Let The Sun Shine In

Sun Shine
Cleaning windows is a low-cost spring project that can brighten your home interiors. Photo: Gephardt Daily

March 15, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Are you mulling over a wide range of redecorating and home improvement ideas for this summer, but you can’t quite find the clarity you seek?

While you’re waiting for weather and temperatures to stabilize, why not consider a low- to no-budget way to brighten your home. If you have the supplies already, window washing costs you nothing except the time and effort.

And who knows? Removing the grime left by one winter (or even more) may cast a brighter light on your interior, and make it very clear what else you might like to upgrade when right time comes.

Brent Weingard, owner of Expert Window Cleaners in New York City, talked about window cleaning in an interview for “This Old House.”

“I don’t know of anything that can transform living spaces so well,” Weingard said. “You don’t know what you’re missing until you do the windows.”

Here are some of Weingard’s window washing tips:

Weingard suggests washing windows twice a year. The tools he uses scrubbing strips like you might find on a sponge mop or special window cleaning tool; a squeegee; chamois cloths or other drip-absorbing cloths; and a bucket of warm water with a squirt of dish washing liquid.

Using newspapers or a sponge just moves the dirt around, Weingard said, and it adds the risk of scratching windows.

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“All that rubbing isn’t a good idea,” he advised. “You’re just moving dirt around from one spot to another and putting a static charge on the glass, which attracts dust and dirt. As soon as you finish, the window looks dirty again.”

• Weingard’s begins by soaking the applicator strip well in the slightly soapy water, then rubbing it lightly over the glass a few times to loosen the dirt.

• Next, he runs the squeegee over the window in S shapes, wiping the tool dry with a lint-free cloth at the end of each stroke.

Squeegees with extension poles also can be purchased for the outside of second floor windows.

• Weingard removes the the rest of the solution by wiping the squeegee downward on the sides of the pane, then using a dry cloth to catch the solution from the window frame, sill and glass.

• For windows made of multiple small panes, he uses a hand saw to cut a small squeegee to the appropriate width, then follows the same process (minus the S strokes) already described. On the Website, Weingard also offers tips for removing stubborn stains on glass.

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