Cleaning Glass Windows: A Beginner’s Guide

This brief online training session will show you how to clean windows around your home or business with best results. This is meant for complete beginners as a DIY window cleaning guide to help build the skills and understanding needed to find the right tools and get the perfect clean.

Understanding Why Spray Bottles and Rags Are a Problem

Something most people don’t realize, is that glass is porous! When moisture is left on a piece of glass, some of it is absorbed into the surface. When looked at under a microscope, glass is not smooth – it has many crevices, jagged edges, and crenulations, all of which have reflective qualities. As you wipe and dry with your rag, it becomes wetter and wetter; this leaves a different amount of cleaning chemicals and moisture on each area of the window you are trying to clean. Sometimes this may not be visible in low light areas inside, but glass in direct sunlight shows off a very smeary window!

The squeegee’s soft yet firm rubber edge is perfect for leaving an even, streak-free reflection, so long as you know what you’re doing.

Why It’s Important to Use the Right Solution

While it’s a well-known and effective solution to mix dishwashing liquid in water, the ratio is VERY important. No more than a drop or two in a bucket of water, or you’ll end up with suds. As a rule, you don’t want foam or suds in the solution that you’re about to apply to your window. When too sudsy, you end up leaving a film on your windows, especially around the edges.

Cleaning glass windows is about 99% skilled labor, and 1% equipment, though choosing the right tools for the job can save you time, money, scrubbing, and stains.

How to Scrub Glass

You may need to scrub glass to remove any stuck-on sap, pest droppings, sticky tape, or salt deposits. If you intend to do it on your own without scratching up your windows, then you’ll need to have the right tools and techniques handy.

If you need to scrub glass, you’ll need to use a scraper. Try to find one with about a 4” blade that sits at the appropriate angle to make things easier on your wrists.

When using your scraper, always wet the glass first. The scraper should never be used on dry windows. You will also want to only scrape in a forward direction; back and forth scraping risks scratching the glass itself. To avoid doing damage with a DIY attempt, leave the heavily soiled windows to a professional.

How to Squeegee Glass

If you’ve never thought of cleaning glass windows in your life, this technique is for you because you can’t really go wrong. Generally, don’t hold the squeegee with a particularly firm grip. Stay loose, and glide.

First, place a towel below the window to catch any wayward drips. Wash the glass as normal; add a small amount of soap to a bucket of water, and slightly coat the window with a sponge. Do not saturate the surface.

Wipe the top edge and corner of the glass with a rag, then place the squeegee blade right up against the top edge of the glass, with the end in the corner. Maintain a 30-degree angle from the glass with the handle of the squeegee; this is easily measured by placing two fingers under the handle to give you an approximate angle. Keeping the corner edge in line with the vertical frame of the door, simply pull down the window to the very bottom.

Once you get to the bottom, take a second to wipe the edge of your squeegee, then simply come back up and repeat the process, moving laterally down the window until you’ve finished. Make sure to wipe the blade in between every stroke.

For more tips and tricks, or help from the pros, visit our web pages today!

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