Aug 31, 2023

How to Avoid Streaks When Cleaning Your Windows


Cleaning your windows is fairly easy. Leaving them streak free? Not so much. Here are a few tips to help.

Think grabbing some glass cleaner and a paper towel is all you need to clean your windows? Think again. They’re two of the biggest culprits behind residual marks.

Want in on the secret to streak-free windows? Read on.

1. Dust Before You Clean

Dusting first prevents muddy layers from forming once you add liquid cleaning solution to the mix. Use a handheld vacuum with a dust attachment to get rid of loose particles. Go back over the area with a duster brush to ensure all particles are removed from the glass.

2. Use The Right Cleaning Solution

A standard glass cleaner can seem like a smart choice, but it may contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and petroleum. These ingredients not only attract dust, but can also eat through a window’s sealant and vinyl. Additionally, it can damage the low-e coating found on the glass, which helps combat harmful UV rays. The best solution is simple a homemade mixture of warm dish soap and water.

3. Slow Your Spray

More cleaning solution does not equal a cleaner surface. In fact, over using cleaning solution is one of the main causes of a streaky window.

4. Ditch the Paper Towels

Paper towels leave behind streaks and fibers but good old fashioned newspapers do not. And fear not — the ink won’t transfer to the glass and the paper won’t scratch up the surface. Another great option to have on hand? A reusable microfiber towel.

5. Clean on Cloudy Days

Cleaning in direct sunlight will cause your cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leaving streaks. Aim for days or times when the sun is not beaming directly into your home.

6. Use Strategic Motion

Start at the top of the window and work your way down in a zigzag pattern—avoid circular motions. When you clean in a circular motion, you may inadvertently leave behind circular marks on the window surface. Zigzagging allows you to remove excess water and cleaning solution more efficiently, leaving the window clean and streak-free.

7. Dry the Edges

Take a dry cloth to gently remove remaining moisture around the top edges of the window before they drip downwards and turn into streaks.

More Window Cleaning Tips

Why stop at streaks? Seasonal needs, screens, and more can all affect how clean you can get your windows.

Wait ‘till Spring has Fully Sprung

Spring cleaning is a great idea. But for windows, wait until all of the trees around you have bloomed. Otherwise, you’ll find a fresh layer of pollen all over your work, sometimes just hours later.

Don’t Forget Your Screens

For everyday care, vacuum your window screens using a fine bristle attachment.
To deep clean, remove the screen from the window frame, lay it on a flat surface, and rinse with a mild, soapy water solution. Use a soft brush to avoid any tears in the material. Allow it to dry completely before placing it back into the window. This way no water seeps into unwanted areas.

Leave the Pressure Washing to the Pros

The intensity of a pressure washer can dent or damage your glass, sealant, aluminum, caulking and even seep in and dampen your interior insulation. A pro will know how to treat your window, but the best way to keep exterior windows clean? By installing windows with tilt-in sashes that open inwards, allowing you to clean the exterior from inside, even on the 2nd floor.

Say Goodbye to Streaks

Follow these tips, and your windows could get so clean you might even forget there’s glass there.

Looking for windows that are easy to clean? Learn more about our tilt-in double hung windows.

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