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Squeaky Clean Windows

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Every Spring, the urge to clean becomes a irresistible force.  Suddenly everything in my house seems dingy and dirty.  I want to air it out and scrub it deep.

One of the first things I want to clean in the Spring is my windows.  We live near open fields and the mouth of a canyon.  We get some fierce storms and winds through the Winter.  Come Spring, my windows are grimy.

This time of year the window cleaning companies knock on the door wanting to clean our windows.  But they charge a near fortune.  And Drew and I are “do it yourself” kind of people.  We always do our own windows.  Drew cleans the outside, I clean the inside.  Several years ago we invested in a rectangular bucket and a squeegee from Home Depot.  The squeegee has a removable/washable scrubber on one side and the other side is the actual squeegee.  It can be screwed onto a painter’s pole to reach the high windows.  This makes the job a lot easier.

Last week, my mom called me with a new window washing tip.  She was really excited.  My mom is one of those rare people who gets really excited about cleaning.  Her dear friend and neighbor, Bonnie Rae Larson had just given her a “Make it Do” recipe for cleaning windows.  Bonnie Rae is a meticulous homemaker and also knows the value of thrift.

The next day, my mom cleaned every window in her house using Bonnie Rae’s simple formula.  Her windows sparkled.

Here’s her recipe:  Mix two quarts of warm water with 2 Tbsp. of rubbing alcohol.  For hard water stains on the windows she rubs the spots with straight vinegar.  It’s just that simple.

Here’s how we clean our windows:

For the outside:
1.    We try to clean the windows first thing in the morning, before they are in direct sunlight.
2.    First remove the screens.
3.    Drew hoses off the windows to remove some of the dust and dirt.  He also sprays the sills.  That way you don’t make mud or scratch the windows.
4.    This year we are going use Bonnie Rae’s formula in the bucket.  He works from the top of the window and works down, scrubbing the entire window.
5.    Then he uses the squeegee in a pattern working from left to right.  In between each stroke he wipes the squeegee off with a clean towel.
6.    Before putting the screens back, I cover the picnic table with an old sheet.  We scrub the screens gently with a brush and soapy warm water.  Then I hose them off and let them dry.

For the inside:
1.    Start by pulling up the blinds and vacuuming the sills.
2.    I usually use Windex and paper towels… but I just tried Bonnie Rae’s formula in a spray bottle and it worked beautifully.  So instead of going through a bottle of Windex, I will use a little bit of inexpensive diluted rubbing alcohol.
3.    I also just tried using newspapers instead of the paper towels.  It’s a great way to “Use it up.”

Cleaning the blinds has always been one of my least favorite housekeeping jobs.  As a result, I don’t clean them until they are so dirty, I have no choice but to take them down and clean them in the tub.  That is not fun.  And it’s not good for the cords.  Then my dear friend Cherie’ gave me a great tip. Vacuum your blinds first if you have a wand on you vacuum cleaner.  Or dust quickly with a duster.  Then wipe your blinds with Clorox wipes.  The wipes clean really well… even the dirtiest blinds in the kitchen with food splatters.  You do go through a lot of wipes and you have to clean each blind one by one… but it is a lot easier than taking them down.  I don’t typically use products like Clorox Wipes, but they work better than anything I’ve tried… so the blinds get the special treatment!  Cherie’ uses this technique on her wood blinds and my blinds are faux wood.

Sparkling clean windows are sure to brighten your day.  You never realize how dirty they were until they are clean!

Egg Carton Seedling Update… The kids are a twitter… they see green.

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5 Responses to “Squeaky Clean Windows”

  • Roseann:

    One of my Faux Blinds won’t pull up straight or come down straight. They are always crooked…something seems to be wrong. How can I fix this myself??? thanks.

    • Roseann, I wish I knew how to help you! I have never done any serious repairs to my blinds before. I did have a similar problem once, but the fix was easy, there was a small knot in the line causing it to stick a bit, which I picked out. Beyond that I am not even sure who to tell you to call… the store you bought them from maybe. Good luck. Sometimes those little things can really be a bother. All the best, Calli

  • Camille:

    Have to tell you my cheap fast and favorite way to clean blinds. MIcrofiber towel sprayed with a mixture of water, vingear and a little liquid soap – then, wipe. More effective than wipes and WAY cheaper!

  • Kathleen Chenoweth:

    have you tried cleaning your windows with paper coffee filters? There is NO LINT left behind, and no black on your hands from the newspaper print. I just learned this and it is amazing!

    love your site !

  • As a professional window cleaner I have one bit of advice for do it yourselfers. Use a new rubber on your squeegee. This will save you frustration and yield the best results. Haapy Spring! Art

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