Tips And Tricks For Streak Free Windows
There are so many opinions on the best way to achieve shiny, streak free windows.There are extra strength or improved formulas for glass cleaner everywhere, that have only varied slightly in success. DIYers will tell you to make your own solutions with recipes comprised of small amounts of ammonia or vinegar diluted with water that clean just as well as comercial products.
Sometimes black and white newspaper or a cloth diaper are recommended to add shine without leaving behind cloth or paper towel particles on the glass. However, there is a tried and true method that has been overlooked.
According to professional window washers, all of the above is too complicated for a simple, streak free job. There are too many ingredients and concerns (not to mention potential amonia related health hazards) involved. What do the pros suggest?
2 simple household ingredients:
- Dish Soap (small amount)
- Water (a bucket’s worth)
and, 4 easy to use tools:
- Soft Window Scrubber
- Old TShirt/ Soft Lint Free Cloth
That’s it. We get so caught up in chemicals and advanced methods, that we forget the old adage, “Less is more.”
Here’s what you can do to achieve clean, sparkling, streak free windows with ease.
- Mix a few drops of dish soap in a bucket of cool water and gently mix.
- You really shouldn’t worry about suds showing up, there shouldn’t be enough dish soap in the water to create a ton of them. If there is, then you’ve put too much in and may have a problem with soap residue if you don’t water the solution down some. There should only be enough soap in the bucket to help the scrubber cut through the tougher spots.
- Take the scrubber, and dip it in the bucket letting it take up enough water to soak the window area you are working on, and wet the window with it.
- Take your dry squeegee and, starting from the top, begin swiping away the water in long continuous streaks, always overlapping a bit with the previous area to make sure everything is covered. There are a few different methods of how to do this (see below), but ALL of them will start at the top to avoid problems with dripping.
- It’s really important that your window stay wet, not just damp, when you are getting ready to squeegee it, or you will end up creating streaks.
- It is also very important that you wipe off your squeegee between swipes. A dry squeegee means a happy window.
- Once you’ve squeeged off the window, take a dry part of your tshirt or cloth, and wipe the edges around the window to take care of any residue left behind.
Additional Tips and Techniques:
- When using a squeegee, along with keeping it dry for every swipe, there are a variety of methods used to achieve the desired streak free effect.
The “S” method:
Starting near a top corner at an angle, place the squeegee and swipe up so that one end is in a top corner, and then pull across the top. Gently twisting your wrist, turn the squeegee and swipe back in the other direction continuing until the bottom of the window. The trick here is to never let your squeegee lose contact with the glass.
Top To Bottom:
Begin in a top corner with a horizontal squeegee and pull directly down to the bottom of the glass. Dry the squeegee, move over, overlapping slightly with the first swipe, and continue the same motion until the window is done.
- When choosing your tools, bigger is not always better. If your tools are bigger than the glass area you want to clean, it’s going to make cleaning that area much harder than it needs to be.
- The ideal time to wash a window is when it’s cloudy or the sun is not directly on the glass causing the water solution to dry faster than you can get to it. Try early morning or mid evening for the best results.
- If you do chose to use newspaper to polish afterward, avoid the colored sections as the gloss generally used there will not benefit the look of your window in any way.
License: Creative Commons
Annalise Proctor is an avid blogger with a long-time interest in DIY and green household solutions. Among other publications, she writes cleaning tips and tricks for the Denver Cleaning Service blog, and experiments with concocting natural cleaners out of household items in her spare time.