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11 Window Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid for Crystal-Clear Results

Clean and sparkling windows allow natural light to flood in your home and offer a clear view of the outside world. However, achieving those crystal-clear windows requires more than just a squeegee and a bucket of soapy water.

So, if you are one of those people who often struggle to achieve sparkling windows, worry not! Here, we'll explore some of the most common window-cleaning mistakes that people tend to make and give you advice on how to avoid them.

By learning from these missteps, next time, you'll be well on your way to having windows that sparkle and look professionally cleaned.

Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

A common mistake people make when cleaning their windows is using the wrong cleaning products. Harsh chemicals and ammonia-based detergents can make windows look cloudy and cause permanent damage.

Furthermore, using inappropriate materials and tools like abrasive scrubbers or rough paper towels can lead to scratches and streaks.

To avoid this:

  • Choose a gentle and non-abrasive cleaner specifically designed for windows.
  • Look for ammonia-free products that are safe for your window's material, whether it's glass, vinyl, or another surface.
  • For optimal results, use a soft, lint-free cloth or squeegee.

Neglecting the Initial Dusting or Pre-Cleaning

Skipping the initial dusting or pre-cleaning is another common mistake. Many people dive right into washing their windows without removing loose particles first. Dust, dirt, and debris on your windows can scratch the glass or create muddy streaks when mixed with a cleaning solution.

To prevent this, always start by dusting or gently brushing the window surface. Use a soft brush or a microfiber cloth to remove loose particles, and pay special attention to window sills and frames, as debris tends to accumulate in these areas.

Overlooking the Window Frames and Sills

People often forget that windows are more than just glass, they also include frames and sills. Neglecting to clean these areas can ruin the overall appearance of your windows and compromise their functionality.

Dust, pollen, and moisture can accumulate on frames and sills, leading to mould growth and potential damage. So, don't forget to include them in your window cleaning routine. Use a damp cloth and a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner to wipe down these surfaces.

Periodically inspect for any signs of damage or wear that might require maintenance or repair.

Leaving Streaks and Residue

Streaks and residue on freshly cleaned windows can be frustrating. They not only affect the clear view but also diminish the overall aesthetic appearance of your home.

Some of the common reasons for streaks and residue are the use of too much cleaning solution, insufficient rinsing, or improper drying techniques.

To achieve a streak-free shine, use the right amount of cleaning solution - too much product can leave behind residue. After cleaning, rinse the windows thoroughly with clean water, ensuring all cleaning solution is removed.

Finally, dry the windows with a clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel to prevent streaks.

Cleaning Windows in Direct Sunlight

Cleaning windows in direct sunlight might seem like a good idea because you can see dirt and streaks more easily, but it's a common mistake.

The sun's heat can cause the cleaning solution to evaporate quickly, leaving behind streaks and spots as you work. Besides, the heat can make the cleaning process more challenging, as the solution will dry before you can properly clean it.

To avoid this, choose an overcast day or tackle your window cleaning in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense. Working in cooler conditions will allow you to clean windows more effectively and achieve better results.

Skipping Regular Cleaning

Neglecting regular window cleaning is a common mistake that can lead to the accumulation of dirt and grime over time. When left uncleaned for extended periods, windows become more challenging to clean, and the build-up can even cause damage.

Therefore, you should better establish a window cleaning schedule. Depending on your location and climate, you may need to clean your windows every few months or seasonally.

Regular cleaning will guarantee that your windows stay in top condition and remain a focal point of your home's aesthetics.

Not Paying Attention to Different Window Types

Different window types have specific cleaning needs, and neglecting these differences can lead to mistakes. For example, casement windows open differently from double-hung windows, and their hinges and frames require specific care.

So, it's better to familiarise yourself with the unique characteristics of your windows. Research proper cleaning techniques for your window type to ensure you clean them correctly.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Safety should always be the main priority when cleaning windows, yet many people overlook essential safety measures. For example, accidents and injuries can easily occur if you use improper equipment, climb on unstable surfaces or overreach.

To stay safe, follow some simple rules:

  1. Use proper equipment like sturdy ladders or extension poles when necessary.
  2. When using a ladder, ensure it is on level ground and secured.
  3. Wear appropriate footwear and consider using safety gear like gloves and safety glasses.
  4. Inform someone that you're cleaning the windows, especially if you're using a ladder.

Using Dirty or Worn Cleaning Tools

Using dirty or worn cleaning tools is a mistake that can transfer dirt and grime from your tools to the windows, defeating the purpose of cleaning. Old and worn-out squeegees or clothes may not effectively remove the cleaning solution, leaving behind streaks.

To prevent this, regularly clean and maintain your window cleaning tools. Wash your clothes or sponges after each use, and replace them when they become worn or ineffective. Low-quality tools can lead to poor results, so to ensure efficient cleaning, invest in high-quality equipment.

The same goes for cleaning products - using the wrong or low-quality spray can leave a residue and make your windows streaky and cloudy.

Using Too Much Cleaning Solution

Using an excessive amount of cleaning solution is a mistake that can lead to streaks and residue. It may also waste cleaning products and your time. When you apply too much solution, it becomes challenging to rinse it off completely, leaving behind a soapy film.

So, use the recommended amount of cleaning solution as specified on the product label - start with a small amount, and if needed, add more gradually.

Ignoring Manufacturer Guidelines

Usually, window manufacturers provide recommendations for proper cleaning and maintenance. Ignoring these guidelines can result in damage or void warranties.

The manufacturer's guidance may include specific cleaning products to use or avoid, as well as recommended cleaning frequencies.

So, always consult your window manufacturer's guidelines and follow their recommendations - this will ensure you care for your windows in the best possible way and preserve their quality and longevity.


Achieving pristine and crystal-clear windows requires attention to detail and avoiding common cleaning mistakes. However, by using the right products, establishing a cleaning routine, and following proper techniques, your windows will shine.

It is not that difficult to have sparkling windows, and following some simple rules will make them look as cleaned by a professional.

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