Wimbledon: modern Garden by Gregory Phillips Architects

​The 7 best ways to clean windows and glass surfaces

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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We’re not trying to make house-cleaning fun (for most of us it’s similar to torture), but once in a while you stumble upon a hint or a trick that makes that dreaded task of wiping/sweeping/washing just a tad easier, especially if the results (i.e. the clean surface) are so much better.

Today we are focusing on cleaning windows (and other glass surfaces) which, as most of us know, is time-consuming and taxing on your body. Add to that the fact that there’s always the possibility of a downpour, which means all your hard work for nothing! 

But let’s rather focus on the positive – how to get those glass surfaces to sparkle and shine like nobody’s business!

1. Standard-height windows

Thankfully, windows of this height are much easier to clean, requiring only items like a bucket, sponge and soap. If you’re the type that saves old shirts to use as rags, then throw those in, too!

Should you choose to whip up your own cleaning detergent, add two tablespoons of white vinegar to three litres of water and wipe with newspaper afterwards. Or you can use lemon juice or club soda in the same quantities. 

Never use paper towels or toilet paper for drying, as these cause streaks and leave small fibres behind.

2. Skylights and other high windows

Here we get to the taxing-on-your-body part! Although stunning additions to any home or other structure, skylights, clerestory- and other high-level windows can be a nuisance to keep clean. Given their locations, these windows are more susceptible to dirt, dust and rain. 

We recommend that you do not attempt to clean these windows on your own (i.e. get up on a high table or ladder). If there’s nobody to help you out, rather get a professional cleaner with the right equipment and who’s trained for this sort of job.

3. Sliding- and bi-fold doors

These are prime features to connect the interiors with the outdoors. And given their importance (and scale), it is imperative that these surfaces are cleaned regularly. 

If you don’t want to invest in a professional for these larger-sized surfaces, get yourself a medium to large-sized squeegee to ensure you have the perfect streak-free finish.

4. Your shower door

We’ve all seen glass shower doors sporting soap scum, water droplets and calcium build-up. Because these surface areas are quite small, a daily wiping shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, and for that we recommend that you keep squeegees or sponges in your shower unit to give that glass a quick wipe-down after every use. 

This is sure to make your weekly/monthly cleaning ritual much quicker when it comes to the bathroom. 

Just be careful with the chemicals used in your cleaning, as this is the one space that’s exposed to your bare skin—refrain from using abrasive products or anything with a pH value lower than 4 or higher than 12.

5. Stairs and glass balustrades

Who would have thought these would be relatively easy to clean? Attracting less dust and dirt than its traditional wooden counterpart, glass stairs can quickly be wiped down with a damp cloth or vacuumed. 

Just be careful: the surface will be slippery until dried, so spread the word that those glass steps are being washed / still drying to avoid any accidents.

6. Tabletops

We’re adults, which means it’s our turn now to bark at guests or kids to use coasters on our coffee tables. And with good reason, as we finally understand our mothers’ reasons – there is nothing worse than the circular stain left behind from a mug, oily smears or crumbs on a glass surface. 

Here, prevention is certainly better than cure; put measures in place to avoid the aforementioned stains, and you can very easily wipe the table down with a damp cloth or a quick spray of some glass cleaner.

7. Mirrors

Mirror surfaces that aren’t too can be sorted in seconds with a little warm water, applied and rubbed dry (in even, circular motions to avoid smears) with a microfiber cloth. But if there’s a little more grime to banish, dilute some washing-up liquid in a bucket of warm water and use a sponge to wipe over the mirrored surface. Then simply buff away any remaining marks with a clean microfiber cloth.

Take a look at this Simple home cleaning schedule.

Got any other tricks for window- and glass-cleaning we should know about?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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