Largely undervalued, windows serve a critical function in our homes.
They give us natural sunlight, construct visual access to the outdoors, and can incredibly boost your property’s resale value.
However, grubby windows can strip your home of this charm, reducing it to a dull and unwelcoming space.
Discolored by an accumulation of filth doesn’t mean a quick swipe with a moist cloth will suffice.
It’s paramount to employ specific cleaning agents that can successfully obliterate the stubborn stains and greasiness on them.
This guide will navigate you through the process of restoring filthy windows to their brilliant shine.
How To Clean Windows That Are Really Dirty
Sometimes, it seems like our windows actively conspire to collect, retain and spread grime.
The accumulation of dust, grease, pollutants and other unwelcome substances can leave windows looking anything but transparent.
Today, we’re going to let you in on the tips and tricks for tackling those really dirty windows.
Ready Your Cleaning Arsenal
Whether you’re dealing with a compact casement or expansive picture window, there’s no task too daunting with the right tools.
Gather your essentials – a microfiber cloth, squeegee, bucket of water, dish soap, vinegar (and window cleaner).
If you’re feeling particularly resourceful or eco-conscious, why not whip up your own window cleaner? A simple blend of vinegar and water or dish soap and water works wonders.
The Preliminary Clean
External windows bear the brunt of weathering and exposure to environmental elements; thus they tend to accumulate a gratuitous amount of dirt.
To clean really dirty windows efficiently, start by loosening that stubborn grime layer. Use a garden hose for an initial rinse-off; if this isn’t possible, a lint-free cloth soaked in water should do the trick.
Getting Down to Business
Next comes the rigorous part – the actual cleaning. Depending on your window’s design – multiple small panes or larger expanses – use either a sponge or a squeegee respectively.
Soak up your cleaning solution with the sponge (or squeegee), ensuring it’s well saturated but not dripping excessively. Wipe down the entire surface area of your window diligently.
Tackling high exterior windows can pose quite a challenge without ladders in your toolkit.
But worry not!
Attach your squeegee or brush to an extension pole or broom handle; voila – instant extended reach! Alternatively consider using modern gizmos such as magnetic sliders for cleaning outside windows from inside.
The Final Step – A Shimmering Dry-Of
Having worked this hard already; you’d want that sparkling outcome to show!
Use your squeegee’s rubber blade to wipe away remaining water from smaller panes vertically from top to bottom.
For picture windows use horizontal strokes starting at the top working downwards.
Ensure each stroke overlaps by a few centimeters and remember to wipe your blade dry with a lint-free cloth between each stroke.
This ensures constant contact of a dry rubber blade on the glass surface thereby ensuring that gleaming finish we all desire.
Why Wont My Windows Get Clean?
Scrub as you might, are your windows still looking a little less than crystal clear?
You’re not alone.
When it comes to cleaning windows, many people struggle to eliminate streaks and smudges.
But why do these stubborn spots persist?
One common reason could be that you’re using the wrong window cleaner.
Not all cleaners are created equal, and some are better at tackling grime and grease than others.
It’s also essential to pay attention to the ingredients in your cleaning solution; harsh chemicals may leave behind streaks or residue on your glass.
Another reason might be that you’re not rinsing thoroughly after washing the windows. Cleaning solutions need to be thoroughly rinsed off; otherwise, they can leave unsightly smears or a hazy film on your glass surface.
Last but not least, improper drying can also lead to streaky windows.
Wiping down your windows with a squeegee, newspaper or lint-free cloth will help ensure that the water spots don’t form lines or streaks as they dry.
How to Clean Really Dirty Windows Sills And Tracks
Window sills and tracks often go unnoticed in the cleaning routine of a home – until, that is, they begin to display a buildup of dirt, dust or grime.
It’s not just an eyesore – a dirty window sill or track can house unwelcome guests such as bacteria and mold.
But don’t be scared! We’re here to give you the rundown on how to restore their shine.
To start, the humble vacuum cleaner is your first ally.
Run it over your window sills and tracks, bidding farewell to loose dust and dirt. It’ll also serve as handy prep for the cleaning steps to follow.
Next up, it’s time to introduce your chosen cleaning solution.
