If you want to learn how to clean windows like a professional—without smears, in other words—then you need to acquire the right equipment and supplies, as well as know the most effective techniques. While this is no way to replace an actual professional team, this will certainly help maintain the pristine, crisp nature of your windows in between treatments.

The Equipment

To achieve streak-free windows, you need quality equipment. If you cannot locate some of these items at your local Walmart, check a nearby hardware store or cleaning supply shop as a resource.

  • Bucket: Large enough for a squeegee and mop
  • Squeegee: A crucial tool, so choose one wisely
    • Unger, Ettore, Sorbo suggested
    • Most useful is 14”
    • Should come in three connected pieces: handle, channel, rubber
  • Mop: T-bar and sleeve that allows for detaching to put it in the washing machine
  • Scraper: Replaceable metal blades to remove paint, varnish, insects, and more
    • Be very careful when using this tool because it could cause permanent damage
  • Detergent: You can purchase specialty detergents, but even something like Palmolive will do the job for you
    • You’ll hear to use vinegar and warm water, but the issue is that it doesn’t sud up, which is important for lubricating the squeegee for easy turns

There is other equipment that you could purchase, but they require greater skill and attention when in use, such as a ladder. That is why we emphasize that these tips are a resource for maintenance, not a replacement for professional services. Other things you could use, but don’t need to buy at a hardware store, include rags and towels.

Cleaning a Window with a Squeegee

The Process

Equipped with the proper tools, you can now follow these simple steps for an easy process to effectively clean your windows—without streaks or smears!

  1. Fill the bucket approximately halfway (or slightly less) with cold water. That’s because hot water will evaporate too quickly. Then add a few squirts of the detergent into the water or directly onto the wet mop.
  2. Run the wet mop along the window. Do this several times to ensure that the dirt is completely lifted. Now is the time to use the scraper for any stubborn marks.
    1. Using the Scraper: Only pass the blade in the forward direction
  3. Hold the squeegee in your dominant hand with your thumb placed midway between the top and side (think of a crossbeam). Place it onto the glass.
  4. Angle the squeegee at 45 degrees. Think of the handle touching the glass as 0 degrees and sticking straight out from the glass as 90 degrees—you want the middle point.
  5. Keep a constant pressure against the glass as you clean it. Find the sweet spot because you can actually be too light (won’t collect the water) or too hard (tough to move around).
  6. Start at the top-left corner and snake your way down the window, making sure that you go to the window pane’s edges. This best practice helps prevent streaks and smears.
  7. Use a rag (micro-fiber cloth is optimal) to wide down the edges of the window, and use a towel to wipe up any spilled water on the sill and floor.

If you don’t feel like a professional yet, it will happen when you see how well your work can maintain your windows in between having a window cleaning company treat your windows. We will have plenty of other tips for you in the near future, so stay tuned to the AAA Window Cleaning and Solutions blog!