Listen, many of my clients clean the insides of their windows themselves. I want to help you guys out with some quick, easy ways to clean the interior panes of glass on your own. These DIY tips give your home a classy, first-class feel without even hiring a professional!
There are two ways I am covering this topic:
For the people who love to know exactly what they need to do, I gave detailed, written out, step-by-step instructions. Just start at the beginning.
For the people who like short, to the point instructions, I put those at the bottom of each step and method. If you are like the second person, skip through or skim everything until you hit the bottom of each section. You will find what you are looking for there. You probably didn’t even make it this far in the paragraph…
I also provided links to get the materials necessary to complete each step.
Clean the frame and sills.
Soapy water works for this. I don’t have a formula, just put some dish soap in a bucket of warm water with some rags in it.
Wring out one of the rags. Wipe down the frame of the window from top to bottom. Rinse out the rag again.
Next, open the window. Your window tracks, where your window sits when closed, are probably very dirty. They typically are after years of being neglected and opened without cleaning.
After you wring out the rag from wiping the frame, use it thoroughly wipe out the tracks. If the corners drive you crazy, grab a chopstick to get the extra dirt in the corners. (Note: A flat-head screwdriver also works, but there is a higher chance for scraping part of the track. It’s more than likely no one will ever see the corner you scratched, but I hate doing a less than excellent job)
The next step is to wipe underneath the window. (The part of the window that sits in the track)
Close the window and begin step number two!
*Note: This was for a sliding window. Casement windows are much easier to clean out. Just crank the casement window open and wipe out the track.
- Fill bucket with warm, soapy water.
- Put rags in the water.
- Wring out rag and wipe down entire frame to remove dirt and debris.
- Rinse rag, open window.
- Clean window tracks.
Cleaning the Pane of Glass
There are multiple different ways to clean the inside of your windows. Here are a couple of popular ones. I prefer the microfiber cloth method. My mom, Tiffany, prefers paper towels. She is a custodian and always cleaning mirrors and inside glass. I’m a professional window cleaner, she is an incredibly detailed, professional custodian and part owner of Impact Janitorial. I get frustrated using paper towels, she gets frustrated using microfiber clothes.
Don’t think too hard about which method to use. Just choose the one you think you can carry out with confidence. It depends on the person cleaning, not the method of cleaning.
Paper Towel Method
After you have revealed the true alchemist within you by creating your mixture, put in a spray bottle. Now for the fun part. Make sure you have a bunch of paper towels. Typically, I go through a TON of paper towels. That will probably be the case for you, especially if you have beautiful grandkids leaving not-so-beautiful tongue prints on glass. Trust me on this, kids make cleaning glass more difficult…
Next, fold, or crumple up three paper towels. This step isn’t crucial, and it certainly isn’t rocket science.
Spray the chemical on the window. Depending on the window, do not spray too much. I typically do not use more than one spray per normal size windows.
Wipe down the pane of glass with the paper towels.
Once the paper towels are wet, you can wipe the next window down with less solution, sometimes no solution at all! Just make sure you aren’t using too wet of paper towels, or the windows will begin to streak.
Typically, I just re-adjust my paper towels to find mostly dry parts and spray the next window like normal.
Once you begin to wipe the window, leave no streaks. If you catch your paper towel leaving lots of solution on the window, quickly rip off two or three sections to dry up the wet window. Make sure to do it quick, or you will lose all of handy work up to this point.
Why all the streaks??
That is typical. You left behind some solution on the windows. It is dirty solution. You may have to go back and redo the window. When windows become dirty, it can take two or more cleanings to thoroughly clean them with paper towels. This reason is why window cleaners typically do not use paper towels to clean. We remove the dirt rather than smearing it.
- Create your own chemical mixture.
- Put mixture in spray bottle.
- Spray window with mixture. *Note: Do not spray too much solution on. It makes it harder to clean.*
- Wipe down with paper towels until streak free.
- If necessary, repeat the steps if the window is not streak free.
If you want first-class windows at a fraction of the cost, buy yourself some microfiber clothes. Specifically the blue and green kind. They are life savers compared to paper towels. They last longer and you can re-use them over and over again.
The green cloth is for catching the dirt and debris that is on the window. The blue one is for polishing the window and getting the wet residue left behind by the green cloth. *Try to stay away from all-purpose microfiber clothes. Personally, I do not find them to be as effective in cleaning glass.*
Spray on your chemical mixture. This is where the magic begins.
Take the green cloth. Now wipe the entire window until all of the dirt and debris is off the window. The window should still be wet.
The finishing step is wiping down the window with the blue cloth. This cloth will leave it dry and streak-free.
After repeating these steps with two or three windows, your green cloth should be wet enough to wipe down windows without spraying anything on the windows. Still finish the process with the blue microfiber cloth.
*Note: You may leave streaks behind with this method too. No one method is perfect. It’s the user that perfects the method. If it leaves streaks, you will have to clean it again.
*Get your own microfiber clothes here: https://www.amazon.com/Microfiber-Glass-Cleaning-Cloths-Chemicals/dp/B00KAJ42GO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1548351608&sr=8-3&keywords=microfiber+clothes+for+cleaning+windows
- Buy microfiber clothes.
- Mix your chemical and put in spray bottle.
- Spray mixture on window.
- Wipe off debris with green cloth. (Pane should still be wet)
- Polish window with blue rag.
- If necessary, repeat steps if the window is not streak free.
Easy Chemical Mixtures:
*All of these are safe for home use.*
- Distilled Water
- This one is my dirty little secret. No smell of the vinegar or rubbing alcohol, and it turns out great. No mixing needed.
- Only use with microfiber clothes. Not recommended with paper towels.
- I LOVE this solution when combined with microfiber clothes. I recommend it.
- Mix one part vinegar to two parts water.
- Sometimes this is easier for people to use to create streak-free results.
- (WARNING: Does leave horrendous smell in home. Unless you enjoy vinegar stench.)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Mix one part rubbing alcohol with two parts water.
- Another one people say is easier to produce streak-free windows.
- (WARNING: Can leave faint smell behind)
- Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol
- Mix together equal parts.
- Combine mixture one to one with water.
- I like this better than using vinegar or rubbing alcohol by themselves.
- (DO NOT mix with dish soap. Dish soap breaks down the effectiveness of vinegar and rubbing alcohol. I actually asked a vinegar expert on this, Lawrence Diggs)
- Dish Soap
- Mix ½ teaspoon of Dawn dish soap per gallon of water.
- Brand Name Window Cleaning Solution (Preferable stick to strictly window cleaning solution. Don’t use a multipurpose cleaner on your glass)
- Glass Plus