Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Cleaning your Windows - streak-free!

I don't do windows very well - so I was thrilled to receive these tips from Don Aslett.  I've modified them just a bit to reflect my favorite brand of cleaners - non-toxic and earth-friendly.  I recommend you buy the tools mentioned here at Don's site (see below); but buy the cleaners here.

Do you say you don't do windows? Once you learn to clean like a pro, you will never say you don't do windows again. With the right tools and the right techniques, your windows will sparkle and let the spring sun in easier than ever. Professionals use simple cleaning solutions and the window washer's best friend -- a squeegee. A squeegee is the best way to do any full-size window or other large expanse of glass.

The equipment you'll need to easily produce gleaming, streak-free windows can be found either around the house or from the Cleaning Center. All you need for clean windows are:

• A bucket with cleaning solution (the solution is created with [a few drops of this non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaner])
• One 10" or 12" professional quality brass or stainless steel squeegee, or the Super System Squeegee
• A window scrubber, like the new Microfiber Scrubber with scrubbing strips, or the new Back Flip, with the Squeegee included
• An Extension pole, if you'll be cleaning high windows

Now don't let windows intimidate you. All you do is apply a cleaning solution with a window scrubber, and then simply remove the solution (and the dirt) with a squeegee. Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight though; they'll dry too fast and streak. Now, here's the skinny on squeegeeing:

Seven steps to crystal clear glass:

1. Mix up your solution: Put no more than a few drops of this cleaner in a bucket of warm water... any more cleaner than that will only cause streaking.
2. Wipe around the outside edge of the window with a damp cloth to remove debris that otherwise might get caught under your squeegee. Or if it's an extremely dirty outside window, a quick spray with the garden hose will remove mud, cobwebs, etc.
3. Dip the flat side of your window scrubber about ¼ inch into the solution, then lightly wet the window. Next, go back over it to loosen any stubborn debris before finally sweeping the scrubber around the edges of the window frame to pick up any dirt you may have pushed against it.
4. Before squeegeeing the window, wet the blade of the squeegee with a damp cloth, so that it won't skip on the glass. You should wipe the blade between strokes, too, when you're working with the squeegee. If you're doing high windows with an extension pole, simply hit the pole with the palm of your hand to release excess solution from the blade.
5. Placing the squeegee against the glass at the top of your window, tilt one end outward so that only about one inch of the blade's length rests lightly against the surface. Pull the squeegee straight across the top to create a dry strip about an inch wide. This will prevent drips from running down from the top of the window.
6. Place the squeegee blade in the narrow dry area and pull it all the way down to approximately three inches from the bottom of the window. Repeat until the window is done, making sure to overlap a little with each stroke; this prevents water from running into the cleaned area.
7. Finally, run the squeegee across the bottom of the window to remove the last of the solution. Finish by wiping the sill with a dry cloth.

Once you've squeegeed your windows, resist the temptation to remove lingering water drops with a cloth. This will only leave an irresistible streak. Just let them evaporate. If you must wipe, use the tip of your bare finger (after steps 1-7 it will be oil-free and the perfect touchup tool!)

Your squeegeeing techniques might be a little awkward at first, but you'll quickly catch on and then marvel at how easy it is to have sparkling glass... and you only used a few drops of cleaner!

Brass Squeegee - http://www.cleanreport.com/ad.cfm?code=BRASS0407

Super System - http://www.cleanreport.com/ad.cfm?code=SS0407

Window Scrubber - http://www.cleanreport.com/ad.cfm?code=WS0407

*NEW* Back Flip - http://www.cleanreport.com/ad.cfm?code=BF0407

Extension Poles - http://www.cleanreport.com/ad.cfm?code=EP0407

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