Windows need work to keep them clean and sparkling. With the gloomy days and dark nights still firmly set in until spring has sprung, maximising daylight and ensuring your home or workplace feels fresh and bright can well depend on how spotless the windows, skylights, frames and sills are. Natural light makes us feel better and can boost productivity and morale in the workplace as well as brightening our days and evenings at home.
Many modern offices and retail outlets – and indeed an increasing number of domestic properties – are constructed from large amounts of glass. While this is aesthetically pleasing and allows for much natural light to bathe the building, it does require quite a lot of maintenance and should be an important part of your commercial cleaning service. But it doesn’t need to be too much like hard work.
But some windows are simply hard to reach. So when, and how often, should you dig out the bucket, ladders, cloths and squeegee; what is the best way to clean those awkward-to-get-to apertures; and when should you seek the services of a professional window cleaning company?
How to clean windows outside
Windows looking out onto the world inevitably become dirty quite quickly. Grime, pollutants, exhaust fumes, pollen, pests and debris build up rapidly and cling to glass surfaces all too easily. How best to clean outside windows can be a challenge and requires time, effort and investment in the right equipment.
You can start by giving outside windows a blast with a hose if there’s a lot of muck on them. A hose will inevitably leave streaks and marks on the glass so a little more work is required to achieve a sparkling, streak-free finish. Remember that professional window cleaners only use filtered water which doesn’t leave streaks or limescale deposits.
You can then spray the window with a vinegar solution or specialist window cleaning detergent and then get to work with a sponge or even a mop to get rid of bigger dirt deposits or larger soiled areas and dry the glass.
For stubborn areas, like bird droppings, saturate thoroughly for a few minutes before rubbing with the sponge to remove. Take care not to use anything too abrasive on the surface which might scratch the glass. You can also purchase a polymer coating to apply to windows which will last a lifetime and keep them stain-free for many years with just a wipe and a wash every now and again to keep them sparkling.
How to clean windows without smears
Paper towels leave streaks so you need the correct cleaning material and tools to achieve a streak-free finish. A soft microfibre cloth is effective for a glistening finish without smears and can be used in conjunction with a bucket of warmish water and some mild detergent. Don’t forget to pay attention to windows frames and sills – keeping them clean and free from dirt also helps prolong their lifespan.
Next up, spray the window with the vinegar and water solution – one part vinegar to one part water – or a commercial cleanser. Grab your squeegee, angle it towards the bottom of the window and work from top to bottom. Remember to wipe the squeegee with a clean, dry towel at the end of each pass. You can use a lint-free cloth or scrunched up newspaper to dry the window thoroughly once you’re done washing it.
How to clean windows inside
The principles for cleaning windows inside are largely as above, except it’s best to polish up on a dull day to ensure smears aren’t left behind from the solution drying up before you can squeegee and wipe away. It also pays to protect your walls and flooring from getting wet. Smaller windows can be cleaned with a micrfobre glass cloth and a spray bottle of filtered water. You can even use a microfibre pad on a short or long handle some of which come with a reservoir to pour in the filtered water.
How to clean windows you can’t reach
For windows you can’t reach, you have just a few choices – acquire a set of ladders, bring the windows closer to you, purchase the equipment required to enable you to get to high up or difficult access windows, or contact a professional window cleaning company.
Ladders are largely frowned upon today due to health and safety issues and the risks around working at height. This obviously applies to the workplace where employers have a duty of care for agencies working on their premises but it can equally impact upon domestic window cleaning. If you are tempted to use a ladder, take the necessary precautions, and most of all, don’t push it, don’t lean too far and take it slowly.
Some windows can be dissembled from their frames to enable cleaning and maintenance but this is quite rare, particularly in domestic dwellings. Alternatively, some windows are reversible to allow the outer facing surfaces to be rotated to be polished and spruced up from the safety of indoors.
Some simple to acquire tools can do something of a job. For example, a flat microfibre mop can be used to clean reachable windows. A flat microfibre mop won’t do the most thorough job but it will clean the glass of dirt and debris.
Alternatively, there are magnetic cleaning kits on the market which come in two parts. One clings to the outside of the window with a cleaning surface while the inside fitting has a handle. To prevent accidents, the outer portion will usually have a string affixed to it. There’s definetely a knack to using these and the results can be mixed.
These days, most professional window cleaning companies will use telescopic water-fed poles to reach high up windows. You can buy these yourself but they can be expensive. Professional window cleaner can also abseil into hard to reach areas, use arial platforms such a scissor lifts or cradles fixed to roof bolts.
Hire a professional window cleaner
For anyone without the time or even physical fitness or ability to do the above, a professional window cleaning company has many benefits. It’s difficult to clean windows effectively and without streaks.
Professionals know what they’re doing and will have the tools and equipment required to perform the job effectively – for all types and locations of windows. With this in mind, it’s always worth giving GCC FM a call. We’ll be able to clean any and all windows in your office, allowing you and your team’s workspace to make the most of the daylight – especially during this time of year when it’s in short supply! Give us a call now – we’d love to find out more about what you require.