How to clean windows – get sparkling windows inside and out without streaking with our expert tips

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

    Take a look at our care and cleaning advice section for a host of tips and care guides

    How to clean windows

    Image credit: James French

    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. What’s the best thing to clean windows with?

    How to clean windows

    Image credit: Debi Treloar

    Cleaning expert, Lynsey Queen of Clean recommends using white vinegar to clean windows. ‘When you spray it you don’t need much, it’s going to smell for about 15 minutes, but it’s going to disappear.’

    You can also wash your windows with soapy water. 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.

    3. How to cleaning windows without streaks – wipe off any excess cleaner

    To clean the window work in an S-shape advises Lynsey. ‘With your microfibre cloth work in the shape of an S so you will get into every bit and that will stop the smears.’

    You can also use a squeegee for a streak free finish. Also work in an S-shape. 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. Clean the window edges

    Most window edges will be left gleaming after washing with soapy water. However, if you have white PVC Lynsey recommends using a cream based cleaner or a whitening product to keep them looking new.

    ‘You could use a white toothpaste. Leave it to do its work and that will whiten the frame,’ says Lynsey.

    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.

    Next up: how to clean your washing machine or 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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