A: Well, it depends on what type of windows you have. If you have a double-hung window, you can actually open both sashes, the top, and the bottom. You fold them in from the inside and clean them. If you have a single-hung you’d have to go out to the exterior of the home to for the top. But for the bottom sash, you can clean it from the inside.
If you ask your neighbors tips for cleaning their windows in Houston, you’ll get a bunch of similar answers and some odd ones. Additionally, chances are you’ll find about half of those answers are wrong. From using the wrong tools, the wrong methods, and the wrong cleaning agents.
It doesn’t mean your neighbors are ignorant—a lot of the wrong ideas they share are widely believed by many homeowners. However, tips like using newspaper or some fancy special window detergent aren’t the best methods.
Will they do a decent job of cleaning your windows in Houston? Sure, they’ll do ok. However, if you want that pro-level shine and clarity there’s a combination of factors that go into that result.
Let’s get into it and make your windows as clear as…glass.
How To Get The Cleanest Windows In Houston
When you finally decide the windows are just too dirty to tolerate anymore you may go gung-ho on your windows. You need to pump the brakes. Take a moment and learn the right time to clean and the method before you waste hundreds on “pro” window washing tools.
Houston’s weather can be very unforgiving when washing anything outside. Your car, your garage doors, and especially windows. The problem is due to the heat, humidity, or both at the same time. Windows need to be crystal clear to look their best. Unfortunately, if you don’t do it correctly, the climate in Houston will dry the soap and leave your windows milky.
Kind of like waxing a car—if it’s not done in the right conditions even the most expensive tools and advanced techniques won’t help
First, let’s break down the ideal conditions for you to tackle cleaning your windows in Houston. Then, we’ll get into the tool, techniques, and special considerations.
The Best Time Of Year To Clean Windows In Houston
Your windows should be cleaned at least twice a year and the best seasons for these cleanings are spring and summer. This helps cut down grime build-up that normally occurs over the winter and spring from storms and pollen residue.
The ideal weather for cleaning windows in Houston is an overcast day that’s very still with little wind. Why does this matter? Because when it’s sunny outside the sun will often cause your cleansing agent to dry before you wipe it off. Also, when it’s windy, dirt, pollen, and other contaminants are picked up with the wind.
You should try and start cleaning your windows by mid-morning. This gives the morning dew or moisture, time to evaporate. However, it’s also early enough that the temperature remains cool enough to keep the windows from drying prematurely.
Best Cleaning Tools And Techniques
Cleaning your windows sounds like an easy if not menial task, right? However, there’s a difference between getting windows clean enough and making them look fantastic. As we deal with windows 24/7 we know that the right tools and techniques make the difference.
Don’t Waste Money On Fancy Solution—Do It Yourself
You walk into Home Depot and you’ll find all kinds of fancy window cleaning solutions—walk on by. All you need is dish soap and warm water—that’s it. Take a few drops of dish soap and mix it into a bucket of warm water.
It’s All About The Scrubber
Windows, even if slightly dirty get a stubborn buildup of dirt and grime over time. Skip the newspaper and thick paper towels. What you need is a window scrubber with a long handle—easily found at most hardware stores. Make sure its microfiber is gentle on the glass yet effective at breaking up grime as well as being super absorbent.
Take the scrubber, dip it in the solution for a second and let it soak up some liquid. Then scrub in a wide “S” pattern across the glass plane. This pattern ensures you cover all the glass surface—you can always fill in any spots you missed. Now you should have a pretty wet window that calls for your next tool—the squeegee.
Hold on—before going at it with the squeegee make a dry strip along the window with a microfiber towel. It can be either vertical or horizontal, it just needs to be the same direction you plan to use the squeegee.
Hold the squeegee with a solid grip but not too tight, you want to be able to drag it across the window pane. Follow the same pattern you did with the scrubber and with each pass wipe the blade with a microfiber towel.
Make sure you go in the opposite direction on each side of the windows. This way if you have streaks you know if they’re on the inside or the outside.
Make a final pass over the window with a clean, dry microfiber towel. Microfiber towels are better than regular towels as they don’t leave lint behind.
Tips For A Streak-Free Finish
The biggest pet peeve most have about cleaning windows in Houston is how easy it is to end up with streaks. Often, you don’t even see them until the window has already dried. But do you know why streaks appear in the first place? Well, it could be several reasons including:
- The Sun: Washing windows in the sun on a hot day is one of the biggest culprits. Even if it’s hot outside at least clean your windows in the morning or after 5 pm. Direct sunlight accelerates the drying of windows which can leave streaks.
- Bad Cleaning Solution: Some cleaners, especially ones with alcohol and ammonia in them are prone to causing streaks. This is because they evaporate faster than a water-based solution. This is why we recommend the dish soap and water solution, it works well and allows for more time to clean.
- Wrong Type Of Towel: Microfiber is the most absorbent towel and anything less than that will cause streaks. Why? Because rather than absorb the moisture, less absorbent materials end up spreading grim and moisture instead. Always use clean microfiber towels and wash them after each window washing.
Got Streaks? Don’t Worry!
If you’ve already finished and you notice streaks—don’t worry. You don’t have to start all over just keep a chalkboard eraser on hand. Sounds weird, we know—but a few passes of this eraser over your streaks, and they’re gone!
Dealing With Tough Grime And Sticky Substances
When Houston storms pelt your windows with all kinds of dirt and pollen—that’s tough enough to clean. But what about when trees start throwing sap, paint from sprucing up, or the kiddos leave stickers on the windows? Well, it’s pretty easy if you have the right helpers such as:
- Goo Gone: Got sticky residue from sap or sticker adhesive? Goo Gone is a lifesaver that uses the power of orange oil and breaks down sticky substances. If the sap is extra stubborn, use a fine nylon scrub pad, they’re the white ones.
- Razor Blade: If you have paint stuck on your windows it can be a real pain to remove. Using a new (never dull) razor will take it right off. Make sure to wet the glass first and push the blade over the glass once, then rinse the blade and repeat. However, if the glass is tempered use paint thinner instead. A razor will scratch tempered glass.
Looking For Replacement Windows In Houston?
If your windows look dated even when you clean them, maybe it’s time for new ones. Energy-efficient replacement windows from The Window Source Of Houston can give your home exterior new life. It also increases your energy efficiency and could save you enough to hire someone to clean those windows.
Contact us today and let us show you what new windows can do for your home!