Anyone who’s tried cleaning their own windows knows of the potential pitfalls – the streaky finish, the seemingly instant return of dirt or the feeling that they were just never that clean to begin with. With the right technique and the right tools those worries may quickly become a thing of the past.

The old housewife’s tale
Sometimes the best advice to take comes from the experienced, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. Legend has it that a vinegar solution (variations exist between half white vinegar and half water to one teaspoon of vinegar for every two litres of water) sprayed onto a glass surface and wiped off with newspaper will do wonders. The job does require a good helping of elbow grease, but the vinegary mixture leaves a clean finish and the old paper makes it streak free.
There are, however, rumours that new printing techniques means newspapers are no longer as effective as a cleaning tool.
The three-step approach
There are, however, side effects of all that rubbing and two things that can happen are that you simply end up moving the dirt around or you create a small static charge which ends up attracting more dirt.
With the three-step, and three-tool, approach you can avoid this backlash.
Start off with a soft headed strip applicator and, with a bucket of warm soapy water, you’ll find cleaning dirt off the window a lot easier.
Once you’ve been over the entire pane, take a squeegee and, working from the top, clean the suds off the glass. At the end of each stroke be sure to wipe the tool clean.
To finish off around the edges, use a piece of chamois to soak up any remaining bubbles.
This tiered approach gives you a long-lasting clean and a proper dry, which is where streaks would normally appear.
The extra touches
t’s not just the glass that needs to be cleaned for best results. Run a sponge around the frame and sills, give blinds a dust and get rid of any cobwebs in and around the frame with a rag or broom. Onceyour windows are clean, giving them a regular touch up with a glass cleaning spray and a cloth can help keep them in nice shape until the next clean is due. These tasks will only take a few extra minutes but they can make a huge difference to the overall appearance.
Although window cleaning may not be everyone’s favourite job, done at least every six months it can have a huge effect on the look and feel of a room. Like with most tasks, putting it off only makes it harder so be sure you get the right tools and get started.