Our best tips for cleaning your inside windows 2018!
By now you all know why Lewis Cleaning Co is here...to provide a professional residential window cleaning service to the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. But what if you don't want our services? Or more so what if you can't actually afford them? Does that mean you should have dirty windows or is there something you can do about it? Well you've come to the right place, we want to provide a service to the community not just go after your money. Keep reading to our home window cleaning solution and how you can keep your windows clean with a tight budget and not much time.
What do I need?
Less than you think, but also if you want to get the job done faster we recommend a few tools for the job.
1. A couple of decent microfibre cloths
This is essential to achieve outstanding results every time. You might think that your bog standard tea towel is doing an awesome job and why spend money of things that you already have in your house. Well, just wait for a sunny day and you'll see why. Most tea towels, towels and cloths are perfectly lint free, leaving fibres and tiny bits of debris sitting on the glass which looks fine on a dull day but as soon as the sun comes out all that effort that you thought you made is worth nothing. Then you end up taking my advice on interior window cleaning, buy the cloth and admire the results.
Now if we were doing the job for you these cloths would only be used the wipe down the frames and any stray bits of water and cleaning solution that we missed with our squeegee. But if you are really on a tight budget you can skip the squeegee bit and use a little elbow grease instead. Remember though if it ain't lint free then bin it or use it to wash the dishes.
We recommend these cloths, their lint free, microfibre and don't cost the earth, plus if you look after them they will last years! <Our pick for lint free cloths>
2. Cleaning Solution
It's no use just rubbing those dirty windows with a dry cloth, or even just standalone water for that matter. You'll soon realise that all you are doing is spreading the dirt and grease around and not really getting anywhere. What you need is something tough to cut right to the glass and remove any contaminants leaving a streak free, smear free finish. The cleaning solution can be as basic as some washing up liquid from your local supermarket. But to speed things up there are many options out there made specifically to help you get your windows cleaned in double time!
We recommend only adding a few small squirts of cleaning solution to around 10 litres of water. You want a good amount of suds as not enough will make getting the window clean a challenge but having too much will make a soapy mess all over the glass and mean more clean up for you.
In this is the route you're going down it might be best to have a few lint free cloths on hand, one to remove the first layer of dirt and second to dry the glass and give it that perfect shine. <Our pick to cut through the grime>
Now there is another way that doesn't involve wiping down whole panes of glass and giving you an achy arm. This way takes a bit more practice but gives the best results and gets the job done in no time at all. Read on...
3. A Squeegee
Ah the humble squeegee a window cleaners best friend. Now why is this so good you ask. Well firstly with the right technique, you cut down on the amount of time it takes to clean each window. Second, once you're skilled with this tool much better results will be apparent, and lastly it cuts down on the amount of cloths used to finish the job.
Is it worth learning how to use a squeegee?
Definitely, think back to a time when you didn't need your windows cleaned? Oh yeah they always need cleaning. If you save 10 minutes each time you clean your windows, over the space of 10 years that's going to add up right? Now you're convinced let's begin.
To be able to use a squeegee we have to no what it is, what is does exactly and individual parts as these require assembly if you buy online.
A squeegee has three easy to remember parts:
- Handle (The bit that you hold dummy)
- Channel (This holds the rubber in place)
- Rubber (This part makes contact with the window)
You might also benefit from a few other things if you're really getting into cleaning your own windows. Namely a mop (the soap applicator) and a bucket to hold your water in.
Anyway back to the squeegee before you start you need to know a few things that could either run your day or waste precious time you could be spending drinking G+T's in the garden.
1. Always check your squeegee rubber
Any grit, dirt of debris from the last time you cleaned the windows could be still on the rubber and cause irreparable damage to your glass. So make sure you give it a feel just to see if everything is in good condition. Also any small nicks in the rubber will easily make this a frustrating job causing streaks all over your glass.
2. Take a look at your squeegee rubber, it should have an overhang on each side of about 5mm to make sure the metal channel doesn't gouge big grooves in your window frames. This also reduces the amount of cleanup around the glass as the rubber can reach the whole of the window.
3. Make sure your squeegee channel is in the middle of the handle and isn't bent or have any other issue that you feel might hinder you from doing a good job.
A few other bits of equipment that we find useful at work everyday!
