Have you ever looked out your window to see a splotchy, dirty mess?
It doesn’t look good, and it can be annoying to try to clean it yourself. But did you know that dirty windows can hurt the way your house looks from the outside and even hurt your health?
Yes, if you don’t clean the outside of your home, dirt, dust, and allergens can build up and make the air in your house less healthy. So, if you want to make your home look better and keep your family healthy, it’s time to pay attention to how you clean your windows. In this article, I’ll talk about how important it is to clean the outside of your home, especially the windows, and give you some tips and tricks to make it easy. So, let’s get a cup of coffee and get started!
Benefits of Regularly Cleaning Exterior Windows
Improves Building’s Curb Appeal and Overall Appearance
When windows are clean, more natural light can come in, which can make people feel better.
It also makes the house look better from the street and all around.
When a building’s windows are dirty, it can look run-down and unattractive, which can turn off potential customers or guests.
Extends the Life of Windows
Dirt and other things that get on the windows can cause scratches and buckling, which can make it necessary to replace all of the windows.
By cleaning the windows often, you can make them last longer and save money in the long run.
When you clean the windows, you can look for weak spots that could cause someone to fall and get hurt.
Fixing them can keep terrible things from happening, especially from windows on higher floors.
Protects Indoor Air Quality and Maintains Energy Efficiency Levels
Grime and dirt can build up and make it harder for the sun to warm your home naturally in the winter.
This can cause your energy bills to go up.
Weathering and rust around window frames can damage window seals, leading to fogging, air leaks, and condensation.
These things can cause mold to grow and cause energy bills to go up.
Cleaning the windows on a regular basis can protect the quality of the air inside and keep the building’s energy efficiency at a high level.
Prevents Window Damage
Cleaning the windows regularly can keep minerals from building up too much and keep them looking their best.
It can also keep the windows from getting broken, which can be expensive to fix.
How Often Should Exterior Windows Be Cleaned?
How often you should clean the outside of your windows relies on where you live, the weather, and the state of the environment.
For houses, the outside windows should be cleaned at least twice a year.
For businesses, like restaurants, the windows should be cleaned once a month.
But the position of the property may change how often it needs to be cleaned.
Factors That Determine the Frequency of Cleaning
Location: If the house is near a busy street or has a lot of trees, the windows may get dirty more quickly and need to be cleaned more often.
Climate: If the house is in a place where there is a lot of pollution or acid rain, the windows may need to be cleaned more often to get rid of the pollution.
Conditions in the environment: How often you clean may also depend on your own tastes and how clean you want things to be.
Some people may choose to clean their outside windows more often to keep their view clear and improve the look of their home.
Roof Cleaning: The Overlooked Task in Outdoor Surface Cleaning
When it comes to cleaning outdoor surfaces, most people tend to focus on their windows, patios, and driveways.
However, one area that often gets overlooked is the roof.
Yes, you read that right – the roof! While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of outdoor cleaning, neglecting your roof can lead to some serious problems down the line.
Over time, your roof can accumulate dirt, debris, and even algae or moss.
Not only does this make your roof look unsightly, but it can also cause damage to the shingles and other roofing materials.
Plus, if left unchecked, these growths can spread to other areas of your home, such as your siding or gutters.
So, if you’re serious about keeping your outdoor surfaces clean and well-maintained, don’t forget about your roof! A professional roof cleaning service can help remove any buildup and keep your roof looking great for years to come.
For more information:
Roof Cleaning 101: Importance, Methods, Costs & More
Tools and Equipment for Effective Window Cleaning
To start, you need some simple tools to clean windows. These things are:
- Scrubber/Squeegee: This is a common cleaning implement with a rubber blade on a handle. It is used to remove dirt and grime from windows, leaving them sparkling clean.
- Duster: A duster is used to remove dust and debris from the window surface before cleaning.
- Cleaning Brush: A cleaning brush is used to apply cleaning solution to the window surface before scrubbing with a scrubber/squeegee.
- Soft-Bristle Brush: A soft-bristle brush is used to clean delicate surfaces such as window frames and sills.
- Ladder: A ladder is used to reach high areas when cleaning windows.
