old apartment windows). Then I decided to go out back and clean the outside of the windows. My apartment backed up to a heavily wooded area (and right down the street from a noisy frat house; yeah for me!), and so when I was rinsing down the windows I found a very (VERY) large spider had been hanging out right above my head as I had been leaning out the window cleaning earlier. Needless to say when he (or she, I’m not sure, I didn’t ask) dropped down I ran screaming around the building, and didn’t bother to clean my windows again.

Now that I’m all grown up and such, I spring clean our windows once a year, in order to avoid the build up of lovely spiders searching for a habitat. I have been doing this for awhile, but on a whim decided to share my “ahem” crazy cleaning habits for windows.

So on first glance at any window in my house it probably looks decent:DIY Window Cleaning TutorialHowever, closer inspection reveals: DIRT, COBWEBS, SPIDERS! AHH!

IMG_2356 IMG_2355See, gross.

You really don’t need a lot to clean a window well. I use a vacuum, up and up cleaning wipes, windex, and paper towels. Make sure your cleaning wipes and windex can be used together (I don’t want to hear that you are passed out on the floor from combining bleach and ammonia…because I am sure you would call, right?) Continuing on…

IMG_2357Effectively clean. Effectively cheap.

IMG_2361And then find a big bunch of paper towels….the ones that have been stolen by your one year old will work well.

Here are my steps:

Step 1: Vacuum

IMG_2366I vacuum the exterior of the window, any blinds, and if you have machine washable curtains throw them in to wash. Then you want to open up your window and vacuum out as much of that dirt I showed before as you can. Don’t forget to vacuum the underside of the window. Then you want to remove the storm screen (if you have those):

IMG_2364And vacuum the screen and use a wipe along the edges (shown here). I have also gotten really ambitious some years and will put all the screens on the driveway at the same time, then I hose them off, clean them with cleaner, hose them off again and let them sit in the sun until they are dry.

So once you remove the screen, I then spray the bottom tray of the window with windex and shut it to let it soak for a few minutes will I clean the screen. Set the screen aside (you won’t put it back in the window until you are all done!) then continue on.

2. Wipe the frame and all plastic parts of the window with several up and up wipes. This helps remove the dust from the window that will be left after you vacuum.

3. Windex spray the window (while it’s closed) then wipe it down.

4. Then if you have fold in windows, I open the window and clean those:

IMG_2367This is what I’m talking about.

5. Then set that back in place and focus on cleaning the window tray. I use quite a bit of windex for this part and I usually use some cups of water to flush out the rest of the dirt. Then I shut the window and go outside to clean the exterior.

6. Clean the exterior window. So you can hose it down first (make sure your window is closed!), which helps get off the exterior dirt. Then you just clean as you usually would, making sure to get the edges and sides of the window are wiped down as well.

7. Then go back inside and check your work. Once I am satisfied there is no dirt or streaks, I put the storm screen back in place and lock the window back up. Put the curtains back up and tada, you’re done!

DIY Window CleaningIt doesn’t look much different, does it? But it will make a huge difference to you, and it helps cut down on the dust and dirt in your house.

Some tips:

1. Make sure you clean the windows at times when the sun is not right on the window, it will be hot and nearly impossible to do it without being blinded by the sun if you try to clean a window that the sun is shining right on.

2. I usually do a room every few days over the course of two-three weeks. I try to get it done before it gets to hot, but I NEVER do it right when there is a bunch of pollen in the air. That’s just asking for an allergy attack in our house, HA!

Disclaimer: All tips and steps are my own for my vinyl, double hung, windows. You need to check the type of window you have before you use any particular cleaning products on them…and I am not endorsed by Target, or Windex, or paper towel stealing babies.

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