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10 Window Cleaning Tips from a Pro

Save time, money and energy with these tips and pointers from someone who cleans windows for a living. Here's how to get streak-free windows every time.

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Two scrubbers are better than oneFamily Handyman

Two scrubbers are better than one

Use two different scrubbers—one for inside and one for outside—so you don't carry pollutants and bird excrement inside.

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Liquid dish detergent rulesFamily Handyman

Liquid dish detergent rules

Any kitchen dish liquid cleans dirt and grease and leaves the glass slippery so your squeegee glides well. A 100-percent biodegradable soap will protect sensitive plants outside. Inside it will protect toddlers and pets who put their mouth on the windows or sills.

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Vinegar works, too

Vinegar works, too

If you prefer to use natural cleaning products, vinegar is a viable choice for cleaning windows. Vinegar (acetic acid) cuts grease and doesn't streak which makes it ideal for cleaning glass. We recommend a solution of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent tap water.
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Oh, oh, oh it's magicFamily Handyman

Oh, oh, oh it's magic

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser removes silicone caulk and water stains.

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Dual-purpose paint can openerFamily Handyman

Dual-purpose paint can opener

A paint can opener is the perfect tool for popping out window screens.
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New blade = no streaksFamily Handyman

New blade = no streaks

A 12- to 14-in. squeegee is a good size for most situations. Put in a new rubber blade after each cleaning to prevent streaks.

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New blade = no scratchesFamily Handyman

New blade = no scratches

A razor blade removes paint overspray and gunk. Keep the glass wet and use a new blade each time. Microscopic rust particles on the blade can scratch the glass.

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Details matterFamily Handyman

Details matter

Carry two detailing rags—one for dirty jobs like sills and the other for detailing the edges of the glass.

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Steel wool for tough stains

Steel wool for tough stains

If you need to remove tree sap, adhesive residue or other tenacious stains from your windows, try #0000 (4 ought) steel wool. Lubricate the glass with a spritz of window cleaner (Windex) and buff away the stains with a wad of super-fine steel wool.
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Bring out the power toolsFamily Handyman

Bring out the power tools

Scrub away the toughest stains on glass with a small buffing wheel and a mild abrasive (Soft Scrub, Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami). When you're working near the window sash, protect it with masking tape.