1. Take down the curtains and blinds To get easy access to the entire window, start by removing curtains and blinds from their fittings. If you can, take the opportunity to give curtains a thorough wash, or spritz with a fabric freshener. Use a dry brush or dusting attachment on your vacuum to sweep away any dust or cobwebs from around the corners of the windows and the windowsills.
2. Use soapy water Fill up a bucket with a simple solution of washing-up liquid and warm water, but avoid creating too many soap suds as these will leave further marks if they’re allowed to dry. Start by washing your windows using a non-abrasive sponge. Or, try a targeted windowcleaning liquid, but be careful as some formulas can end up damaging surrounding paintwork.
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3. Wipe off cleaner To remove soapy water from glass, use a clean squeegee to work from top to bottom in a reverse ‘S’ pattern. Periodically wipe the squeegee blade on a clean cloth to avoid smearing dirt around. Remove remaining water with a damp chamois or microfibre cloth and dry the windowsill. Avoid paper towels or cloths that might leave lint on the glass. For exterior upper-floor panes, it’s worth investing in a long, telescopic window cleaning pole to avoid reaching out too far of top-floor windows!
4. Try traditional cleaning methods If you prefer to make your own cleaning solutions, simply add two tablespoons of vinegar to a small bucket of warm water (this won’t kill bacteria, though). If your windows need tough love, add two tablespoons of household bleach, but be sure to wear rubber gloves. Buffing the dry glass with a few pieces of crumpled newspaper, using a combination of circular, horizontal, and vertical motions, gives a sparkling finish. Don’t rub too hard as ink may then smear on the frames.
5. Get the timing right You might think that washing windows on a sunny day is the ideal time, as the light makes it easier to spot smears. In reality, it’s best to aim for a cloudy day; otherwise the sun is likely to dry the glass too quickly, resulting in the dreaded streaks.
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