Dirty windows can block out natural light, and screens that are filled with dirt, dust, pollen and allergens can lead to poor indoor air quality. Here are tips on how to give your windows and screens a deep cleaning.
How to Get Sparkling Windows
Many homeowners don’t know how to clean windows correctly and get frustrated by streaks. You can buy a commercial glass cleaner or make your own cleaning solution by mixing dish soap and water or vinegar and water.
Spray the cleaner on the windows, then wipe in a Z-shaped pattern with a microfiber cloth or squeegee. If your windows are particularly dirty, you might have to repeat the process to get them clean.
The windows on the outside of your house will probably have a lot more dirt and grime than interior windows, so it will take more time and elbow grease to clean them. You might need to use a ladder or pole mop to reach high windows.
Start by hosing off the glass, then spray on your cleaning solution. Use a squeegee or lint-free cloth to wipe from top to bottom.
If your exterior windows have caked-on grime, let a vinegar-and-water solution sit for several minutes before wiping the windows. You might have to scrub the glass with a sponge, but don’t use steel wool or another tool that can scratch the glass.
How to Clean Your Window Screens
If the screens aren’t too dirty, you might be able to clean them without removing them from the windows. Try using a lint roller or your vacuum cleaner’s soft bristle attachment to collect small amounts of dirt, dust and pollen.
Screens with stuck-on debris will need a more thorough cleaning. First, you’ll have to remove the screens from the windows. Raise the lower sash and look for small tabs at the bottom. Press the tabs, raise the screen, then press one tab, turn the screen sideways, and remove it from the window.
If possible, clean your window screens outside so you don’t bring all the debris that’s stuck to them into your house. If you have to wash the screens indoors, clean them in your shower or bathtub.
Use a hose or shower to rinse the screens and get rid of any loose debris. Then clean the screens with a mixture of dish soap and water or vinegar and water. Scrub with a cloth, sponge, or soft-bristled brush. Clean both sides of the screens, as well as the frames, and rinse thoroughly.
Wipe the screens with a dry cloth, then let them air dry completely before you put them back into the windows. You can leave them outside in the sun or place them in a well-ventilated room.
Take the Time to Give Your Windows a Deep Cleaning
Scrubbing windows and screens isn’t the sort of job that any homeowner looks forward to, but you’ll thank yourself later. Living in a home with more sunlight and cleaner air can improve your mental and physical health.