It never seems to last long enough, but open-window weather is in full effect across much of North America. It’s the perfect time of year to give your HVAC system a break and let the natural breeze send fresh air coursing through your home.
Why not make the most of this time by giving all your windows and screens a thorough cleaning before the heat of summer arrives? With these simple tips, you’ll make quick work of a job that can make a big difference in your view of the outdoors.
Washing windows isn’t rocket science, but it can still be a major undertaking depending on the size and layout of your home. If you have an especially large number of windows or live in a multi-story home where window washing would require a lot of time on a ladder, it may be worth the expense to entrust this job to professional cleaners. Check for reviews and call for quotes if you’re unsure you’re up to the task.
But if you do feel comfortable tackling this job yourself, you can skip the name-brand, streak-free cleaning solution. The best formula for most window cleaning jobs is a bucket of warm water with a few drops of dish detergent mixed in.
Using your homemade window cleaner and a sponge, scrub every window pane from the inside and the outside. The trick to getting a streak-free appearance is to use a squeegee to quickly remove the soapy solution. One swipe should do the trick on smaller panes, but for larger ones, stop often to wipe the squeegee clean with a rag.
Once your windows are scrubbed and wicked clean, finish drying them with a soft cloth. Ideally, do this task on a cloudy day so that you’re not battling the fast-drying power of direct sunlight while you work.
If it’s been a few years since you cleaned your window screens, you might be surprised at how much gunk has accumulated on them. This is because as dirt and grime stick to your screens, they can gradually give the appearance of a thicker gauge wire. When you clean this buildup, your window screens may appear so fine as to look invisible, dramatically improving the view from inside your home.
To thoroughly clean a window screen, you’ll need to remove it completely from the window. Use a garden hose to pre-rinse your screen outdoors, then use your dish soap solution and a nylon brush to scrub away those years of dirt. When it’s scrubbed clean, hose it down one more time and allow it to air dry before reinstalling.
Not Just for Windshields
Perhaps the best trick to keeping your windows clean is to prevent dirt buildup before it starts. And the simplest way to do this is to use a water-repellent automotive windshield treatment on all your exterior windows.
It’s important to fully clean and dry your windows before taking this step, and to carefully follow the instructions on the rain treatment you choose. But once this treatment has been applied, dirt, pollen and other particles will have a hard time sticking to your windows. Re-apply this layer every spring to make ongoing window washing a breeze.
Don’t take this time of year for granted. Enjoy your open windows now -- and when the heat wave arrives, turn to your local, licensed technicians for any help you need keeping cool for the season!