Cleaning Windows : How to Get Super-Sparkly Clean Windows

Are your house windows getting gross? Well we’ve got the article for you. We’ve done the research on how to clean windows in the best possible way and we’ve got the results to prove it.

how to clean your windows like a pro

We’re going to be showing you the most common window cleaning solutions as well as some unusual cleaning agents that you’ve probably never thought of. Additionally, we’re going to show you what tools and techniques you’ll need for a professional window cleaning at home. Let’s go!

Tools and Supplies You’ll Need for Window Cleaning

Let’s start with what tools and supplies you’ll need to get cleaning. Here’s a list:

  • Paper towels
  • Window squeegees (possibly different sizes depending on your windows)
  • An empty plastic spray bottle to hold cleaning solution
  • A razor blade with razor blade holder (we’ll explain)
  • A microfiber towel or cleaning cloth (optional)

The first item on our list is a simple roll of paper towels. You’ll need them for patting your window dry and cleaning up whatever water/window solution is left over.

Window squeegees are ESSENTIAL for a professional clean. A good squeegee eliminates the possibility of streaking, which is something you definitely don’t want on your windows. Typically, you can clean a window with one squeegee but if you have grids on your windows that are outside the glass, you might run into problems. We recommend spending a bit of money and buying one 8-12″ squeegee and then another 4″ squeegee to be able to effectively clean windows of all sizes, including those with grids.

Another essential item is a plastic spray bottle. We’re going to be focusing on natural window cleaning solutions that are eco-friendly and DIY. To be honest, they clean just as well as the name brand stuff.

It’s important to look for a quality spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle. The nozzle should be able to adjust for a wide, shower-like spray so that you can cover the whole window quickly. You should also be able to adjust the nozzle for more of a jet-like spray pattern which will be useful in flushing out the dirt from the corners of your windows.

Finally, you might want to consider using a microfiber cleaning cloth because it’s lint-free and it also helps to dry off the frame of your window quickly without having to use a ton of paper towels.

Now that you know what tools you’ll need, it’s time to talk about window cleaning solutions (mostly all-natural).

Window Cleaning Solutions and Sprays (with Recipes)

For this part, we’re going to stick with some eco-friendly cleaning solutions vs. their blue chemical counterparts. Natural cleaning solutions that you mix yourself are just as effective as using chemical window formulas and they’re also less expensive.

Below are some recipes for our favorite natural window cleaning solutions.

Vinegar and Water

This is a very easy recipe. Simply combine 50% white vinegar (you could also use apple cider vinegar) and 50% water in your plastic spray bottle. It’s very simple but it simply works well on windows!

  • 50% water
  • 50% white vinegar

Shake it up in the bottle and you’re good to go. If you’d like, you can also mix in a little bit (maybe 1/2 teaspoon) of dish soap and that will help diffuse the vinegar-y smell.

Rubbing Alcohol Mixed with Vinegar and Water

Here’s another good window cleaner recipe:

  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol)
  • 2 cups of water
  • A little bit of cornstarch (a Tbsp should do it)

Oddly enough, the cornstarch reduces streaking but that is optional since we’re going to be using a squeegee to completely remove any possibility of streaking.

Baby Shampoo Window Cleaning Recipe

Now here’s one that you probably have never heard of. It’s super simple and guaranteed to work great. In fact, this is one of the best kept secrets of the window tinting industry. When applying window tint (aka window film) to windows, they are usually using this mix. Note that this mix isn’t “natural” but it works very well on windows.

  • Fill your plastic bottle nearly to the top with water
  • Add about a tablespoon of baby shampoo (Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo will work fine)

That’s it! This is actually one of the very best window cleaners that you can use and your windows will also smell more like a baby after a bath than smelly vinegar.

No matter which of these homemade window cleaning solutions you use, you’re going to end up with great results!

Window Cleaning Process and Technique for Pro Results

So you want to clean your windows like a pro? Make sure that you follow these steps and you’re going to get amazing results. By the way, these steps are relating to one side of the window at a time. You’d go outside (if needed) and do the same thing.

1. Spray Down Your Window

This is fairly obvious but you need to get your windows wet before proceeding. Using your plastic spray bottle, spray down your window well. You may want to lay down a microfiber cloth on the window sill to avoid any water runoff onto your floor.

2. Get Out Your Razorblade

Ideally, you’ll want to use a standard stainless-steel razor blade with a holder of some sort to make it easier to scrape down your window. The reason why we’re scraping down our window is to remove any surface contaminants and stains. An example might be bird poop or tree sap.

Now to make this work without scratching your window, you will need some kind of soap in your window cleaning solution. For example, baby shampoo or dish soap.

Here’s a video showing how a professional window cleaner scraping down a window:

You want to run the razor blade in overlapping strokes across the entire surface of the window. You can do this fairly quickly and easily with a little bit of practice.

3. It’s Squeegee Time! Using a Squeegee to Clean Your Windows

After you’re done with the razor blade, give your window another spraying with your chosen window solution.

Here’s where technique comes in – you want to squeegee the water to ONE side of the window. This way, all the dirt and contaminants go to one side of your window vs. every corner of the window.

So after you squeegee all the water to one side of the window, adjust your spray bottle nozzle to the “jet” setting and spray down the side that you just squeegee’d all the water to. Spray that side starting from the top corner all the way down to the bottom to flush the water down to one corner of the window.

Now take your squeegee and squeegee that side from top to bottom on your chosen side. Use your microfiber towel or paper towel to absorb the rest of the water.

If you want to get a really thorough clean, repeat the process over again to ensure any dirt is completely removed.

4. Wipe Down the Frame and Trim of Your Window

Using your microfiber cloth, wipe down any over-spray that ended up on your window’s trim. After this is done, you should be left with a VERY clean and sparkly window.

In summary, here’s what you do:

  • Spray down your window with cleaning solution
  • Scrape down your window while wet with a razorblade making overlapping strokes across the surface area of the window
  • Use a good squeegee and push the water to one side of your window and then down into a corner
  • Wipe down the window trim

Solutions for Cleaning 2nd Story Windows

If the outside of your windows can’t be cleaned from the inside of your home (unlike most of our windows), you’ll need to reach them somehow. Here are some good solutions for this problem:

Using a Ladder to Clean 2nd Story Windows

If you can’t clean the outside of your windows from the inside, you might want to use a ladder. Since you’ll be working with several tools and using a ladder, you will want to have someone holding the ladder at the base to help out.

Using a Squeegee with an Extendable Pole

Many of the squeegees that you’ll find at your local home improvement store will have the ability to screw onto an extension pole like this one.

This will take the ladder out of the equation but you still have to wet down those pesky windows. One way to spray those windows down with window solution is to use a pressure washer with a cleaning solution reservoir.

Obviously, this method will also not allow you to scrape down your windows, unless you purchase a specialized window scraper that can attach to an extendable pole.

So you might be a little bit discouraged when it comes to ways to clean windows at height, however, that is why professional window cleaning crews are often costly to hire.

If you have Feldco windows, you really won’t have to worry as much since you can clean the outside of most of the double hung windows, casement windows and more from the inside of your home. Check out our video below for examples.

Are You Ready to Clean Your Windows Yet?

All of the techniques described above will work well on almost any kind of window including car windows and house windows (don’t forget about your patio door too!).

If you are just sick and tired of looking at your old windows and find that it’s not even worth cleaning them, make sure to get a free quote for some new, energy-efficient replacement windows today!

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