Have you ever noticed how much dirtier your windows seem to get in the winter? Well, at one point in my entrepreneurial lifetime I owned a window cleaning business. Here are a couple tips I can pass along for homeowners about keeping their windows clean during the winter.
Tip #1: Remove your screens
Once the weather has turned cold enough that there are no more flies or other creepy bugs that could get in your windows on those frequent sunny, warm winter days and you want to have your windows open to let in the fresh air, it’s time to remove the screens from your windows. When Colorado wind combines with snow or ice and dirt, it forces that snow and ice to lodge itself between your window glass and the screen. When the moisture melts, it leaves a film of dirt behind. Remove your screens in the late fall for cleaner windows through the winter.
Tip #2: Clean your windows
Use those warmer days to clean the windows in the fall and again in the spring. If you don’t know how to do it, here’s a primer. Please excuse my poor art skills.
What you need:
- A bucket with soapy water (use a few drops of Dawn dish soap. ONLY use Dawn. No other soap works). Experiment with how much soap to use. Too little and your squeegee will not slide on the glass. Too much and it will leave a film. You can also use a spray bottle with soapy solution in it if you don’t have a bucket.
- A damp strip-washer. This is the bar with the cloth on it that scrubs the window. You can get these at Home Depot or Lowe's. If you don’t have one, use a damp cloth. You don’t want the strip washer or cloth to absorb the water on the glass.
- Several huck towels. These are the kind that are used in surgery rooms. If you can’t find these, use any towel that is super absorbent BUT which won’t leave lint behind.
- A 12” squeegee. Make sure it’s a good metal one and not the cheap, plastic kind used for showers. I think Home Depot sells the brand Ettore. That’s a good one.
How to do it:
- Either spray your soap solution from the bottle or use your strip washer or cloth to wet the window. If you have a strip washer or cloth, scrub the glass softly, covering the entire piece of glass. You don’t want a lot of water. Just damp.
- Put your index finger inside a folded or bunched up huck towel and start in the top, left corner of the glass. Wipe the top 1” from left to right, then return to the same corner and wipe from top to bottom. (Blue lines on the drawing)
- Start your squeegee with the blade in the dried 1” space at the top, left corner with the left edge of the blade touching the left window frame and pull the squeegee straight down to the bottom. (Red lines on the drawing)
- Move your squeegee to the right, making sure that the left edge of the blade overlaps the previous clean strip by at least 1” – 2”. Angle the left edge of the blade a little lower than the right edge of the blade. Drag the squeegee to the bottom and straighten the blade when it reaches the sill. Repeat as often as necessary, moving right across the glass, until you reach the right edge of the window.
- Use a separate, dry, folded or bunched up huck towel to dry the edges of the glass and the window sill and channel. Be sure to use a dry part of the towel for each glass edge that has water on it or you’ll just smear the water. Change your towels frequently.