So­lu­tions for clean­ing dirty win­dows

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Dirty win­dows are un­sightly, and they can pre­vent ben­e­fi­cial sun­light from en­ter­ing a home. Clean­ing win­dows need not be done ev­ery week, but it shouldn’t be over­looked com­pletely, ei­ther. While it cer­tainly may be a chore to clean win­dows, there are ways to make the task much more tol­er­a­ble.

Curb ap­peal can be very im­por­tant when sell­ing a home. Even a home with a per­fectly man­i­cured lawn and the new­est roof­ing and sid­ing can seem un­ap­peal­ing if the win­dows are dirty. Keep­ing win­dows clean re­quires a good deal of work. For the acro­pho­bics, clean­ing sec­ond-story win­dows can test the nerves. Hav­ing the right tools on hand and a strat­egy in place will make the job eas­ier to man­age.

Clean­ing win­dows

Clean­ing win­dows won’t nec­es­sar­ily be easy, but the fol­low­ing nine-step process can make the task less dif­fi­cult and time­con­sum­ing.

1. Choose a day when it is over­cast so you will not be blinded by the sun while clean­ing. This also helps pre­vent streak­ing. Be­gin by gath­er­ing what you’ll need to get the task done. Hav­ing ev­ery­thing at the ready will en­able you to move from one win­dow to the next. Here are the ba­sic sup­plies you will need: • clean­ing so­lu­tion

• cloth, news­pa­per or squeegee

• towel • spray bot­tle

• ex­ten­sion pole to reach high win­dows

• vac­uum

• lad­der or step stool

• gar­den hose

2. Take down and clean drap­ery or blinds when clean­ing the win­dows. Re­move the cur­tains so you will have an un­ob­structed sur­face with which to work.

3. Start with the in­te­rior side of the win­dows, as they are eas­ier to ac­cess. Place a towel on the sill to catch any drops so the sill or the floor will stay dry.

4. Spray a lint-free cloth or the win­dow di­rectly with the clean­ing so­lu­tion. The edges and cor­ners of the win­dow tend to ac­cu­mu­late the most grime, so be­gin by clean­ing those ar­eas first. Once they are clean and you will not ex­change dirt to the center of the win­dow, work on the mid­dle. Wipe the win­dows in a hor­i­zon­tal di­rec­tion to help al­le­vi­ate drip­ping.

5. To cre­ate a streak-free sur­face, some peo­ple pre­fer to use a squeegee to drag out any pock­ets of mois­ture for more even dry­ing. Be sure to wipe the rub­ber strip of the squeegee af­ter each pass on the win­dow. You may choose to buff out any other streaks with news­pa­per.

6. Vac­uum the win­dow sill and frame af­ter­ward to catch any dust and de­bris.

7. Re­peat the process for all in­te­rior win­dows.

8. Move out­doors and start off by spray­ing the win­dow with a gar­den hose to loosen any of the ac­cu­mu­lated grime. Use your clean­ing so­lu­tion to dis­solve the rest of the dirt. You may want to let it sit on the win­dow if there is stub­born grime. Re­peat the clean­ing process used in­doors for each win­dow.

9. If ex­te­rior sec­ond-floor win­dows are hard to reach, con­sider us­ing a lad­der and ex­ten­sion pole to ex­tend your reach. Up­per win­dows will not be scru­ti­nized as closely as lower win­dows, so you may have a greater mar­gin for er­ror. If the win­dows are sim­ply too high up, rely on a pro­fes­sional win­dow cleaner to get the job done rather than risk falls or other in­juries.

Mix your own clean­ing so­lu­tion

It may take trial and er­ror to find a so­lu­tion that works. Here is one recipe you may want to start with.

1 cup white vine­gar

1 1/2 cups rub­bing al­co­hol

2 drops of dish soap

Pour into a clean and empty spray bot­tle. Re­mem­ber: Never mix bleach and am­mo­nia to­gether to cre­ate a clean­ing so­lu­tion, as toxic fumes will re­sult.

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