Spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. While this could be cause for celebration there is one traditional spring activity that most people would prefer to avoid: Cleaning! Yes, as much as some of us like to put it off, spring cleaning is an absolute necessity.
As it happens I was in the midst of spring cleaning my home about a week ago when it dawned on me: I’ve never actually cleaned windows. By this I mean I have never in the 15 years I have spent renting properties, actually set out to clean the apartment windows.
In the interest of self-improvement — and to keep my currentl landlord happy — I decided to address this terrible personal shortcoming. It turns out that cleaning windows isn’t so bad, in fact it’s fairly straightforward. That being said, there are a couple of easy mistakes to make (and believe me, I made them all). While it would be presumptive of me to presume to tell seasoned spring cleaners how to best clean their home, I did pick up a few tricks during my first foray into window cleaning.
Clean your windows on a cloudy day
This may seem wildly counterintuitive, but it’s actually true. While it may seem like bright and sunny conditions are ideal as they would allow you to better see dirt on the windows, in fact a cool and cloudy day is preferable. On hot sunny days, the window cleaning solution will dry too quickly and leave unsightly streaks. The ideal temperature for window cleaning is anything south of 70°F.
Make sure you clean the sills and frames first!
I made this mistake and had to redo a couple of windows. If you forget to remove any dust or grime from the sills and frames you’ll just end up spreading dirt around the windows. Before you start shining, bust out the vacuum and give the window sills a quick going over. It probably wouldn’t hurt to give the entire area around the window a vacuum as well.
Use toothpaste to get rid of hard water spots
I didn’t believe this until I’d tried it myself, but toothpaste does a surprisingly good job at getting rid of hard water stains. Gel toothpaste won’t work so make sure you use the white paste kind. Just dab a little paste and a few drops of water onto a cloth or paper towel and rub it over the affected area. You’ll be amazed at how well this works, just make sure you rinse off the toothpaste when you’re done!