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A woman uses a blue rag to wipe Marvin Replacement window glass, holding the window horizontally

Spring Window Cleaning Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

When spring rolls around it’s a good time to clean your windows. Knowing how to clean windows and using the right cleaning solution for windows can make all the difference. There are some window cleaning tips to use for pristine window cleaning.

Marvin Replacement windows need next-to-zero maintenance. But if window cleaning is on your list of spring cleaning chores, here are some tips to consider.

  • Use caution on ladders, wear protective eyewear, and clothing when cleaning exterior windows. When working with primers, paints, stains, cleaning solutions, etc. follow local codes or manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Inspect weather stripping for damage. Take care when using paints, stains or varnishes as these products can damage weather stripping.

  • Examine window or door’s interior and exterior finish. Regular maintenance can extend the life of the finish.

  • Inspect exterior caulking around the outer edges of the window or door frame. Trim any loose caulk and reseal any gaps with a quality caulk.

  • Check all hardware (locks, opening mechanisms, etc.) for smooth operation.

  • Inspect exposed hardware screws; tighten if loose.

  • Clean sand, dirt or dust from door and window hinges, sills and tracks. Wash your windows and doors with a Marvin Replacement-approved cleaning solution.

Window Cleaning Tools

The right window cleaning tools can make for superior window cleaning. Some items to include when you begin your spring window cleaning include:

  • Squeegee

  • Window cleaning cloths/microfiber cloths

  • Bucket

  • Drop cloth

Cleaning Solutions for Windows

There are several cleaning solutions for windows. Some of the best window cleaners come from Rain-X®, Windex®, and Zep®. If you want to a homemade window cleaning solution you can use a mild dishwashing soap. Another homemade window cleaner recipe uses distilled white vinegar with 5% acidity and water. Cleaning windows with vinegar can help break down dirt and grease.

Exterior House Cleaning Solutions

Exterior window cleaning solutions include Home Armour®, Windex, and Zep products. Some of the best outdoor window cleaning solutions include:

  • Windex® outdoor window cleaner (Windex Multi-Surface Disinfectant Cleaner)

  • Zep® window cleaner (Zep Multi-Surface Cleaner)

Cleaning Exterior Windows

Before you begin outside window cleaning, check with your window manufacturer and owner’s manual for any special instructions on how to clean windows with special Low E coatings.

Use one microfiber cloth to clean your exterior windows. The exterior side of windows can accumulate more dirt and debris than the interior side. A cloth used to clean outside windows can bring that dirt and debris into your home.

A microfiber cloth works best to clean your outside windows. It will collect lint and won’t scratch your windows.

You can begin cleaning window exteriors by working around the frame. After you’ve cleaned the frame, you can clean the glass. It’s best to start cleaning at the top of the window and work your way down in a side-to-side motion.

How to Clean Cloudy Exterior Windows

If you’ve got cloudy windows it could be condensation or it could mean the seal between the glass panes has failed. When a seal fails it can look like cloudy or foggy windows. A broken seal means that the inert, non-toxic insulating gas has started to escape. A homemade exterior cleaning solution of water and distilled white vinegar with 5% acidity helps remove mineral deposits that can make windows look cloudy.

A woman wipes the glass on a Marvin Replacement Double Hung window with grilles between the glass.

How to Clean Exterior Windows from Inside

Marvin Replacement makes cleaning window exteriors from inside your home simple. The easy tilt operation of our single hung and double hung windows, shown above, allows you to clean the outside of your windows without stepping outside. The lower sash of our single hung windows tilt into a room for easy cleaning. Both sash of our double hung windows tilt into a room for cleaning. Our casement windows have an option Easy Wash® hinge, shown below, available that leaves room for you to clean the exterior side of your window from the inside.

Image of a person wiping an opened Marvin Replacement Casement window with a cloth.

Window Cleaning Techniques

A few window cleaning tips can make your windows shine. A drop cloth covering your window sill, wall, and floor can help catch any droplets that drip down. A squeegee will help prevent window streaks.

You can clean your window tracks with a soft bristle brush vacuum extension to remove the bigger debris. Once you’ve done cleaning the window glass, you can clean the window sill.

Window Cleaning Don’ts

Avoiding certain things with cleaning your windows will make for better results. You can avoid streaky windows with a little know-how.

  • Don’t Clean in a Circular Motion: Cleaning windows in a circular motion can create static. Static attracts dust to the window surface.

  • Don’t Clean Windows with a Power Washer: Don’t use a power washer to clean your exterior windows. The force a power washer creates can damage windows. Power washers can also find paths through your siding and create potential water damage to your home.

  • Don’t Use Scrapers of Any Kind: Using scrapers can damage windows and scratch glass. Glass scratched by a scraper is not covered under the Marvin warranty.  

  • Don't Clean Windows on Sunny Days: Spring window cleaning is best left for cloudy days. Cleaning on sunny days can lead to the cleaning solution evaporating before you wipe it up. That can leave streaks behind. A cloudy cleaning day can decrease the possibility of streaks.

  • Cleaning Windows with Newspaper: Some have sworn by using newspaper to wipe up windows. Others say it’s not a good practice. Newspaper can leave prints behind and fall apart. Newspaper used to come thicker and offered an absorbent material that left little lint behind. Yet, it takes quite a bit of newspaper and takes more time than a squeegee and microfiber cloth.

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