Keeping your windows clean and sparkling is both aesthetically pleasing and essential for maintaining a bright and welcoming space. In a busy city like London, where the weather can be unpredictable, and buildings and houses are subjected to urban grime, understanding the ins and outs of window cleaning is crucial. That is why we decided to
dive into the best practices, tips, and techniques, and of course, in the end, we will explore some of the biggest mistakes you need to avoid.
When Is the Best Time to Wash the Windows of Your London Home
The most suitable time to clean your windows depends on weather conditions and personal preferences. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the ideal moment to wash your windows if you live in the British capital:
London is known for its unpredictable weather, but generally, it is best to avoid washing your windows when it is drizzling outside, or there are strong air currents. Rain can quickly undo your cleaning efforts, and strong winds may make it challenging to handle cleaning equipment safely.
Spring and summer are often preferred as the weather in London tends to be more favourable, with longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. Cleaning your windows during these seasons allows for faster drying and reduces the risk of streaks caused by condensation.
- Avoid extreme temperatures
Washing in extremely hot or cold weather can present challenges. Hot weather may cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leading to streaks and residues. On the other hand, cold weather can make the process uncomfortable and may cause the detergent to freeze.
- Time of day
Experienced professional cleaners recommended to wash your windows on a cloudy day or during the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense. Direct sunlight can cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, resulting in streaks and smudges.
Ultimately, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the weather forecast and choose a day with mild temperatures and minimal chances of rain or strong winds. Additionally, consider your schedule and choose a time when you can dedicate sufficient time and effort to achieve the best results.
What Supplies Do You Need for Cleaning Your Windows
To clean your windows effectively, you will need a few basic supplies:
- Window cleaner solution– You can either purchase a commercial window cleaning solution or make your own using a mixture of water and mild dish soap or vinegar. There are also environmentally friendly options available.
- Bucket – A sturdy bucket is useful for holding your cleaning solution and dipping your tools into it. Choose a size that can accommodate your tools and allow you to move around easily.
- Squeegee – It is a crucial tool for removing dirt, grime, and cleaning solution from the window surface. It typically consists of a rubber blade and a handle. Select a size appropriate for your window dimensions.
- Window scrubber or sponge – They are used for applying the cleaning solution and loosening dirt from the window surface before using the squeegee. Opt for a soft and absorbent scrubber or sponge that won’t scratch the glass.
- Microfiber cloths or lint-free towels – These are good for drying and polishing the windows after using the squeegee. Microfiber cloths are highly-recommended as they are effective in preventing streaks and lint residue.
- Extension pole (optional) – If you have high or hard-to-reach windows, an extension pole can be attached to your squeegee or scrubber to help you access those areas safely.
- Drop cloth or plastic sheet – You can use them to protect the surrounding areas from potential splashes or spills. Place a drop cloth or plastic sheet on the floor beneath the windows to catch any drips or debris.
Safety equipment – Depending on the height and accessibility of your windows, you may need specialised equipment such as a ladder, safety harness, or non-slip shoes to ensure your safety during the cleaning process.
Remember to read and follow the instructions on the cleaning solutions and tools you use. Additionally, consider the recommendations from the window manufacturer to avoid damaging the glass or frames.
Window Cleaning Technic You Should Master
Window washing can be a straightforward process if you follow the right steps. Here’s a general guide on how to clean your windows effectively:
- Gather your supplies – Collect all the necessary tools, including window cleaner solution, bucket, squeegee, and so on.
- Prepare the area – Lay down the drop cloth or plastic sheet to protect the floor or surrounding areas from drips or splashes. Remove any obstacles or items that might hinder your access to the windows.
- Get rid of dust and debris– Use a dry microfiber cloth or duster to remove any loose dirt, cobwebs, or debris from the window frames, sills, and surrounding surfaces.
- Prepare the cleaning solution – Fill a bucket with your preferred detergent. If you are using a commercial cleaner, follow the instructions on the label for the proper dilution ratio. If you are making your own solution, mix water with a small amount of mild dish soap or vinegar.
- Apply the washing liquid – Dip the window scrubber or sponge into the solution, ensuring it is well-saturated but not dripping. Start at the top corner of the window and work your way down, applying the cleaner evenly across the glass surface. Use gentle circular or vertical motions to loosen dirt and grime.
- Squeegee the window – Starting from the top corner of the window, place the squeegee against the glass and pull it downwards in a straight line. Wipe the blade with a lint-free cloth or sponge after each stroke to remove any excess water. Repeat this process across the entire window, overlapping each stroke slightly to avoid streaks.
- Dry and polish – Once you have squeegeed the entire window, use a clean microfiber cloth or lint-free towel to wipe any remaining water or moisture from the edges and corners. Work your way from top to bottom, ensuring the glass is completely dry. This step helps prevent streaks and water spots.
- Check for streaks or spots – After drying, inspect the window for any stains or missed areas. If you notice any, dampen a clean cloth with your detergent or water and wipe the affected areas gently. Then, use a dry cloth to polish and dry those spots.