- Bucket on a belt - This stops the drips from your mop going all over the floor. It also keeps your mop in a handy position so you can always grab it when you get to the next window.
- Scraper - A sharp blade set in a handle to get any stubborn bits of dirt, paint or silicone off your glass, a life save when it comes to doing builders cleans at Lewis Cleaning Co.
- A different sized squeegee. The standard size for a squeegee is 12 inches but depending on the size of your window panes you may require a smaller one or even a large one for that big kitchen window you never get around to cleaning.
- Squeegee poles, these really could be made of anything, or you can buy window cleaning specific ones to reach those windows that you can't get to on a ladder or standing precariously on your sofa. Pole sizes usually start from a few feet to up to 20 or 30 ft, especially handy if you live in a converted barn or aircraft hanger :)
Quick tip here, sometimes it works in your favour to reach higher windows if the channel is offset on the handle. It will make it seem like you've added a few inches to your arm.
Ok, time to pick your squeegee...but how? you ask. Well it's not all that difficult. Put the handle in your palm and rest it against the glass. You won't need to put any pressure on the window, let the sharpness of the rubber do all the hard work. Relax your wrist, hand and shoulder which will let the rubber flow over the glass in a smooth motion.
We find the best method of cleaning is to clean across the window, this allows your hand to keep a consistent angle and remove the water from the surface of the glass.
How will I know if I have the correct angle?
It's not so easy to explain over the internet so we'll make it easy for you. If the rubber is jumping all over the glass...it's the wrong angle. If you are leaving surface water behind then it's either the wrong angle or your rubber needs replacing. We recommend that you replace the rubber of your squeegee every other time you clean your interior windows. Feel the edge of the rubber and compare it to your new rubber if you feel much of a difference then it's time to change. The correct angle and technique will come with time and soon you'll be nearly as good as one of the Lewis Cleaning Co. team ;)
It's time to use your squeegee! But how?
You have everything you need for a perfect job you just need to know the technique to get that glass cleaner than a clean thing on cleanville. We've laid out all the steps here to make it a pain free process.
- Soap up your window with the mop, not too much enough to cover the glass. Try not to get any of the frames as this adds to the clean up and will make your cloths wet too soon.
- Place your squeegee on the top left part of the frame with the blade vertical sitting flush against the frame.
- Will little pressure and remembering to relax with our squeegee, make one sweeping motion 80% the way across the glass from left to right. Make sure to tilt your squeegee at a slight angle to allow any water to run off down the glass and not collect on your squeegee.
- When you're close to the other side, swivel your squeegee to point downwards and then a full 90 degrees so you're pointing the other way. Once you are there, repeat the steps above to go from right to left.
- When you are near the bottom, on your final pass bring the squeegee to the far right or far left bottom part of the frame (depending on how many passes you made) pull the squeegee down to remove any last remaining bits of moisture.
- If you missed anything, grab your dry cloth and wipe up the excess. Usually there is some left behind around the edges of the frame.
Some final tips!
You've made it! By now you should be cleaning your interior windows like a pro! We'll leave you with a few handy tips to make sure you have everything you need to do a stellar job!
- Make less mess by holding your mop under your squeegee while you work. This will catch any drips coming off your squeegee and make the clean up process that much easier.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you try the better you will get. Knowing how much pressure to use, how much soap, how many cloths you need will all come with experience.
- Try not to clean hot glass, especially if you aren't a fast cleaner. It will leave water marks all over the glass that are harder to clean off.
- Wipe your sills and frames as soon as you can. This will reduce staining and the multi tasking means the job will be done much quicker.
So that's it, you should now be a proficient interior window cleaner for your own home! Or maybe you're thinking of starting your own business. Whatever your ambitions you can be assured that you are full prepared for the task!
Not ready yet?
Maybe you're still not confident enough to tackle your own glass. Don't forget here at Lewis Cleaning Co. we offer our window cleaning services to the Cheltenham and Gloucester area. We offer both interior and exterior cleaning at competitive prices. So give us a call or contact us via email to obtain a quote in under an hour.
Did you like this instructional post? Or maybe you have some tips you'd like to share with us! Contact us on our website or visit our social pages to chat with us. One last thing don't forget to share this post with anyone who's thinking of cleaning their own windows this year!