Top Tips on How to Clean Windows and Mirrors
Last weekend was a glorious sunny one. On Saturday our neighbours, who are in dire need for face to face conversation with people outside their immediate family members as we are, sent a message on our street WhatsApp group suggesting we have picnic. We live in a cul-du-sac and we decided that every house would have lunch on their driveway. No sharing of food, everyone stays on their own driveway, but we get to see and speak to people other than our partners & children. We all stepped out at 1pm and stayed on our driveways, eating & drinking until 7pm. It was amazing. But the thing about spending six hours looking at the front of your house is you can no longer unsee all the things you were able to turn a blind eye to. And on that beautiful sunny day, my windows stared right back at me. The marks, dust, dirt & fingerprints was all I could see. I could also see how my windows look in comparison to my neighbours. When are people cleaning their windows? How did I never notice this before? I work for a cleaning company, why did it require a global pandemic, a lockdown and a driveway picnic for me to see how bad my windows are?!
So I made a mental note, the first thing on my list to tackle are my windows are mirrors – might as well, why stop at the windows! So here my top tips for cleaning windows and mirrors.
- Pick a cloudy day – Contrary to common belief, a cloudy day is the best day to clean windows. While sunny days help you glaringly see the state your windows are in, to actually clean windows a dry cloudy day is best. This is because the blazing sun will dry any cleaner you use once sprayed onto the already very hot windows before you get a chance to wipe it off, making it harder to remove streaks.
- Clean first then polish – as with everything. Clean first to remove all the dirt & dust. It might need that the outside windows first need a sweep to remove all the dirt from the window frame. This ensures all the dirt doesn’t turn into a muddy mess when mixed with water & the cleaner making your job so much harder. This also means its best to use a separate cloth to dust/clean and then another to polish. As you clean the cloth will inevitably get wet and its that dampness that causes streaks. When polishing you want to be using a very dry clean cloth
- When cleaning windows, the best way to ensure there are no streaks is to clean one side (the outside for example) vertically and then the other side horizontally. This allows you to see if there are any streaks and which side they’re on.
- Soapy water works best to clean windows. Fill a bucket with a simple solution of a few drops of washing up liquid with water. Just make sure it’s not too soapy as this will leave more marks if its not dried properly.
- Old Newspapers – there is a debate in our office on the effectiveness of using newspapers, but for me it works when you use newspapers to buff, not clean. So I use my microfibre cloth to clean and once I want to buff my windows and mirrors, I use a crumpled newspaper to get a sparkling, streak-free finish.
- Spray the cleaner on the cloth itself to clean mirrors. Spraying straight on the mirror risks the cleaning product to run down & get into the corners that will be impossible to clean. So for all mirrors I spray on the cloth and polish to see a sparkling mirror.