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Window - Washing Hacks: 7 Smart Ways To Get Sparkling Panes

Coastal Transformations
After months of wintry rain and snow, we’re all going to be glad to let some sun back into our lives. But that’s tough to do if the windows of your home are covered in grime. These easy window-washing hacks will give you sparkling, streak-free panes in no time. And you’ll be astonished at how bright and airy clean windows can make your living space feel.

7 smart window-washing tips

1. Choose the right time of day

The sun’s warmth can cause your cleaning solution to dry on the windows, leaving spots or streaks. Pick a time when the windows won’t be directly hit by the sun, or choose a cool, overcast day.

2. Assemble your tools

Forget paper towels or wadded-up newspapers — here’s what you need to do the job right:

- Square, soft-bristled brush with a handle (known as a counter brush)
- Good-sized, natural sea sponge
- Squeegees
- Strip applicator for picture windows (like a squeegee, but with an absorbent cloth instead of a rubber blade)
- Lint-free rags (such as cloth diapers)
- Chamois cloth
- Telescoping washer set for high windows (with a double-sided head featuring both a cleaning pad and a squeegee)

3. Mix up a grease-cutting cleaning solution

For the initial dirt removal, add a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid to a bucket of warm water (you don’t want too many suds). For the actual cleaning, most experts recommend filling a spray bottle with a half-and-half solution of warm water and white vinegar.

4. Prepare your windows

- Remove screens.
- Use the brush to sweep away dust, loose dirt, and cobwebs from the window frame and sill.
- Vacuum the dust from Venetian blinds using the upholstery brush attachment.
- If indoors, place a large towel on the floor below the window to catch any drips.
- If outdoors, rinse the windows with a hose.
- Wipe the window surface with a sponge lightly dipped in soapy water. (If you’re washing a picture window, here’s where the strip applicator comes in handy — its wide head covers a large area with minimal effort.)
- Rinse again with the hose.

5. Clean your windows

The technique here varies depending on the type of window, but a squeegee is your friend in all cases.

6. Picture windows

Since you’re dealing with a big area, the trick here is to wipe off the solution quickly before it dries.

- Squirt the vinegar and water onto the window and squeegee it off, beginning at the top corner (right for lefties, left for righties).
- Pull the squeegee to the opposite corner, reverse directions, and continue moving down the window in an S-shape pattern. Overlap your strokes slightly to prevent streaks.
- Wipe the squeegee with a clean, lint-free cloth between strokes.
- Touch up the edges of the glass with a damp chamois.

7. Multi-paned windows

Even small windows are best cleaned with a squeegee. If you can’t find one that’s the right size, you can (carefully) customize a larger squeegee to fit using a hacksaw.

- Use the damp sponge to remove dirt from the corners of the panes.
- Squirt the vinegar and water solution onto the pane.
- Pull the squeegee down the pane in a single motion, wiping after each stroke.

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