With brighter weather imminent, searches for “clean windows” are up by 23% since last year, and 12,000 people have Googled “how to clean my windows” in February alone.
After taking rain, snow and sleet over the last six months, windows across the UK will need a sprucing up, but what are the best ways to clean them inside and out?
Jade Oliver, showroom stylist at Express Bi-Folding Doors has pulled together her top five must-follow tips to help windows recover from the winter and make them crystal clear for the spring.
From hoovering to using vinegar and tips on how to get rid of pesky streaks, Jade has shared her secrets after achieving professional standard results at showrooms and houses across the country:
Taking off the top layer
Inside and out, there will be dirt on windows all over the home. It’s tempting to spray each area with hot soapy water immediately; however, this will make the dust stick to the glass, and you’re simply moving it around rather than removing it.
Use a duster to loosen any dust particles first, and then try gently vacuuming with the bristle attachment to avoid scratching the surface. Finally, to get into tougher nooks and crannies, such as the corners and rims, work in a feather duster to manipulate the grime.
Timing is everything
Not only is spring a good time to refresh windows after a long winter, but it’s also the optimum time to get the best cleaning results. Cleaning windows in winter is dangerous and can also add frustration as the windows will soon require another cleaning.
They must be cleaned once or twice weekly to maintain them to a high standard. In the summer, the direct sunlight can make the job frustrating and reveal streaks, so we’d recommend making the most out of spring. The weather is mild, so there isn’t always a risk of rain, the sun won’t affect the finish, and they can be cleaned less often. Start monthly until the summer, then up to bi-monthly if needed.”
The secret sauce
There is another ingredient to include: hot soapy water and a squeegee for a squeaky-clean finish. The acidity of white vinegar helps remove the waxy layer caused by cleaning products. This film is a magnet for streak marks, so adding a splash of white vinegar to your cleaning routine will help remove them. Mix equal parts white vinegar and hot water for the ultimate budget-friendly window cleaning spray.
Those pesky streaks
No matter how clean the window is, water marks and streaks can make them look scruffy. Although using an unscented and uncoloured glass cleaner is essential, the key ingredient is the cloth. Using an old rag, duster, or newspaper will only spread the spots on the glass, whereas a microfibre cloth folded correctly will do the trick.
Ensure it’s folded over at least once, so no oils from your skin make their way through the material and smear on the glass. The small fibres in a microfibre cloth will absorb whatever they come in contact with. Ensure the distance between your hand and the window by folding the cloth and scrubbing from left to right. Rubbing in circles will create a static that dust can stick to.
Outside can be a stretch
If you don’t want to hire a professional cleaner or live in a flat, you can try to clean your windows from the inside. Both sides of a window need to be spotless for the best results; leaving one side dirty will result in a poor finish; however, safety is paramount. If you can clean from the outside, extendable products are key here. Rinse the windows with a hose and use an extended mop with hot, soapy water (and white vinegar!).
Lean into the mop and let your body weight apply the correct pleasure to rub off the dirt. Use an extended scraper to remove any excess liquid to avoid streaks. If you a cleaning from the inside, for safety, we’d recommend using a magnetic window cleaner, so you don’t have to lean out too far and clean it as if it was inside.