Cleaning the windows is a task we can sometimes let slip. Instead of staring at the mess, we tend to look through it. Because we don’t have to come in direct contact with dirty windows, like countertops or floors, we might wait a little longer between cleanings than we would for something else. Dirty windows however can not only affect your view, they can make your home appear overall dirtier, collect allergy-causing dust, and become harder to clean as time passes. Just how often should you clean your windows to keep your home looking its best? Keep reading to find out!
Why you should keep your windows clean
Washing windows is one of few cleaning tasks that is done primarily for appearances rather than sanitizing. Because windows are typically low-touch areas, the risk of them spreading bacteria around the home is low. That is unless you have little ones running around who might put their hands or mouth all over the glass. In that case, keeping your windows clean is even more important, and with a non-toxic cleaning product at that. While keeping your windows clean is mainly out of vanity, it could actually be helping the longevity of your windows in the long run. The outsides of your windows are subject to the elements, like the wind which can whip dirt, dust, and pollen onto your windows. If your windows are left with the build-up of dirty residue it can actually begin to leave little scratches on your glass. This can do some serious damage to your windows as your windows can collect this debris and it begins to settle. Hard water and acid rain can also make your windows weaken over time. So clean windows not only look better, but they also last longer.
How often should you clean the insides of your windows?
There is no exact schedule you should follow when cleaning your windows. Your windows will become dirtier based on a number of factors; how many people are in the home, how much you touch your windows, if you keep your windows open more often, and if you live in a dusty area or an area with high pollution like in a city on a major street. In the summer your windows may get dirtier on the inside if you keep your windows open, which can invite dust, pollen, and environmental pollution to collect on the inside of your windows. The same goes if you live in an urban center. If you have children in the home who frequently touch the glass of windows or sliding glass doors you will need to clean them more frequently.
As a good rule of thumb, you should try to clean the inside of your windows about once every two weeks, or whenever you are cleaning the rest of the house. You can dust your windows and window sills, and then follow up with a glass cleaning spray to remove any dirt or finger smudges. If you want to clean your windows more frequently, that’s totally up to you! Just make sure to use a soft cloth to clean your windows to avoid creating any scratches on the glass. Always be sure to clean your window sills as well as these areas can collect dust and environmental pollution. Too much dust in the home can reduce the air quality and even trigger allergic reactions. To clean your windows use a duster or dry cloth to remove any dust, and follow up with a multi-purpose cleaning spray and rag.
How often should you clean the outsides of your windows?
The outsides of your windows certainly take more of a beating when it comes to dirt and grime. Unfortunately, they can also be harder to clean. For this reason, you won’t need to clean them as often. As we discussed earlier, dirt and debris can actually cause little scratches in your glass. These scratches can trap dust and debris making your windows weaker, and look dirtier. Your windows are also subject to acid rain and hard water which can also weaken the glass. The dirt that collects on your windows can even filter out sunlight. As a result “your house can feel colder in the wintertime, and your houseplants will likely suffer”. So, it’s important to clean the outsides of your windows when you can.
Typically, the outside of your windows should be cleaned once or twice a year minimum. You can do the job yourself, or hire professional help. If you live in a multiple-story home it’s probably your best bet to hire out help as they will have the tools needed to get those windows in hard-to-reach places. If you live in an area with lots of flowering plants and trees you may want to clean your windows more than twice a year to remove any pollen dulling your view out of your windows. The same goes if you live in a dusty area, on a busy street, or in a city with more environmental pollution.
What you need to clean the inside of your windows
Non-toxic glass cleaning spray:
You’ll need a good glass cleaner to get that streak-free shine on your windows. Alternatively, you can use an all-natural DIY glass cleaner too. You just need a product to cut through any dirt, grime, and fingerprints.
Cloth towel or microfiber towel:
Want to keep your window cleaning routine green? Ditch paper towels for a cloth or microfiber towels. They work just as great, and you can simply throw them in the wash and use them hundreds of more times.
Duster or dry cloth:
It will be much easier to clean your windows if you first remove the preliminary layer of dust with a duster or dry cloth. Once you’ve removed the dust you can use your glass cleaner and towel to wipe away any leftover dirt or fingerprints.
What you need to clean the outside of your windows
You’ll make the job of cleaning your exterior windows one thousand times easier by using a double-sided squeegee. One side of the squeegee should be able to gently clean your windows, and the other to scrape away any water and residual soap. This is sure to get you the most seamless streak-free clean.
You will need a bucket large enough to completely submerge the squeegee and hold enough cleaning product to get your windows clean. You can use an old mop bucket, just make sure to give it a clean before using it to hold your window cleaning solution.
DIY window cleaning solution:
To make your window cleaning solution you will need to use a combination of water, rubbing alcohol, and dish detergent. Fill your bucket with around 2 gallons of water, 1 teaspoon of alcohol, and a quarter cup of dish detergent. Soak your squeegee brush in the solution and use it to clean your outside windows.
Cloth towels and a sponge:
After cleaning a window with your squeegee use a cloth towel to wipe down the squeegee before resubmerging it in the bucket with the cleaning solution. You can use towels or a sponge to wipe down your window frames as well to complete the job.
Cleaning your windows can be a big task. You can easily clean the inside of your windows every one or two weeks to keep your home looking great, but doing the outside of the windows can be a bit trickier. If you live in a multiple-story home, or you’re not sure if you’re up to the task of window cleaning, it’s best to get it done professionally. It only has to be done once or twice a year, so you won’t be breaking the bank. Improve your view by adding window cleaning to your to-do list.
- Forbes. “What Is The Best Time To Schedule Your Window Cleaning?“
- My Window Washing. “How Often Should You Clean Windows? A Homeowner’s Guide”