How To Clean Windows, Sills, Screens Without Chemicals

Published June 26, 2020
how to clean windows
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Lake Washington Windows

For a bright, airy house, you want clean windows. Keeping your windows clean can be a bit of a struggle, however, because dirt can accumulate in the tracks, screens, and in window sills. On this page we want to share some of our best window cleaning tips with you, so you can get your windows looking nice and clean with the least effort possible. Learn how to clean your windows like a pro by reading below.

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How to Clean Window Screens

If your window screens haven’t been cleaned in a while, the first step is to thoroughly dust them. You can use a rag, a brush, or even a vacuum cleaner for this step. It’s important that you do this and knock the excess dirt off, otherwise when you grab the soapy water, the rag or brush will get saturated with dirt quickly, and you’ll end up smearing it around.

Next, determine if you can remove the screen from the frame. If you can, just rub some soapy water all over the screen using a soft bristle brush, rinse, and then replace. If you can’t remove the screen, you can clean it by dipping a rag in soapy water, wringing it out, and then rubbing the screen with it. Use a toothbrush for grimy spots. Let the screen air-dry.

guy cleaning window screen

How to Clean Window Sills

Dirty window sills are fairly easy to clean. Spray some water on the surface using a mister or a spray bottle. Let it sit for a couple minutes, and then use a rag to rub the dirt off. For stubborn dirt, use a toothbrush, or an old credit card. If the window sill feels oily or grimy, use some dish detergent to lather it up, and then wipe it clean with a moist rag.

For crevices or corners use a small, hard-bristled brush to get the dirt off, and then fold a disposable wipe twice and use the reinforced corners to get all the nooks and crannies clean.

cleaning window sill

How to Clean Windows with Vinegar

Vinegar is a cheap, eco-friendly cleaning agent that you can use to clean your windows. Mix it with some water, pour into a spray bottle, and use it like you would a cleaning solution. It’s effective at getting rid of water stains, streaks, and the usual dirt and grime. For a more powerful cleaning solution, add some detergent soap to the mix.

To some, vinegar has an unpleasant smell – but you can beat that by creating scented vinegar with some citrus peels and herbs (it’s a great way to reuse kitchen scraps). Vinegar also etches marble and granite, so make sure you don’t use it around your stone countertops.

How to Clean Window Tracks

Cleaning window tracks efficiently can be tricky, the shape makes it difficult to get all the dirt out easily. Not anymore, with this hack! Get a dishwashing sponge, and place it on the tracks. Using a marker, mark where the tracks occur. Draw straight lines across the sponge corresponding with the tracks, and then cut these out using a box cutter or a sharp knife. Test the sponge to make sure it fits snugly into the tracks and touches the bottom. Now, you can use this customized sponge to wipe the tracks clean. You can then turn the sponge around and use the other end to do a second swipe with soapy water.

cleaning window tracks

How to Clean a Window Without Streaking

There are a couple of factors that cause window streaking. One of them is dirt around the window. If your window trim is clean, this shouldn’t be an issue. Another reason is the weather. If you’re cleaning your windows on a sunny day, the soap (or cleaning solution) may dry on the window before you wipe it off, causing streaks. So, choose a cloudy day to clean your windows. 

Lastly, dry your windows with a dry squeegee. Squeegees are a handy tool that allow you to dry your windows quickly. When using one, go horizontally, don’t lift the squeegee until the swipe is over, and after each swipe or stroke, wipe the squeegee blade dry with a clean cloth. Overlap your strokes by an inch or so, to ensure you get the entire window dry. Work from top to bottom.

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Written by Lake Washington Windows

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