- Plastic Putty Knife: A plastic putty knife is used to remove stubborn dirt and grime from window surfaces.
- Vacuum with Crevice Tool: A vacuum with a crevice tool is used to remove dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas.
- Goggles: Goggles are used to protect your eyes from cleaning solution and debris.
Professional Window Cleaning Equipment
For professionals to clean windows, they need extra tools. These things are:
- Squeegee Handles, Channels, and Rubbers: These are used to clean windows effectively and efficiently.
- Extension Poles: Extension poles are used to reach high areas when cleaning windows.
- T-Bars and Sleeves: T-Bars and sleeves are used to apply cleaning solution to the window surface before scrubbing with a scrubber/squeegee.
- Scrapers: Scrapers are used to remove stubborn dirt and grime from window surfaces.
- Cleaning Solution: Professional window cleaners use cleaning solutions that are specially formulated for window cleaning.
Other Equipment for Window Cleaning
Some other tools that can be used to clean windows are:
- Buckets: Buckets are used to hold cleaning solution and water when cleaning windows.
- Cleaning and Polishing Cloths: Cleaning and polishing cloths are used to remove water and cleaning solution that gathers around window panes.
- Scraper: A scraper is used to remove paint specks and labels from window surfaces.
- Brushes: Brushes are used to clean hard-to-reach areas such as window frames and sills.
- Washer: A washer is used to apply cleaning solution to the window surface before scrubbing with a scrubber/squeegee.
- Razor Blades: Razor blades mounted in a holder can be used to remove paint specks and labels.
- Mild Household Abrasives and Power Drill: Mild household abrasives and an ordinary power drill can be used to clean tough glass stains and built-up mineral deposits from shower doors and other glass surfaces.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Exterior Windows
Mistake #1: Not Dusting the Windows First
When cleaning the outside of windows, not dusting them first is one of the most common mistakes.
Before you use water or cleaning solutions to clean the windows, you should dust them to make sure they are free of debris and other dirt on the surface.
This step is important because if you don’t get rid of the dust and dirt first, it will mix with the cleaning solution and leave lines.
Tip: Before you clean the windows, dust them with a soft-bristled brush or a microfibre cloth.
Mistake #2: Using Too Much Product
Too much cleaning product is also a mistake.
If you use too much of the cleaner, the windows can look dirty, and when you wipe them down with a dry cloth, streaks can be left behind.
It is important to use the right amount of cleaning product because of this.
Tip: If you want to know how much cleaning product to use, follow the directions on the package.
If you aren’t sure, start with a little and add more if you need to.
Mistake #3: Cleaning on a Sunny or Windy Day
Another usual mistake is to clean the windows on a sunny day.
If you do this, the water-based cleaner will dry quickly on the window panes before you can wipe it off, leaving lines.
When it’s windy, dirt and other things can be blown around, making it harder to clean.
Tip: If you want to clean your outside windows, do it on a cloudy day.
If it’s windy, wait until the wind dies down to clean the windows.
Mistake #4: Using Chemically-Laden Cleaning Products
Another mistake is to use cleaning goods that are full of chemicals.
Most people use scratchy scrubbing tools or strong chemicals to get rid of stubborn dirt.
For better results, it is important to use the right goods and tools and to avoid solvents that are full of chemicals.
Tip: Use natural cleaning goods or mix vinegar and water to make your own cleaning solution.
Don’t use rough tools to scrub.
Instead, use a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth.
Mistake #5: Focusing on Too Large an Area at Once
Another mistake is to try to do too much at once.
When you clean a large area at once, you might get lines and lose track of which areas you’ve already cleaned.
It is better to split the work and do it room by room.
If lines appear, wiping one side of the window horizontally and the other side vertically can help you find them.
Tip: Split the work up and do each room separately.
If lines appear, wipe one side of the window horizontally and the other side vertically.
Mistake #6: Not Using Enough Cleaning Fluid
Lastly, it’s important to use enough window cleaner when you wash windows. If there isn’t enough juice, it won’t clean well.
Tip: Use enough window cleaner to cover the surface of the window.
If you don’t know how much to use, start with a little and add more if you need to.
