When it's time to clean the windows, many people wipe off the windowpane and call it a day.
It makes sense to focus on that section of the window because even a speck of dust is easy to spot on the glass. However, the other parts of your window need attention too!
Grime, dead bugs, and even mold can build up on the window tracks, and dirt can stain the window frame. Do you want to avoid dirty windows? You'll need to clean them from top to bottom at least twice a year.
Here, you'll learn how to clean your windows thoroughly. You don't need to worry; this task may require a lot of attention to detail, but it's easier than it seems. Bring your best cloths, the vacuum cleaner, dish soap, glass cleaner, and let's get to work!
Part #1: Remove loose dust and debris
You might need to use water and cleaning solutions to tackle stuck-on grime on your windows at a certain point in the process. However, it's best to remove loose dirt and dust while keeping the window dry.
For this, you'll only need your vacuum cleaner with the crevice attachment and a quality microfiber cloth.
Start by vacuuming the window tracks as you open or close the window to reach all sections of the rails. Then, use your microfiber cloth to wipe down the remaining dust from the window frame, glass, tracks, and stool.
Part #2: Clean the window sills
Now that dust and debris are gone, it's time to tackle the grime. Usually, this part is simple, but prepare yourself to find stuck-on dirt, mold stains, and even dead bugs trapped on the window tracks.
To clean your window tracks easily, you can use a soft sponge or cloth and soapy water. If your windows are dirty, you might also need a small brush—an old toothbrush will do the trick.
How to clean window tracks and sills step by step:
- Start by spotting any gunky buildup on the window tracks and wipe it off with a slightly damped paper towel. Open and close your window as needed to reach all areas in the tracks.
- Pour warm water into a small container and mix it with a few drops of dish soap. Dip your sponge or cloth in the soapy water and wring it out well.
- Wipe down the tracks with your slightly damp sponge or cloth and scrub the dirty sections to remove the stuck-on buildup. You can dip the sponge again if needed, but remember to keep moisture in check.
Note: If your window sills have an intricate shape with lots of tight spaces, you can cut the sponge this way to fit the tracks. Also, you could use something pointy like a plastic putty knife or a chopstick to remove grime in narrow places.
- If there's any spot remaining after wiping down the tracks, use your small brush dipped in soapy water to scrub away the grime.
- Lastly, use a damp cloth to rinse all the areas you cleaned. Then, remove excess moisture with a clean towel or cloth.
How to deal with mold on the window sills
You can identify mold as a black patch on the windows tracks and sills. According to the EPA's guidelines on cleaning mold, you could remove it yourself if the patch is less than 10 square feet.
You can remove mold stains using the steps described above. However, don't forget to keep extra protection to avoid breathing the mold spores—like wearing a mask while scrubbing.
Do you need bleach to remove the mold? The EPA recommends avoiding bleach. While harsh chlorine bleach may kill the mold more effectively, you need to remove the mold patch altogether rather than killing it, and soapy water can get the job done.
Part #3: Clean the window frame, grilles, and stool
People often skip the window grills, the handles, and even the window stool and frame during their cleaning routine. However, those get dirty too! After tackling the dirt on your window tracks, it's time to detail the remaining areas on your window.
Wipe from top to bottom every surface in your windows but the glass. First, use a soft cloth or sponge slightly damped with soapy water. Then, spot clean stubborn stains with a small brush. Give a final rinse with a slightly damp cloth, and then dry with a clean towel.
Part #4: Clean the window glass
Even though cleaning window glass isn't as challenging as other housework chores, the infamous window streaks can turn this part of the task into a headache for many. However, you can avoid streaky windows by following these steps:
- Spray your favorite window cleaning solution and wipe the glass with a cloth in an S-pattern—that is, going from one side to the other, then down and to the other side. A key to avoiding streaks is using a good-quality, lint-free microfiber cloth.
For a DIY window cleaner, you can mix half vinegar and half distilled water, but keep in mind that vinegar could damage the finish on wood window frames.
- If any stubborn stain remains after cleaning the whole glass surface, you can spray window cleaner directly onto the spot and rub it in circular motions. Then, wipe the window glass from side to side with a clean section of your cloth.
- As the final step, use a dry cloth (or a clean and dry section of the first one) to remove excess moisture. Use an S-pattern for drying! Also, if the cleaning solution spills onto the window sill, dry it too.
After finishing the steps above, your windows should be clean and streak-free. However, you could double-check for these common mistakes if you find any streak on the glass.
Learn more cleaning tips with Rain City Maids
Everyone can clean their homes like a pro! Read here our latest cleaning tips and tricks so you can do the chores effortlessly. Or, if you are too busy to spend your day wiping and dusting, Rain City Maids can do the cleaning for you. Ask for your free estimate today.