Spring cleaning isn’t just about decluttering; it’s a chance to refresh your living space and let the sunshine in. But before you grab your bucket of warm soapy water and throw it at the front door, read on, because we’re going to share with you top spring cleaning tips from the experts, to help make your windows and doors sparkle.
Why is spring cleaning important for windows and doors?
Clean timber windows and wooden doors will instantly improve the appearance of your home, making it more inviting and welcoming. Not to mention, clean windows can increase their energy efficiency – reducing your energy bills.
Over time, dust, dirt, and grime can accumulate on glass and wood surfaces, reducing both their appearance and function. Cleaning your windows and doors regularly not only makes your home look better but also extends the life of your windows and doors, as well as making your home safer and more secure.
Gather your window cleaning supplies
- A vacuum cleaner with attachments
- Mild soap and water
- Window cleaner solution
- Microfibre cloths
- A squeegee
- A soft-bristle brush
- Dry cloth/lint free towel
Prepare the window cleaning solutions
You have two options when it comes to cleaning solutions to use for your spring clean: a commercial window cleaning solution, or a homemade cleaning solution. Here’s a breakdown of the two main categories:
Commercial window cleaners: Commercial window cleaners are widely available and are often formulated with specific ingredients to tackle tough dirt, grime, and even water spots. These cleaners typically come in both spray and liquid forms and are designed to provide a streak-free shine. They typically contain specialised chemicals that help break down and dissolve stubborn residues, making them ideal for windows and doors that require intensive cleaning. Commercial window cleaners are convenient and effective, especially for those who prefer a quick and efficient solution. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using these products.
Natural window cleaners: For those who prefer a more environmentally friendly approach, natural window cleaners are an excellent option. These cleaners are made from natural ingredients, commonly found in your home, such as vinegar, lemon juice, and essential oils. They offer an eco-conscious alternative to traditional cleaners and are safer for both your health and the environment. Natural window cleaners are effective in removing light dirt and grime and can leave your windows and doors looking clean and streak-free. However, they may not be as potent as commercial cleaners for heavy-duty cleaning tasks. To create a natural window cleaner at home, for exterior glass, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, for the interior glass, dilute a few drops of mild dish soap in water.
Instructions on how to clean windows
Let’s start with the outside.
Exterior window cleaning
Clean the window frames
Begin by removing loose dirt and debris from the window frames using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner. Wipe down the frames with a damp cloth and mild soapy water. For stubborn spots, use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste, then scrub gently.
Remove debris and cobwebs
Inspect the exterior of your windows for cobwebs and other debris. Use a telescopic duster or a long-handled broom to reach high spots. Gently sweep away the cobwebs, being careful not to damage the window glass.
Wash exterior glass
Spray the vinegar and water solution onto the exterior glass surfaces. Use a sponge or microfibre cloth to scrub away dirt and grime. To prevent streaks, wipe the glass in a vertical motion on one side and a horizontal motion on the other.
Interior window cleaning
Clean window sills and ledges
Remove any items from your window sills and ledges. Wipe sills and ledges down with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. For tough stains, use a diluted vinegar and water solution. Vinegar is a natural degreaser and cuts through stains easily.
Clean interior glass
Spray the mild dish soap solution onto a microfibre cloth and gently clean the interior glass. Start from the top and work your way down. Use vertical strokes on one side and horizontal strokes on the other to identify and eliminate streaks effectively.
Deal with stubborn stains
For stubborn stains or adhesive residue, a mixture of surgical spirit and water can work wonders. Apply the solution to a soft cloth and gently rub the affected area until the stain is gone.
Revitalise and refresh window treatments
Remove curtains according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most curtains are machine washable; however, delicate fabrics may require hand washing or professional cleaning. If appropriate, iron or steam them before rehanging.
Clean blinds and shades
Dust and dirt can settle on blinds and shades. Close them in one direction and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Then, reverse the direction and clean the other side. For fabric blinds, use a lint roller to remove dust.
Clean door surfaces
Wipe down the exterior and interior surfaces of your doors with a mixture of soapy water. For wooden doors, avoid excessive moisture, as it can damage the finish. Dry the surfaces immediately after cleaning.
Remove door handles and knobs if possible, then polish them with a suitable cleaner. For brass or copper hardware, a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda can work wonders. Reattach the hardware once they are completely dry.
To clean patio doors like folding doors, treat them as windows and clean the exterior doors first, then the interior doors. Don’t forget to clean the door frame and tracks as dirt and debris can accumulate here, affecting the doors’ smooth operating.
Tips on how to prevent dirt and grime from building up on windows and doors
To maintain the beauty and clarity of your windows and doors while preventing the accumulation of dirt and grime, a little regular maintenance goes a long way in keeping your home looking its best.
- Regular cleaning routine: Establish a consistent cleaning schedule for your windows and doors. Wipe them down with a damp cloth every few weeks to remove dust and prevent residue buildup. Don’t just do it once a year.
- Keep surrounding areas clean: Ensure the surrounding areas are free from dirt, leaves, and debris. Regularly sweep or hose down pathways, driveways, and patio areas to minimise the transfer of dirt onto windows and doors.
- Use doormats: Place doormats both outside and inside entrances to trap dirt and mud from shoes. This helps reduce the amount of dirt that gets tracked indoors and onto your windows and doors.
- Trim overhanging branches: If you have trees near your windows and doors, trim overhanging branches regularly. This prevents leaves, sap, and other debris from falling onto the glass and frames.
- Ventilation and humidity control: Proper ventilation helps reduce indoor humidity, which can attract dirt and grime to windows and doors. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to prevent excessive moisture.
- Seal gaps and cracks: Inspect and seal any gaps or cracks around your windows and doors. These openings can allow dust and dirt to enter your home, leading to build-up over time.
- Wash window treatments: If you have curtains, blinds, or shades, wash or clean them according to manufacturer instructions. Clean window treatments contribute to overall cleanliness.
- Gentle cleaning techniques: When cleaning, use gentle techniques such as microfibre cloths and soft brushes. Avoid abrasive materials that can scratch glass or frames.
- Install new windows or doors: Consider upgrading to new windows and doors and make cleaning them a regular occurence. This will not only ensure they look their best, but it will help extend their life too.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I clean my windows and doors?
Regular cleaning every few months is recommended, with more thorough cleaning efforts during spring and autumn.
Can I use vinegar for cleaning the glass?
Yes, a mixture of vinegar and water is an effective and natural glass cleaner.
Should I hire professionals for this task?
While you can certainly tackle the cleaning yourself, professional window and door cleaning services can provide a more thorough and efficient result. If you live in a high rise building it's sensible to call in the professionals, or if you have lots of windows, it can save you time and effort.