You’ve got some flexibility here – a mild soap or baking soda with water works wonders, as does a classic combination of water and vinegar, or even an all-purpose cleaner if you prefer.
Spritz your chosen concoction onto the sills and tracks, showing no mercy.
Now let’s get down and dirty!
Arm yourself with a soft bristle brush or toothbrush – yes, you heard us right – which will act as your weapon against stubborn grime that has taken residence in your window sills and tracks.
Specialty window sill brush sets are also available on the market if you like having specific tools for tasks.
Follow up this battle by wiping away the dirt-busting solution with a damp microfiber cloth.
Don’t be dispirited by initial results; this may need repeating until you see those sills and tracks clean as new.
The final step in producing gleaming window sills and tracks?
It’s all in the drying.
Use a clean cloth or paper towel to minimize any chances of mold or mildew staking claim on these often-overlooked areas of your house.
How to Clean Really Dirty Windows Screens
Window screens are a bit like silent guardians; they keep out bugs, dust and various unwanted elements from entering through open windows, but often get unnoticed until they’re teeming with dirt!
Here’s how to treat them right:
Firstly, liberate your window screens from their frames.
This will usually involve popping out certain tabs or even unscrewing screws.
Once free, take them outside for a good old-fashioned cleaning session.
Start by giving them a gentle rinse with your garden hose using low pressure.
Too strong and you could damage the meshing.
Alternatively, a vacuum with a brush attachment is great for sucking up loose debris before you begin with the deeper clean.
Next up – it’s time for your cleaning solution: a mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner is recommended for this job.
Vinegar diluted in water can also be effective.
Mix it up in a bucket if you intend to dunk them or dispense it into a spray bottle for targeted treatment.
Armed with a soft bristle brush or sponge (even a microfiber cloth works well), scrub at those unyielding dirt patches until loose.
There is also the option of using specialized window screen brushes that have unique designs for tackling different areas more efficiently.
Once scrubbed within an inch of its life, use a clean cloth (paper towels will work too) to wipe off any left-over cleaning agent from the screen.
Depending on how dirty the screen was initially, you may need to repeat this step more than once until you have crystal clear screens!
After rinsing and getting rid of any surplus cleaner, it’s time for drying.
A fresh cloth or paper towel should do the trick here but if you’re pressed for time – or impatient – then setting your hair dryer on low heat might expedite matters!
Finally, it’s time to return those squeaky clean window screens back where they belong – snug inside their frames!
Make sure everything lines up properly and put back any tabs or screws that were removed at the beginning.
How to Clean Really Dirty Windows Blinds
You may not pay them much attention, but window blinds catch dust and grime daily.
A deep cleaning of your window blinds every now and then can keep your space fresh and clean.
Here’s how to do it right, even when the dirt buildup seems overwhelming.
Start by removing the blinds from the windows, taking them outside if possible.
To do this, you may need to fiddle with some cords or clips that secure these shades in their brackets.
Next, whisk away loose dust using a microfiber cloth or feather duster.
A soft paintbrush or a vacuum cleaner armed with an upholstery attachment can also be of great help.
Better yet, bring out your blind-duster tool; this little device is designed with multiple prongs that tackle several slats simultaneously – a real time saver.
Graduate to heavier cleaning by spraying or dipping your blinds with a solution of soap, all-purpose cleaner, vinegar or simply water.
A spray bottle will do for light dusting while a bucket is handy for heavy-duty tasks.
After application of the cleaning solution, comes scrubbing off any stubborn stains lodged on the surface of your window blinds using either a sponge, microfiber cloth or sock – terrific tools for getting at grime without scratching delicate surfaces.
For a more thorough cleanse consider soaking your blinds in a bathtub brimming with warm water mixed with dish soap for about an hour.
This will help loosen up any remaining dirt.
Afterwards, rinse off the solution under clean water and leave them out to air-dry naturally.
Alternatively, wipe them dry or use a hairdryer on low heat setting if you’re pressed for time.
Once they’re fully dried up, hang your sparkly clean window blinds back up into their rightful windows ensuring that they are correctly aligned and securely held in place with cords or clips.