Streak-Free Windows Cleaning: Tips & Tricks

by Sep 9,2023

If you’ve never cleaned your house’s windows, you probably don’t know where to begin. You might have questions like:

  • What tools should I use to clean my windows?
  • What cleaning solution is best for windows?
  • How do I clean my windows so they’re streak-free?
  • How is the process different for interior or exterior windows?

This short guide provides window cleaning tips and expertise to ensure you properly wash the windows on your home.

Window Cleaning Supplies: What You Will Need

Proper window cleaning starts with the right tools. Many think to use paper towels to wash their windows, but paper towels are ineffective, and can result in streaky or foggy windows.

Fortunately, you only need a few tools to clean your windows, and many can be found at any home improvement center. Window washing tools you will need include:

  • A rubber squeegee
  • Microfiber rags
  • A 5-gallon bucket
  • A sponge
  • Window washing detergent (or dish soap)

Pro Tip. For the best results, make sure your squeegee’s rubber is new. Over time, squeegee rubber will degrade and develop nicks and cuts, which will result in streaks. However, if the rubber looks dull, you might be able to get extra mileage by turning it over to expose a fresh new side.

How to Clean Your Windows: Step-By-Step

The process for cleaning interior and exterior windows is generally the same. Here’s a simple step-by-step process you can do for streak-free window cleaning:

  1. First, remove any dust, cobwebs, or loose dirt from the window frame and sill using a dry cloth.
  2. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a squirt of dish soap or a small amount of window washing detergent.
  3. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the soapy water and use it to scrub the window, starting at the top and working your way down. Be sure to get into the corners and edges.
  4. If there is stubborn debris or fingerprints, you may need to use a lightly abrasive pad to scrub the debris loose.
  5. Use a squeegee to pull and remove the water from the window.

Pro Tip. When cleaning inside the home, always ring out the cloth or sponge prior to applying detergent. Too much water can create a mess indoors. Additionally, when removing the water with a squeegee, a fanning pattern can help you limit the amount of water that runs off of the squeegee.

Streak-Free Window Cleaning Tips

A common problem you’ll run into when cleaning windows is window streaks. Streaks are unsightly and annoying. However, there a few simple tricks that will help you achieve streak-free windows and tough stains:

  • Try a Different Detergent. For tough stains or streaks, you may need to use a commercial window-cleaning solution or a mixture of dawn dish soap and water.
  • Dry Thoroughly. Streaks can be caused because there’s water left on the window. Using a squeegee with a fresh rubber will help you remove water and dry thoroughly.
  • Avoid Paper Towels. The majority of paper towels leave behind lint, which is visible on clean window surfaces. Microfiber rags or even a cloth rag are a better choice.
  • Start at the Top. By starting at the top with the squeegee, you’ll avoid water running down to an already cleaned area.
  • Buff Out Streaks. If you find you’re having trouble with streaks, you can buff them out with a soft, lint-free cloth. Just swipe over the streak and buff it until it disappears.

Having trouble properly washing your windows? Contact Clean and Clear today. We offer commercial and residential window cleaning in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Book an appointment today or request a quote.




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