Cleaning windows on the outside of a building can be dangerous, so it’s important to take care.
When cleaning or fixing the outside of windows above ground level, you should always use the right tools that won’t hurt you.
Stop water that has been spilled from freezing on the ground and making it dangerous to walk on.
Follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for putting together, using, maintaining, and checking any window-cleaning tools.
Tip: Always follow the directions given by the maker when using window cleaning tools. Take safety measures to avoid getting hurt.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Solutions for Window Cleaning
Homemade Window Cleaners
Making your own cleaning solution from things you already have in your kitchen is one of the easiest and most effective ways to clean your windows.
Here are two easy ways to cook:
- Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, and add a few drops of dish soap.
- Mix water, rubbing alcohol, and white vinegar. Rubbing alcohol helps the solution evaporate quickly on glass surfaces, reducing the chance of leaving water spots behind. However, it is important to note that rubbing alcohol is highly flammable, so it should be stored in a safe spot and away from kids and pets.
Eco-Friendly Glass Cleaners
If you’d rather buy a cleaner instead of making your own, there are several eco-friendly choices on the market.
Here are some items that come highly recommended:
- Biokleen Glass Cleanser
- Method Glass + Surface Cleaner
- Earth Friendly Products Window Cleaner
- Pure Haven Glass Cleaner
- Mrs. Meyers Glass Cleaner
- Greenworks Glass & Surface Cleaner Spray
Windex, which is a famous window cleaner, is not good for the environment.
Tools and Techniques
In addition to using green cleaning products, it’s important to clean windows with the right tools and methods.
Instead of strong cleaning materials, microfiber or flannel cloths should be used to wipe windows.
To avoid streaks, it’s also best to clean windows when it’s dark and to wipe up and down or side to side.
You can clean your windows well and be kind to the environment by using cleaning products and methods that are safe for the environment.
Removing Hard Water Stains
Stains from hard water on the outside of windows can be a regular issue. Here are some ways to get rid of them:
- Use a mixture of vinegar and water. Fill a spray bottle half full with vinegar and the remaining half with water. Spray the solution on the hard water stains and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe the stains away.
- Use a mixture of baking soda and water. Mix baking soda and a little water in a small bowl to create a cleaning paste. Use a dry cloth to scrub the hard water stains with the paste. The abrasive quality of the baking soda will aid in removing hard water stains from your window.
- Use natural acids like vinegar and lemon juice. Spray the solution on the hard water stains and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe the stains away.
It’s important to remember that a mild hard water mark that hasn’t gone deep into the surface can usually be cleaned with a soft cleaner and a towel or sponge.
But once the stains have gone below the surface, it’s best to have a professional do glass repair, which should include hard water stain removal.
Also, treatments that prevent damage in the future help to make sure the item lasts longer and is easy to clean.
Preventing Hard Water Stains
To keep hard water marks from becoming permanent, it’s important to keep the windows clean.
If the spots aren’t taken care of soon enough, they can damage the glass in a way that can’t be fixed.
Tips for Cleaning Windows on High-Rise Buildings
Before working on a high-rise building, window cleaners should go through special training that goes over safety rules, how to handle tools, and how to get help in an emergency.
Proper practice is also important.
Instead of leaning out of windows, window cleaners should use tools to reach the windows.
Methods of Cleaning
There are many ways to clean the windows on a high-rise building, and each one has its pros and cons.
Which way is best will depend on how high the building is, what materials it is made of, or what it is used for.
Some ways that windows in business buildings can have a perfect finish are:
- Water Fed Pole System: This system uses purified water and a long pole with a brush on the end to clean the windows. The brush scrubs away dirt and grime, while the purified water rinses away the debris.
It is important to choose the best choice for your building by taking into account its height, complexity, and the needs of its tenants.
When choosing a contractor to clean the windows on a high-rise building, it’s important to make sure they have the right tools, safety procedures, insurance, and licenses.
They also have to show that they know a lot about the building’s elements, so that the way they clean the windows doesn’t hurt the building.
Falling from a high place can cause serious injuries or even death, so window cleaners must always follow safety rules.
