You’ve invested and replaced your windows, now make the most of them! The old method of glass cleaner and newspaper is “out the window,” but we’ve got pro tips on keeping your views crystal clear. We sat down with local window cleaning expert Jim Lester of Sunshine Window Company. Jim and his team have serviced thousands of homes in the Kentuckiana area since their start in 1979. Here are his top window cleaning tips for homeowners:
Don’t Use Blue Window Cleaner | Do Use Gentle Dish Soap
That bright blue window cleaner in your cupboard is indeed one of the oldest cleaners on the market, but contrary to popular belief, Jim says it’s one of the worst things to put on your windows. Why? Because it leaves behind a waxy, streaky, and hard-to-remove film. Each time you clean your windows, that film builds up and spreads the dirt and dust, making your view even hazier.
Stay away from harsh chemicals like ammonia: they’re unnecessary, and they can be dangerous to work with. Instead, clean your windows with a solution of warm water and gentle dish soap (like Dawn). About one bucket of warm water to an ounce of dish soap will create a cleaner far more effective – and far more affordable – than the pre-packaged alternatives.
Don’t Use Paper Towels | Do Use the Right Tools
Paper towels are wasteful, streaky, and ineffective. Sunshine uses a tool called a strip washer, which is a soft cleaning sponge on a pole. Once you gently scrub the window with the sponge, remove the bulk of the solution with a high-quality squeegee. Finally, a microfiber or Turkish towel will give you a crystal-clear and streak-free finish.
Have you been cleaning your screens with the garden hose? Sunshine Window Company recommends cleaning your screens the same way you clean your panes! A gentle scrub with a strip washer and a rinse with the hose is much more effective than the hose alone.
Don’t Risk Your Safety | Do Know Your Windows
Cleaning windows can be dangerous! If you’re cleaning windows yourself, be aware of the risks for injury.
- Always have someone stabilize your ladder to mitigate your risk of a fall. Even professionals use the buddy system when working on high windows.
- Windows can be heavy. Many new thermal pane windows have latches allowing the sash of the window to tilt for convenient cleaning. While this can make things easier, these windows can also be extremely heavy and unwieldy. Improper tilting of sashes can cause damage to your window. If you have large, heavy windows, Door Store and Windows recommends you engage a professional to wash them.
Don’t Wash Too Often | Do Wash at The Right Time
Every house is different, and certain things can dirty windows faster, like construction, pollution, or pollen. Some of Jim’s regular customers have their windows cleaned yearly, and some twice per year, but any more than that is excessive, Jim says.
There’s no hard and fast rule for when to wash windows. Of course, if you wait until the dead of winter, your cleaning solution may freeze during the washing process. In the middle of summer, high humidity may make it difficult to dry clean windows. Some experts suggest waiting for a cloudy day, as the sun’s heat can cause your solution to evaporate, but Jim says Sunshine simply uses a bit more water on sunny days. In this area, many people wait until autumn, so pollen doesn’t settle on their freshly washed windows.
Don’t Wait to Book | Do Plan Ahead
During a professional window cleaning, experts recommend getting the inside and outside of the windows washed, so they can see what’s been done and do the most thorough job. At Sunshine, this includes washing the windowsills and screens. Trained professionals can thoroughly clean a full house of windows within just a couple of hours!
Springtime is Sunshine Window Company’s busiest time of year, as people prepare to host Derby, wedding, and graduation celebrations. If you’re going to book a professional cleaning appointment, make sure to book far in advance. During the spring, Jim is often booked 6-8 weeks out!
Window cleaning is an important part of enjoying your windows to their fullest, that’s why Door Store and Windows customers get a voucher for Sunshine Window Company with the purchase of eight windows. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your windows, there’s no better time. Contact us to get started today!