Wednesday—Good forYou, Good forThe Home: Cleaning Windows

Best practices for cleaning windows—My experience + tips from Martha + talking to professional housecleaners

window therapy

A grille is a premade frame that fits over the glass.  Muntins are the individual pieces of wood
that make up paned glass window frames.

best practice:  streaks

Hot glass causes the cleaning solution to dry too quickly resulting in streaks.  Clean windows in the morning or during cooler temps.  

best practice:  extra grungy windows

First things first.  Use a Swiffer dust wand or a soft brush to remove surface grime from the glass and the casings.  

Use a toothbrush to get into tight corners.

Once you've removed the loose dirt, wipe the frame with a mild solution of warm water & all-purpose cleaner.  

Then, polish the glass with newspaper & your favorite glass cleaner.  Crumpled up newspaper works remarkably well for cleaning glass, and it does not streak.

DIY eco-friendly window cleaner:
1/4 cup white vinegar + 1/4 teaspoon eco-friendly dish soap + 2 c. water 

Good to Know:
  • Muntins:  Strips of wood that separate individual panes of glass.

  • Mullions:  Sections that separate whole windows.

  • Astragals:  The closure between two leaves of a double door. 

best practice:  blinds & shades

Horizontal blinds:  Close the blinds & brush down each side with a Swiffer duster, a dusting mit, or a soft, dry cloth.  Then, open up the blinds & wipe each slat with a damp rag and a mild solution of all-purpose cleaner.  

Vertical blinds:  Remove a few slats at a time. Lay flat outdoors & gently rinse them off with a sprayer.  Wipe with a damp cloth & rehang to dry.  This also works with textile-wrapped verticals, but check the manufacturer's instructions just to be on the safe side.  If in doubt, use your Dustbuster or a brush attachment on your vacuum.

Cellular shades:  Use a Dustbuster or a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner & vacuum the folds.  Spot clean with a damp cloth & a tiny amount of mild dish soap.  Blot, don't scrub and don't saturate the spot.  

The Best Way to Clean Every Type of Blind and Shade, by Alice Garbarini Hurley_Good Housekeeping_10 June 2014

best practice:  screens

Quick way:  Clean window screens from the outside with a hose & a sprayer.  (Be quick about it because of the drought.)  This is an effective (albeit temporary) way to keep spiders at bay without the use of toxic pesticides.  

Deep Clean:  Remove screens & lay flat on an outdoor surface.  Rinse with the hose to remove grime.  Use an environmentally-safe soap to gently wipe down the screens.  Campsuds works well and is safe for the outdoors.  Rinse & let dry outdoors.

Why Clean Windows are Important
  • Creates a vibrant, lively atmosphere
  • Lets in natural light
  • Promotes a sense of openness
  • Reduces dust & pollen
  • Controls spiders & other insects
  • Promotes a sense of pride and ownership

•  live • well • and • thrive •

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