If the wind speed is more than 25 miles per hour, window cleaners have to get off their ladders or platforms to stay safe.
Window cleaners use cool or tepid water.
Hot water could break the glass in the winter.
There are many ways to clean window screens that work well.
Taking the screens off the windows and laying them outside is one way to clean them.
Then, mix 1/4 cup of all-purpose dish soap with 1/2 gallon of water and scrub both sides of the screen with a soft hair brush to get rid of dirt and other particles.
To clean the screens better, take them off and lay them flat on a driveway or field.
Wet the screens with a garden hose, and then scrub them softly with a soapy water solution made by adding 1/4 cup of liquid dishwasher soap to a gallon of water.
Another way to clean window screens is to stand them up and use a sudsy sponge or microfiber cloth to gently wash both sides of each screen from top to bottom.
Add this task to your monthly cleaning schedule to keep things nice and clean.
Mix 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1 gallon of water, and then use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the screens.
This will get rid of really tough dirt.
If you want to keep the screens in their frames, use a soft cleaner, a lint roller, or a microfiber cloth to lightly clean the surface.
At least once a year, you should give all of your window screens and door screens a good clean to improve the air quality in your home.
Keeping the outside of your home or business clean and neat is important if you want to make a good impression.
But it can be hard to clean things like windows that are outside.
Here are some signs that it’s time to hire a professional service to clean your windows.
Cleaning your windows can make a big difference in how your home or business looks as a whole.
Having clean windows can make a good first impression, whether you’re expecting friends or clients.
A professional window cleaning service can make sure that your windows are spotless and free of streaks, making your home look spotless.
Cleaning windows can take a lot of time and effort.
Hiring a professional window cleaning service can save you time and work if you have a busy plan or just don’t want to spend your free time cleaning windows.
They’ll do the job for you so you can focus on more important things.
Professional window cleaners not only clean the windows, but they also check the frames, sills, and trouble spots that you might not notice on your own.
They can also find broken glass, painted-shut windows, broken seals, and bad screens, which can stop bees, hornets, and ladybugs from getting in.
Hiring a professional service will make sure that your windows are cleaned well and that any problems are found and fixed quickly.
Studies show that having a clean place to work makes people more productive.
If workers are often out sick, it could be because germs and allergens are not being cleaned properly.
Forty to sixty percent of workers picked up a virus sample that had been left on doorknobs and table tops.
If your company has a lot of workers leaving, you might want to think about whether the cleanliness of the building is hurting the employees’ experience.
Hiring a business cleaning service could be part of what you need to do to solve this problem.
Cleaning the outside of your home or business on a regular basis is important for keeping its look and avoiding damage.
But if you don’t, it can cause a lot of trouble in the real world.
A company that cleans the outside of buildings will have access to much better tools than you can buy or rent on your own.
Because of this, a professional cleaning company will be able to clean your building much better than you could.
Also, since they have been trained to clean your building, mistakes or spills are less likely to happen.
The last word on the matter
In the end, cleaning your windows isn’t just about making them look clean and shiny. It’s about taking care of your house and making sure it stays in good shape for many years. If you clean your windows and other outside surfaces often, dirt, grime, and other natural factors won’t be able to damage them.
But cleaning has more benefits than just being useful. It’s almost like a form of meditation. It’s a chance to slow down, pay attention to what needs to be done, and be proud of a job well done. And when you take a step back and look at your clean windows, you can’t help but feel happy and proud of yourself.
So the next time you have to do something scary like clean your windows, try to think about it differently. Instead of thinking of it as a chore, think of it as a chance to take care of yourself and your house. Who knows, you might even find that you like doing it!
Looking for a new Pressure washer?
Choosing a gadget can be very difficult if you know nothing about the technology.
Some will pay for features they do not need while others may not consider what they really want.
So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:
The Best Pressure Washer (For You!)
What are some ways you can keep the outside of a house clean?
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Links and references
- Window Cleaning Field Safety Guide
- Safety in window cleaning using portable ladders manual
- Window Cleaning chapter of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC)
- Working at height whilst window cleaning guide
My article on the topic:
Exterior Cleaning 101: Pressure Washers
Memo for my own use: (Article status: essence)