You know I love cleaning, and there’s nothing like squeaky clean windows! Now that summer is truly upon us, I know there’s no more rain in the forecast for several months, so it feels good to shine those windows up and enjoy those summery views.
Window cleaning can be a struggle, they can turn out full of streaks, and the process can create a lot of wasteful paper towels. But, as someone that ditched single-use towels years ago, I’ve found a technique that uses no waste and is 100% streak free! I also use this trick on my mirrors, too.
Curious to see my tricks of the trade? Watch the video below!
Clean With Me Video
The video is the best part of this whole post - the foster puppy antics alone are worth watching! Then, scroll through for my step-by-step guide.
Here’s how I like to clean my windows:
Turn on music or a podcast - This is always the first step of all of my cleaning projects. I can’t clean without some good tunes or a captivating audiobook or story. I pop these in my ears before I even gather my supplies, then I crank my latest monthly Spotify playlist.
Hose down the exterior of the house - Before focusing on the windows, I like to use the opportunity to clean the muck off the walls and get the cobwebs out of the eaves. I chose not to use my pressure washer for this because one wrong move and I can break my windows with the powerful jet stream. So, a garden hose does the trick. I start from the top and work my way down - it’s so satisfying to watch the grime slide down the walls. Do a light spray of water over the windows to rinse off the muck and clear the spider webs in the corners and off the sill. Obviously, don’t do this when you wash the windows on the interior - but all of the other steps apply to washing the inside of the windows, too!
Wipe drips from inside - Our old windows aren’t perfectly sealed, so some water inevitably gets inside when I go to town with the hose outside. Head inside and wipe everything dry. Or, have an assistant (in my case, Ross) wipe the insides after you spray each window.
Gather supplies - Grab a rag, a stepladder, a bucket, and a mild plant-based dish soap. Then the trick to my streak-free shine is a squeegee and the trick to not using wasteful towels is a reusable cotton rag, sponge, or washer thingy. Note that I have this combo squeegee and washer, but I wouldn’t buy that kit again because the scrubber is microfiber based which is a plastic (ew) - I’d recommend you buy just a rubber and metal squeegee and wash with a sponge.
Make detergent - I use a mild plant-based soap to clean the grime off the windows, but I use very little. Watch the video to see that I put a button-sized droplet in my tray. Then, foam it up with some water, and you’re ready to dunk the sponge/scrubber/rag and spread on the windows. There is such a thing as too much soap, so err on the side of nearly no soap.
Suds up the windows - Starting from the top down, apply the detergent on the glass or anywhere that has dirt. I pay attention to the sill and the tops of the grilles where dusk collects. Even a strong hose won’t get the grime off, so that’s where the sponge and the soap come in. If you went crazy with soap, you can choose to rinse the soap off with the hose.
Wipe the drips - Before drying the windows, I like to use a dry rag to wipe the tops of the window frames where water could drip onto a freshly cleaned window.
Squeegee - This is the fun part. Starting from the very top, use the squeegee to take all the soapy water off the glass. I also like to use the squeegee on the wood window frame if there’s a lot of water droplets or soap. But, focus it on the glass because that’s where it really takes your windows from filthy to fancy. I like to wipe the squeegee dry between each stroke, so you can use the rag, but I often just use my pants and drag it across my hip. You can see me doing this pro move in the video.
Wipe remaining water - If there are a few spots where water has pooled or could potentially drip on your clean glass, wipe ‘er up with the rag. I was in a sunny part of the house on a hot, dry day, so my exterior walls dried up quickly. But, you don’t want water to sit around in a spot where it won’t be able to drip away or dry off, so help your house out with a quick wipe.
Repeat on exterior windows - Do the steps over and over for all of the windows around the house.
Do steps 4-9 on the inside - I do the same technique on the inside of the windows, and even on my mirrors. Except, I don’t use the hose, and I wring out my sponge so I’m not using as much water that could drip on my floors or muck up my interior finishes. This is when I’m more careful with the rag post each squeegee streak.
Launder - Wash the scrub brush/sponge and the rag then reuse again! This is how we do low waste - say “no” to paper towels!
Admire - Sit and look out the windows that you wondered how you let get so dirty in the first place.
Those are my steps for window cleaning! I left out the extra steps I did for my foster dog that I did in the video, but it’s worth seeing her have fun with the hose, so make sure to watch the video - click here if it didn’t load previously. Pretty please subscribe to my YouTube channel, too!
Pin the below image to remember my tricks of the trade: