How to Clean a Window in 3 Steps

by James Florence

To maintain your windows between professional cleanings, you’ll need to know the proper technique. Photo: Smart Window Cleaning (2017)

When it comes to window cleaning, nothing compares to a professional’s touch, but if you ever have to do it yourself, it’s helpful to know the proper technique. First, however, you’ll need the right tools, including a strip washer (sort of like a mop that’s used on windows) and a squeegee. You’ll also need a cleaning solution that repels (rather than attracts) dirt, whether a store-bought product or a homemade mixture of vinegar or ammonia and water.

Once you’ve assembled your tools, follow this simple window cleaning technique as explained by Eric Kennedy, co-owner of Smart Window Cleaning:

  1. Use your strip washer to wet and scrub the window. If the window has baked-on dirt or other residue, you can use some #4 steel wool (the finest grade available) to get additional abrasive power.


  1. Starting at the top of the window, use your squeegee to “fan” the window by moving briskly from one side to the other in a downward direction. This will displace moisture and allow the window to dry without leaving fibers behind (as often happens with towel-drying). An alternative to the fanning method is the straight pull: Starting at the top of the window, pull your squeegee horizontally from one side to the other, then straight down to the bottom. Use a towel to dry your squeegee, then repeat this across-and-down motion until you’ve covered the entire window.


  1. Towel the edges of the window frame and sill. While your squeegee will catch most of the moisture, there’s likely to be some remaining in the frame’s edges and corners. You can collect this residual moisture by going along the frame and sill with a towel.


To see a demonstration of this window cleaning technique, watch Eric’s Diamond Certified Expert Video.