In Pursuit of the Perfect View

BAYPORT, Minn. (January 2012) — Getting windows clean and sparkly doesn’t have to be that hard.

Store-bought window cleaning solutions can work well, but are not necessary for great results. Old fashioned household cleaners are plentiful in most homes and inexpensive.

Experts at Andersen Windows have some suggestions on how to clean your windows to the envy of your neighbors. First, begin with the right stuff: rubber gloves, two buckets or one bucket with two wells; sudsy ammonia cleaner; white vinegar; rubbing alcohol; several clean, dry rags; a squeegee; coffee filters and a ladder, if necessary.

Now follow these steps to a great view:

  1. Read and follow manufacturer’s instructions on each cleaning agent and all tools before beginning. In addition, use extreme caution when using ladders and working around open windows to maintain safe operation and avoid injury. Don’t stand on furniture; use only equipment intended for that purpose, including ladders, scaffolding and step stools. Follow instructions for safe operation.
  2. Fill both buckets with 1-2 gallons of the hottest water your gloved hands can stand. Use caution in handling hot water to avoid burns and scalding. This is your wash and rinse water.
  3. In one bucket, add one cup each of ammonia and vinegar. In the other bucket add two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. The latter helps water evaporate quickly and gives windows that twinkle factor.
  4. To avoid dripping on your work, start at the top; top floor, top of the window.
  5. Wipe the entire surface with the sudsy solution. Bugs, stickers and other stubborn marks may be removed using a synthetic scraping tool. Avoid straight-edge metal blades as they can damage the window.
  6. Rinse the window using clean water and immediately squeegee any remaining. Start at the top, pressing firmly in a vertical motion and drying the squeegee with each stroke. This reduces streaks from wet lines forming at the squeegee’s edge and limits drips from wet tools on your sparkling windows.
  7. Use a clean cloth to wipe only the corners and sill. If lint is a problem, use a coffee filter — they’re lint free — to touch up these areas.

Some extra tips:

  • Never leave a window unattended, especially when children are present. Falls may result in serious injury or death.
  • Swipe in only one direction, horizontal or vertical, on the inside of the house and the other direction on the outside. If you find streaks, you’ll know which side needs touching up. Coffee filters are good for this too.
  • Change water often to limit or eliminate streaks.
  • Tie a rope to your squeegee and secure it to the ladder or your belt in case you drop it.
  • Clean windows on cloudy, dry days. Sunlight may dry the solution too fast making streaks more likely.

© 2012 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved.

###