As one of the fastest-growing cities in America continues to expand, Austin residents need to prepare for some of the repercussions of that growth, particularly in the form of increased dust, grime and pollution that are sure to coat the windows of homes, offices and store fronts.
We know how important windows are, whether they're bringing natural light into your space or elevating its aesthetic, so we want your windows to be well-maintained and looking pristine at all times. Try these nine helpful window-cleaning tips to keep the dust and grime off and let that bright Austin sunshine in.
1. Clean Windows When the Clouds Are Out
When it comes to cleaning windows, not everyone considers the weather. One's instinct might have them believe that washing windows on a sunny day is preferable to cleaning them during the wet season. But, this isn't necessarily the best option since the sun can dry the glass too rapidly, resulting in dreaded streaks. These residual lines can be more difficult to get rid than the initial messiness in some cases.
Cleaning your windows on a cloudy day can offer ideal conditions for them to dry gradually, preventing streaks from forming.
2. Remove Curtains and Blinds
Dust loves a good window treatment. Be sure to always remove curtains and blinds while cleaning so they can be cleaned and washed as well. Pro-tip: Pella offers built-in blinds for replacement windows so you don’t have to worry about removing anything while cleaning your windows.
3. Select an Effective Cleaning Solution
Throughout your cleaning process, you should use the best products to rid windows of dust and filth. Never hold back on the spray, which is the preferred solution to help you avoid drippy messes, and use lots of water-soluble cleaning products.
If you're dealing with stubborn grime or stains, you can use a more abrasive cleaner to wrangle them once and for all.
4. Wipe Away Dirt and Dust
Before you begin, use a duster or gentle rag to sweep any dirt, dust or cobwebs that have built up on window frames and windowsills over time. Then, use a brush or a vacuum with a dusting attachment to clean everything up.
If your window glass was the unfortunate target of bird excrement or other animal grimes that are difficult to clean, use a soft brush with soap and hot water to help scrub them all off. Once you're done washing with the soapy water off, let it dry.
5. Use a Microfiber Cloth
Some individuals like to use newspaper and drying panes, while others prefer to use reusable microfiber towels. The latter is preferred since it is more absorbent, washable and leaves your window glass bright and streak-free.
Microfiber cloth is said to be unable to leave any strands or particles on the surface of your glass. They also don't leave any smudges. Unlike paper towels, which may leave lint behind, using a microfiber cloth eliminates this problem. It also won't scratch your windows, ensuring that they stay as clean as they should be.
6. Start at the Top
Always start cleaning your windows from the top and work your way down to the bottom. Cleaning solutions tend to drip, so let gravity do its thing and let the solution trickle down into any places that haven't been cleaned yet. Doing so will save them time and physical energy, too.
7. Opt for Homemade Cleaning Solutions
If you or members of your family are allergic to harsh cleaning solutions and chemicals, you can create your own by adding two teaspoons of vinegar to a gallon of warm water and diluting it. If your windows have tenacious stains, you can also add two teaspoons of household ammonia. Be sure to wear rubber gloves when doing this, however.
If allergies aren't an issue, this method is still great, as it's low-cost, eco-friendly, simple to execute and effective.
8. Don't Forget the Edges
Whether it's your exterior window trims or interior borders and frames, these areas tend to be ignored when cleaning. They normally don't need much maintenance because they can be wiped down and cleaned so easily, but nonetheless, they shouldn't be overlooked.
If they are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), however, a cream-based cleanser or a whitening treatment should be used. This will ensure that your windows look new for a longer amount of time. To maintain and improve their color quality, you can also use toothpaste as a whitening agent.
9. Keep the Woodwork Safe
If your window frames are made of wood or contain any wood components, you should take special care in these regions. Avoid getting any drippage on wood since it can damage it over time. When cleaning, place a small cloth over the wood or windowsill to help absorb any rogue droplets from liquid glass cleaners.
If even your best cleaning efforts can't restore your windows to their former glory, it might be time to reach out to the professionals at Pella Windows and Doors of Austin to discuss replacement windows. Our team knows all about the styles and materials best suited to the Austin climate, and we'll walk you through our low-cost, low-maintenance options so future window cleaning doesn't feel like hassle.