When the weather outside is frightful, cleaning your windows can be delightful…or at least tolerable.

During the winter months, it is pretty easy to become reluctant when it comes to giving your windows a good clean, no matter how dirty they may be. Many choose to give their windows a thorough clean in the weeks leading up to winter in hopes that they will remain spotless throughout the season. However, one of the most frustrating things about winter is that it is the time of year when windows can get the dirtiest. Between the melting snow dragging dirt and debris onto your windows and the salt that seems to cover everything, it is rare that you can get away the whole season without having to clean your windows at least once.

Pick a Calm Winter Day

If you decide to tackle your windows during the winter, the first thing you need to consider is the weather for the day of your cleaning and the days following. Choose a suitable day that isn’t too cold and the wind isn’t howling. Next, you need to choose the right time of day. Even during the winter months, you should always clean your windows in the shade or on overcast days to avoid streaks.

Now that you know when you are going to wash your windows, let’s talk about preparing them. Before spraying or applying cleaning fluid you should always remove any dirt, dust, or debris that has built up in the tracks and grooves. Eventually, this filth can affect the window mechanisms that allow the window to open and close. In addition, if you don’t clean up the larger dirt particles prior to washing, you could end up with a muddy mess and dirtier windows than you had to start with.

Water Temperature

When it comes to the temperature of the water you use to clean your windows you need to be careful. You don’t want to use hot water on cold windows as the contrast between hot and cold water could crack your window pane.  However, you also don’t want to use cold water, as it could freeze rather quickly on the window. Both of these options could lead to more harm than good. Ideally, you want to use warm water. To protect your hands from the water and the cold you can wear rubber gloves like the ones you may use for washing your dishes.

For the actual cleaning fluid, you can use a regular window cleaning solution. However, if you are worried about the water freezing on the windows due to the cold weather, you can add a windshield washing solution to the water. If the solution has already been diluted with water, then you can apply it directly to the window. If it is still concentrated, you can dilute the solution with water. Even though these solutions were created for cars, they can be used on any type of glass.

Streak Free Windows

Now that you have your cleaning formula ready you will need something to wipe your windows with. While many agree that newspaper is great for cleaning windows, they can leave marks on the frame and can cause light scratches. Plain, white paper towels are far more efficient at absorbing water and leaving a streak free shine. Microfiber cloths also work really well for drying windows without leaving any streaks behind. As you wash the windows, wash in circular movements from the corners and outer perimeter of the window towards the interior or centre of the window.

It’s important to keep in mind that the only way to keep your windows looking as close to perfect as possible is to regularly clean them. For more information on how to care for and maintain your windows be sure to visit our Windows 101 page or consult our Windows FAQ.