Window Cleaning Tips from a Pro, as a retired house cleaner I have tried many methods of cleaning windows. This is by far the fastest and easiest I have personally used.
I have seen a few window cleaning posts online but none of them supply one vital tip that made my window cleaning efforts so much faster and easier. I no longer clean professionally, I now blog full time but when I did clean this technique was a game changer for me. I was paid by the unit (per house not by hour) so speeding things up while maintaining quality was key.
This trick was taught to me by someone who ran a window cleaning service, and they charged by the window so I know they found it to be most effective too.
- 2 gallon plastic bucket (or container of choice)
- Warm water with a couple drops dish washing liquid added (my favorite is Lemon Fresh Joy, not concentrate. The purpose of the dish soap is to break the surface of the dirt and grease molecule so the water can wash it away. A tiny bit of soap is sufficient to do the job, anymore and it leaves a residue. More soap is not better at cleaning)
- I also have used Dawn but since it is a concentrate use just one drop! Do not use any soap with moisturizers in it.
- Clean absorbent towels (not rinsed with fabric softener)
- A good squeegee
- Glass safe scrubby sponge or window scrubber
- Homemade all purpose cleaner (recipe below)
My favorite for this was the original Lemon Fresh Joy (not concentrate) and I have not found that in a long time. (it is important not to use more than a few drops on dish washing liquid, the purpose of it is to break the surface of the dirt molecule, a tiny bit is sufficient. If you use more you will leave residue which causes streaks)
So now I use Dawn Hawaiian scent, which is a concentrate so one drop is enough.
Homemade All Purpose Cleaner
Mix in a one gallon plastic jug (I use a re-purpose milk jug)
- 1 Gallon distilled water (distilled has all the minerals removed making for a streak free finish)
- 2 cups rubbing alcohol (90%, not the 50%, if you use the 50% then use 4 cups)
- 1/4 ammonia (some prefer to use vinegar in place of the ammonia but I personally did not find it as effective)
- 2 tsp dish washing liquid (be sure to add the dish soap last)
I like the shine I get after using my spray mixture and the added grime busting ability but it is not absolutely necessary, you can just scrub down the window with the dawn solution that is in your bucket if you wish.
Get Started Cleaning!
Liberally spray the dirty window with the homemade all purpose cleaner. The alcohol and ammonia really help cut the grime.
Using your window scrubber or a glass safe scrubby sponge, dip it in your bucket of warm water and scrub it down. If it has been a long time since your windows have been cleaned this may take a bit of scrubbing.
Just FYI In the photo I am using the wrong type sponge, use only the blue ones for glass. When I photographed this I made sure not to use the green scrubby side of this sponge, that could scratch the glass.
My TRICK that makes it go Faster (important part)
Use one of your clean dry towels, put it over your finger and rub it along the top and side edges of the window. This creates a dry clean edge for the squeegee to work from.
Start you squeegee on either side with the top and one edge in the dry areas create by your towel covered finger. Wipe the squeegee with a dry towel between some of the swipes. The dry edge creates the perfect surface to get a good start and you don’t have to be up against the window edge and causing missed spots.
If you don’t have a squeegee you can just spray with the cleaner and wipe dry with paper towels or a microfiber cloth. That days take more time and effort but it gets the job done.