How to clean windows – get sparkling windows with our expert tips

Let in the new-season sunshine with our window cleaning ideas for perfect panes

Invite the brightness back into your home with sparkling clean windows. From making your own window cleaning solution to the trusted old newspaper trick, there are plenty of ways to bring the shine back to your window panes. Never underestimate the power of clean windows to transform your rooms, making them light, bright and good for the soul.

How to clean windows

Image credit: Barbara Egan

How to clean windows

Here’s what you’ll need for cleaning windows in order to get a professional finish:

  • Large dry brush or broom handle for removing cobwebs and dust
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Squeegee
  • Purpose made window cleaning solutions or vinegar
  • Brown paper or newspaper
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Dry lint free cloth or drying pad

1. Remove curtains and blinds

How to clean windows

Image credit: Damian Russell

Start by taking down curtains and blinds. If you can, take the opportunity to give drapes a thorough wash or spritz
with a fabric freshener like Febreze. Use a dry brush or dusting attachment on your vacuum to sweep away any dust
or cobwebs from around the corners of the windows and the windowsills.

2. Wash your windows with soapy water

How to clean windows

Image credit: Debi Treloar

Fill a bucket with a simple solution of washing-up liquid and warm water, but avoid creating too many soap suds as
these will leave further marks if allowed to dry. Start washing windows using a non-abrasive sponge. Alternatively, try a specific window-cleaning fluid, but be careful that strong formulas don’t damage surrounding paintwork.

3. Wipe off excess cleaner

To remove soapy water from glass, use a clean squeegee to work from top to bottom in a reverse S pattern. Periodically wipe the squeegee blade on a clean rag to avoid smearing dirt around. Remove remaining water with a damp chamois or microfibre cloth and dry the windowsill. Avoid paper towels or cloths that might leave lint on the glass. For exterior upper-floor panes, it’s worth investing in a gadget with a U-shaped pole to avoid reaching out of top-floor windows!

4. Try traditional methods

How to clean windows

Image credit: Holly Jolliffe

If you prefer to make your own cleaning solutions, add two tablespoons of vinegar to a small bucket of warm water (this won’t kill bacteria, though). If your windows need tough love, add two tablespoons of household ammonia, but wear rubber gloves. Buffing your clean, dry glass with crumpled newspaper gives windows a sparkling finish.

TIP: Aim to clean your windows at least twice a year to keep your rooms light and bright – avoid washing them on a sunny day, though!

5. Get the timing right

How to clean windows

Image credit: David Brittain

You might think washing windows on a sunny day is the ideal time, as the light makes it easier to spot smears. In reality, it’s best to aim for a cloudy day, otherwise the sun is likely to dry the glass too quickly, resulting in the dreaded streaks.

Take a look at our advice section for a host of cleaning tips and care guides from How to clean your washing machine to How to get rid of ants in the kitchen and conservatory.

Do you have any tips for cleaning windows? We would love to hear them.

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