You’ve probably heard the old saying “Eyes are the windows to the soul”. Well, windows are the windows to your home, and while that sentence lacks some of the poetry, it’s still worth considering. People will look at your windows, and if they’re grimy, dusty, and dirty, they might make assumptions about the relative cleanliness of your home. “I don’t care what other people think!”, you might say, and that’s well and good, but you do care what you think, pretty much by definition, and I can guarantee you you’ll feel great looking at perfectly washed windows leading into your nice, clean home. That means you need to know how to window wash; the process is relatively easy in some seasons, less so in others.
The basic process for cleaning your windows looks something like this. First, you want to clear off any dust, grime and debris from your window sills and the window frame. You can sweep it up, or you can use the hose attachment on your vacuum to suck it up. You do this so that the grime doesn’t mix with the cleaner to create muck. While you’re at it, you might as well pop out your window screen and give it a wash in some warm, soapy water. You can also take the opportunity to clean your blinds or curtains; pass over them with a wet cloth, then a dry one, and if the fabric is suited to the dryer, throw them in to complete the cleaning.
Now, we can clean the windows themselves. Go one window at a time, and spray on a good amount of glass cleaner; don’t hold out, especially if your window is very dirty. Some folks like to use a squeegee, but if you’re not well versed in window cleaning techniques (which I suspect you aren’t, given that you’re reading this), you’re better off using a microfiber cloth. Wipe the window down with the cloth until all the dirt and cleaner is gone, and you have yourself a shiny window! You should do this on a dry, cloudy, warm day; too hot and sunny, and the cleaner will evaporate too quickly, too humid and it won’t evaporate quickly enough.
This is well and good a little more than half the year for windows in Winnipeg, but what about the other half, the dreaded half, the winter? Well, there’s a couple of changes you want to keep in mind if you desperately need a winter window washing. First, you’ll have to clean off all the snow before you start; you can do this with the brush you use to clear off your windshield, and consider running over the sill with a cloth to soak up any moisture left behind. Most cleaners will freeze in the temperatures we get in January, so you’ll want to adjust. There’s a couple of ways you can do this; a simple solution can be made out of equal parts water and alcohol, and a bit of dish soap. Alternatively, you can add antifreeze to glass cleaner – be sure to check all the chemicals in each to make sure you don’t get a noxious mix, but for the most part, this is a safe route.