- Clean the window frames and sills – If necessary, use a damp towel or sponge with the cleaning solution to wipe down the window frames, tracks, and sills. Dry them thoroughly afterwards. Now is also the time to clean your window covers.
- Take care of your tools and supplies – Dispose of the dirty water and properly wash and dry your tools. Store your supplies in a secure and dry place for future use.
Don’t forget that safety should always be a priority. If you are working at heights or using ladders, take necessary precautions and follow safety guidelines.
How to Clean Outside Windows You Can’t Reach
Cleaning outside windows that are out of reach can be a bit more challenging, but there are a few methods you can try to get the job done. Here are some options:
- Extension pole with a squeegee or scrubber
Invest in a sturdy extension pole that can attach to a squeegee or scrubber. Choose one with an adjustable length to reach higher windows. Dip the scrubber or sponge in the cleaning solution, attach it to the extension pole, and apply the detergent to the window. Then, attach the squeegee to the pole and use it to remove the dirt and cleaning solution from the glass. This method allows you to reach higher areas without the need for a ladder.
- Use a hose attachment
Some window cleaning kits come with a hose attachment specifically designed for washing outside windows. They allow you to spray water and cleaning solution directly onto the glass while standing on the ground. The kits usually include a squeegee or brush on a long handle to clean the window and remove the water.
- Professional window cleaning services
If you have multiple or particularly challenging windows to wash, hiring a local cleaning company may be a suitable option. These experts have the necessary equipment, such as ladders, scaffolding, or even water-fed poles, to safely reach and clean high or inaccessible windows. They also have the needed expertise to do the job efficiently and effectively.
- Consider window-cleaning robots
Another option to clean hard-to-reach windows is to use window cleaning robots. These automated devices are designed to navigate and wash windows, even those in high or difficult-to-access areas. The robots typically use suction or magnetic technology to stick to the glass surface while they clean it. They can be controlled remotely or programmed to wash windows on their own.
Before attempting any method, ensure your safety by assessing the stability of the ground and surroundings. If you are uncomfortable or unsure about cleaning high windows, it is best to hire a professional, just to be on the safe side.
Window Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid
Window washing may look like an easy job, but actually, a lot can go wrong if you don’t know what you are doing. Here are some of the biggest and most common mistakes you should avoid:
- Using the wrong cleaning solution
Applying harsh chemicals or cleaners not specifically formulated for windows can damage the glass, frames, or seals. Avoid using abrasive cleaners, ammonia-based solutions, or products with high acidic content. Instead, opt for mild dish soap, vinegar solutions, or commercially available window cleaners designed for the purpose.
- Cleaning windows in direct sunlight
We briefly mentioned this one, but just to be clear – direct sunlight is not your friend when window washing.
- Neglecting to dust or not removing the debris
Skipping the step of dusting or removing loose dirt and debris from the window frames, sills, and surrounding areas before cleaning can result in smearing or spreading the filth around. Take a moment to wipe away any dust or cobwebs using a dry cloth or duster before applying any cleaning solution.
- Using the wrong tools
Operating with the wrong tools or materials can lead to streaks, scratches, or inefficient cleaning. Avoid using rough or abrasive materials like paper towels or newspapers, as they can leave lint or scratches on the glass. Instead, use soft microfiber cloths or lint-free towels for wiping and drying, and choose a high-quality squeegee with a clean rubber blade.
- Over or underusing cleaning solution
Using too much cleaning solution can leave residue and streaks on the glass, while using too little may not effectively remove dirt and grime. Follow the instructions on the bottle, or make sure to achieve the right dilution ratio when making your own. Use enough solution to thoroughly wet the glass without excessive dripping.
- Not properly drying the windows
Leaving the glass wet or not properly drying them after cleaning can result in streaks, water spots, or the accumulation of dirt and dust. Use a dry microfiber cloth or lint-free towel to remove any remaining moisture and ensure the windows are completely dry.
- Wiping in a circular motion
Circular wiping can lead to streaks or smears. Instead, wipe in a straight, vertical, or horizontal motion to ensure a more even and streak-free result.
- Rushing the process
Window cleaning requires patience and attention to detail. Speeding through the process can lead to inadequate washing, streaks, or missing spots. Take your time, especially when using a squeegee, and work systematically across the window to ensure thorough cleaning.
By avoiding these common window cleaning mistakes, you can achieve cleaner and spot-free windows with better results.
Maintaining clean and sparkling windows in London is an art that requires attention to detail, the right tools, and a good understanding of the unique challenges posed by the city environment. By considering the best time to clean your windows, selecting the appropriate supplies, and following proper cleaning techniques, you can tackle dirt, grime, and smudges effectively. Remember to avoid common mistakes, such as using the wrong cleaning solutions or tools, rushing the process, or neglecting to dry the windows thoroughly. We hope this comprehensive guide on window cleaning in London has provided you with valuable insights and practical knowledge to achieve exceptional results.