Your home windows are your front row seat to spring. Be sure to catch all the sights and sunlight of the season by removing any dirt, dust, grime, mineral deposits or other stains that may have built up over winter.

Here are some tips to help you bring the sparkle back to your windows this spring:

  • Schedule around sunshine. Pick a time to clean on a cloudy day or when your windows will not be in the direct sun. Too much sun may lead to cleaning liquid drying too quickly on your windows, leaving streaks and water spots.
  • Gather your supplies. Prepare by picking up a few basic cleaning supplies you can find at most hardware stores, including:
    • Commercial cleaning products (if necessary)
    • Soft-bristled brush for dusting
    • Sponge, brush or squeegee for scrubbing
    • Absorbent microfiber or lint-free cloth or chamois for wiping down and drying
    • Bucket
    • Large towels
  • Create your own cleaning solution. You’ll want more than just water to effectively clean your windows. If you’re looking for an alternative to a commercial cleaner like Windex, options for DIY window cleaning solutions include:
    • 2 gallons of water with 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid (you don’t want too many suds)
    • Equal parts water and white vinegar
  • Brush before you wash. Be sure to sweep away debris around the window using a soft brush, so you don’t knock loose additional dirt and cobwebs and undo all your hard work on your windows. Brush around the frame, hinges, sills and tracks.
  • Pick the right tool for the job. Squeegees may work better with picture windows, while a sponge or brush may be easier on multi-pane windows.
  • Use your squeegee effectively. A squeegee can be extremely useful for both washing and drying your home windows:
    • Get into a rhythm. Wipe horizontally or in a z-pattern for a picture window, wipe vertically top to bottom for a multi-pane window.
    • Maintain contact. When wiping away liquid, be sure to keep your squeegee blade against the surface to eliminate streaks.
    • Keep your squeegee clean. After each stroke, wipe your squeegee blade with a lint-free rag or other material.
  • Keep liquid cleaner coverage to a modest amount. Try to avoid a cleaning mixture that is too sudsy. Using a spray applicator? Cover the surface so it’s misty, but not dripping with liquid.
  • Extend your reach in a pinch. Wondering how to reach those upper-level windows? You may be able to avoid using a ladder by attaching your squeegee or brush to a broom handle.
  • Tackle those stubborn stains. Outside windows may require a little extra muscle. Use a hose or additional scrubbing to pre-wash your window exteriors. You may want to try a mineral deposit removing cleaner, such as CLR.*Spray areas with pure vinegar and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  • Protect your surfaces. When cleaning interior windows, be sure to place a bath towel beneath the window on the sill and the floor to help catch any spills.
  • Stop the streaks. Wipe up any excess water with an absorbent, lint-free cloth or chamois to prevent streaks on the window — you can also use clean paper towels or newspaper pages.
  • Alternate directions when you dry. If you wipe to dry the inside of your home windows horizontally, wipe the outside vertically — this will help you spot any streaks.
  • Don’t forget what’s behind the window! Remove and vacuum any screens to clear dust and dirt. With a cloth or sponge, wipe them down with warm water and with a splash of vinegar or dish soap. Let your screens air dry before replacing them.

Dirt, grime and film on your home windows can put a damper on your view of the outside world. Taking a little time to clean your windows at least twice a year will improve your home’s overall beauty and make cleaning easier the next time.

If you’re looking for an even easier way to make your windows shine, check out Windsor’s double hung windowswith EZ-Tilt technology. You can clean both sides of glass without leaving your house!

*Always follow manufacturer’s directions when using these products.