Blog > Category > Posted: 2022-Aug-27, Updated: 2023-Nov-16

The ABCs of window cleaning - Do's and Don'ts

Window cleaning tips
There's a right and wrong way to do everything, even when cleaning vinyl windows. Here are a few not-so-obvious tips that could help make your window cleaning safer, more efficient and even easier.

Every homeowner knows that cleaning vinyl windows is a chore that requires finesse and the right approach. There's more to it than just grabbing a spray bottle and a paper towel. In fact, there's a science to achieving spotless, streak-free windows without causing harm to your property.

Whether you're a seasoned window-cleaning veteran or a first-timer, here's a detailed rundown of the do's and don'ts that might have slipped through the cracks.

The Do's:

1. Weather wisdom

  • Timing is everything, even when it comes to window cleaning.
  • Opt for a day when the sun isn't blazing down on your windows.
  • Cleaning in direct sunlight can cause your cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leaving behind streaks and smudges.

2. Tools of the trade

  • Equip yourself with the right arsenal. A soft, lint-free microfiber cloth or a squeegee with a gentle rubber blade can work wonders.
  • Don't forget the corners and edges – use a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush for those hard-to-reach spots.

3. Mindful maneuvering

  • Safety first! Before embarking on your cleaning adventure, ensure your own safety.
  • Securely position a stable ladder or use an extension pole with a window cleaning attachment for those high, hard-to-reach windows.

4. Technique matters

  • Start by removing loose dirt with a dry cloth or brush.
  • Dampen your cloth or sponge in a cleaning solution and gently wipe the window in vertical or horizontal strokes.
  • For larger windows, divide them into sections for a thorough cleaning.

5. Use gentle solutions

  • Prior to cleaning the glass, hose down the entire frame and window (avoid power washers).
  • A simple mixture of warm water and mild dish soap often does the trick.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals that can harm the environment and corrode window frames.

6. Banishing streaks

  • Wipe away excess cleaning solution promptly to avoid unsightly streaks.
  • Use a squeegee or a clean, dry microfiber cloth in a single fluid motion, starting from the top and working your way down.
  • Regularly wipe the squeegee or cloth to prevent transferring dirt.

7. Tricky tracks and frames

  • Don't overlook the window tracks and frames. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove loose debris from tracks.
  • Dampen a cloth with your cleaning solution and gently scrub the tracks and frames.
  • Finish by wiping them dry with a separate cloth.

The Don'ts:

1. Don't neglect safety measures

  • Never compromise on safety, especially at heights. Avoid leaning out of windows or overstretching.
  • Use sturdy ladders or extension poles. Consider hiring professionals for high or hard-to-reach windows.

2. Avoid temperature extremes

  • Steer clear of extreme temperatures – both hot and cold.
  • Hot temperatures can dry cleansers too quickly, leaving a soapy residue.
  • Cold temperatures can cause windows to dry too slowly, resulting in streaks.

3. Resist the power washer temptation

  • Power washers may be effective for other surfaces, but not for windows.
  • The intense pressure can damage glass, frames, and seals.
  • Stick to gentler methods like sponges, cloths, or squeegees.

4. Banish the Windex shortcut

  • Avoid household glass cleaners on vinyl windows.
  • They may contain chemicals that degrade vinyl over time.
  • Stick to mild, non-abrasive cleaners formulated for vinyl surfaces.

5. Don’t Use harmful solvents

  • Avoid cleaners with solvents like grease remover or bleach, as they can damage surfaces and cause yellowing on white frames.

6. Don’t use abrasives

  • Steer clear of cleaners with abrasive materials, such as fine sand or bathtub cleansers, as they can damage glass and vinyl surfaces.

7. Don’t use sharp objects

  • Avoid metal tools, razor blades, steel wool, or other sharp objects.
  • Improper use can scratch or damage glass. Leave razor blades to professionals.

8. Skip the newspaper trick:

  • Despite popular belief, using newspapers can leave ink residue on the glass.
  • Opt for lint-free microfiber cloths or a squeegee instead.

9. Steer clear of excessive moisture

  • Don't oversaturate windows with cleaning solution or water.
  • Excessive moisture can damage frames or cause water leakage.
  • Use a damp cloth or sponge rather than soaking the entire window.

10. Don't forget the final wipe:

  • After cleaning, wipe away any excess cleaning solution or moisture to avoid streaks or water spots.
  • Use a dry microfiber cloth or squeegee for a flawless finish.


Achieving pristine vinyl windows involves more than just elbow grease—it requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Whether you're a seasoned window-cleaning pro or a novice, adhering to the do's and avoiding the don'ts is crucial for both efficiency and the longevity of your windows.

From weather-wise timing to equipping yourself with the right tools, practising mindful manoeuvring, and employing effective techniques, each step contributes to the science of achieving spotless, streak-free windows. Embracing gentle solutions and meticulous attention to tricky tracks and frames further ensures a thorough and safe cleaning process.

On the flip side, the don'ts caution against neglecting safety measures, steering clear of extreme temperatures, resisting the allure of power washers, and avoiding shortcuts like household glass cleaners. It emphasizes the importance of using non-abrasive solutions, steering clear of sharp objects, and eschewing common misconceptions, such as the newspaper trick.

In essence, by following these guidelines, homeowners can transform the seemingly mundane task of window cleaning into a meticulous and rewarding endeavour, preserving the integrity of their vinyl windows and enjoying crystal-clear results. So, armed with this comprehensive guide, tackle your window-cleaning chores with confidence, knowing you've mastered the art and science of achieving windows that sparkle and shine.

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Need more information?

Proper maintenance and cleaning of vinyl windows are essential for their longevity and overall appearance. By following the dos and avoiding don'ts of vinyl window cleaning, you can ensure that your windows
remain in excellent condition. Remember to use gentle cleaning solutions, soft cloths or sponges, and avoid abrasive materials or harsh chemicals. Regular cleaning and inspection can help prevent dirt buildup and damage.

If you have any questions or need further assistance with your vinyl windows, it's recommended to seek professional advice from a trusted window maintenance service.

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