Part of the appeal of cottage living is enjoying bright, sunny days and beautiful lake views, no matter the season. However, you may not be making the most of the natural light inside of your cottage if you haven’t cleaned your windows in some time. 

If your windows are covered with dirt, dust, cobwebs, or water spots, cleaning your cottage windows is well worth the time especially if you are planning to use your cottage in the winter. Use these easy-to-follow tips to ensure that you get spotless panes of glass that will let the sunshine in all year long.

Choose a dry, cloudy day for outside washing if possible
Choose to start with either the interior or exterior of your windows. If you choose to start cleaning inside, work through one room at a time. This way if any streaks remain when the job is done, you will be able to determine if they are on the inside or outside of the windows.

If you are cleaning the outside of your windows, choose a dry, cloudy day so that your cleaning solution won’t dry on the windows before you have time to wipe it off. If it does, that will lead to streaking. If washing on a cloudy day is not possible, start on the shady side of the cottage and work your way around.

Depending on the style of  your windows, screens may be located on the inside or outside of your window frames. Remove them if possible, wash them with hot, soapy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let them dry thoroughly before putting them back into place. If it isn’t possible to remove your screens, scrub them with a sponge with hot, soapy water. 

Remove dust and dirt from the window and frame
Remove any dust and dirt from the window and frame with a dry cloth, broom or vacuum. This will prevent dirt from turning to mud when the cleaner is applied, and cuts down on the amount of rubbing you will need to do. You can also choose to rinse your exterior windows with a hose if you are sure they are properly sealed so that no water gets inside.

Don’t skimp when applying your cleaning product, especially if it’s been a while since the last time the windows were cleaned.  Whether you choose to use a commercial product or a simple solution of one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle, a liberal application of cleaner helps dissolve the dirt so that it can be completely wiped away and ensures that your windows are streak-free when dry.  Wipe horizontally then vertically to ensure no spots are missed.

Use a microfiber cloth to dry your windows in a z-shaped pattern
Dry your windows using a Z-shaped pattern. Most people use newspaper or paper towels to dry their panes, but professional window cleaners recommend using microfiber cloths instead. They leave windows sparkling clean and lint-free. Since they are washable and reusable, they are an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice. 

If your windows are still showing dirt or streaks after drying, spray and dry again since very dirty windows typically require multiple rounds of spraying and drying to clean away any residue. Sometimes windows will be marked with mineral deposits, especially in areas that have hard water. If this is the case, a commercial cleaning product that removes calcium, lime, and rust stains may be your best choice. Just ensure that you follow the manufacturer’s directions when using, and wear the necessary recommended protective equipment.

Clean your large windows with professional tools
Large picture windows may benefit from the use of professional tools: a strip applicator, a squeegee, a bucket of warm, soapy water, a damp chamois, and microfiber cloths.

Use the strip applicator to apply the soapy water to the entire window then starting at the top left, pull the squeegee over the pane in a reverse-S pattern cleaning away any suds. Be sure to wipe the squeegee’s blade with a lint-free cloth at the end of every stroke. Finally, remove any water remaining on the glass with the chamois and dry the windowsill with a cloth.

Cleaning your windows now means you won’t have to worry about doing it when it gets too cold. It can also tick off a box on your “To Do List” when you reopen your cottage in the spring, leaving you more time to relax on opening weekend.

If thinking about cleaning your cottage windows has made you realize that it may be time to replace them, Muskoka Window and Door Centre has the experts available to ensure that your cottage is outfitted with the latest energy-efficient replacements. Contact us today to book an appointment.