Caring for Your Windows and Doors
Regular maintenance helps keep your Marvin windows and doors operating smoothly. Check out our tips for cleaning, maintaining wood surfaces and painting.
Cleaning windows is a little like painting walls. It seems so simple that we’re inclined to jump in without taking the time to find the best way to go about it. Granted, both jobs are far simpler than building a garage or wiring a three-way switch, but a few basic tips will be a major help in achieving your window-washing goal: spotless, streak-free glass that maximizes your enjoyment of the views your windows provide. Here is how to wash your home’s windows the right way.
When to wash your windows
Windows should be washed once or twice a year, depending on how much exposure they get to dirt and other soiling elements such as tree sap and bird droppings. Spring and fall are optimal times of year to clean windows, especially in colder climates. Choose a time of day when the sun is not shining directly on the window. Sunshine exposure speeds up the drying of the washing solution, which can cause streaking or spotting, so only wash windows on cloudy days or when the windows are shaded. Because window solution dries quickly, even in the shade, work on just one window at a time. Don’t apply cleaner to multiple windows and then attempt to wash them all at once. This applies to double-hung windows too. Completely wash the top sash, and when that’s complete, wash the bottom.
Many people purchase sprayable window washing solution to clean their windows. These products are easy to use and effective, but you can make your own solution quite easily. The pros usually mix their own washing fluids because they are more economical and do not contain unnecessary chemicals. To make your own, simply fill a clean 5-gallon bucket with warm water and add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing soap. If there is extensive grime build-up on the glass, use a one-to-one mixture of white vinegar and warm water instead of the dish soap solution. Vinegar is an aggressive detergent that will not streak or spot.
Window washing tools
Your basic window washing kit should include a clean bucket, lint-free cloths (microfiber is an excellent choice), and a scrubber or large sponge. A 10-to-12-inch rubber-bladed squeegee with an extended handle can be a significant help in cleaning the exterior sides of your windows (avoid using squeegees indoors, as this creates excessive runoff that can damage your interior window trim). If you will be using a ladder to access exterior windows, fit it with a ladder stabilizer for safety and to improve access to the windows.