We love that our house has a lot of windows with southern exposure. Our home seems bright, our houseplants are happy, even the cats seem to appreciate it.
But by the time spring starts to roll around, those windows are terribly dirty, inside and out. It is always one of the first projects we conquer when we do our spring cleaning. That is probably because we are ready to get those screens back on (which we remove in the fall), and crack the windows during warm days.
The first thing we do is take all of the screens out of storage. One at a time, we put them in the shower and, using the hand-held shower head and a spray bottle of diluted dish soap, we rinse them front and back. They are set on a rag towel on the floor to dry until we are ready.
Next, we conquer the windows themselves. If you are lucky, you can clean both the inside and outside of your windows at the same time (crank-out and double-hung windows are great for this). If your windows are quite tall, and you aren’t comfortable with ladders, keep this job for a professional. We simply grab our bottle of cleaner, a stack of paper towels, a garbage bag, and a small step stool.
We have found two cleaning products that we have had great success with in the way of window cleaners, and the exciting thing is, they are both readily available and inexpensive. Windex is one, and the other is simply a spray bottle filled with 1/2 distilled white vinegar, and 1/2 water. Both seem to do the trick in removing grime, dust, and fingerprints.
The real kicker, though, was the paper towel we found to work the best. We prefer really cushy, kind of expensive paper towels to have on hand in the kitchen, but these often leave a ton of lint on window glass. Our new go-to are the “C fold” paper towels we buy in bulk at Sam’s Club. They are great for cleaning windows, and we also like to keep them near our wash basin in the basement. They are super absorbent, but don’t leave behind residue and lint. We have also found that the cheapest brand of paper towels works.
By the time all the windows are clean, the screens are dry, and ready to be put back. With two people working together, we can usually get the whole house done in less than a couple of hours.
We are always amazed at the difference having clean windows makes. Getting this task done, and the smell of spring in the air, always gets us ready for our next job-closets!