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.