In the bleak midwinter, when spring seems a long way away, a good spruce up is just what you need. Giving your windows a clean might seem a bit much, but getting all that wintry weather residue clear will brighten your home right up, inside and out. Here are some tips for cleaning your windows in the coldest season.
1) Dress for success
It’s cold, and you’re going to get wet, so dress accordingly. Wellies, goloshes or other weatherproof shoes with warm socks, waterproof trousers if you’ve got them, a warm jacket, and washing-up gloves are all a good bet. If you can, layer warm clothes underneath your waterproofs so you stay nice and toasty. Optional: a nearby flask of something hot to drink during break time.
2) Use the right product for the job
If it’s just a bit cool out, then you can get to work with a spray bottle of lukewarm—not hot—water and some window cleaner. Very hot water may crack the glass, so keep it a comfortable temperature. Spray each section of the window with one then the other, and run your squeegee over to clear, starting at the top. If it’s really freezing out, mix up a solution of warm water (1 part) and windscreen washer fluid (2 parts) in your spray bottle. The windscreen washer fluid contains both a detergent and an antifreeze component that will help keep things moving even in subzero temperatures.
3) Keep things tidy
Don’t let drips and drops accumulate on the window frames. Keep a towel or some kitchen roll handy to quickly clean up before it freezes. Otherwise it will build up quickly into a solid mass, making further cleaning difficult, and potentially damaging the finish. The same goes for any streaks left on the glass. If they’re left, they’ll go solid, and you’ll have to start again with Step 2 to de-ice.
4) Bring a friend
If you’re planning to head up a ladder, consider strapping some boot grips onto your shoes for extra traction. Make sure your ladder is ice free. And make sure you’ve got a partner around to help you stay safe. Working up high with water in cold weather can be risky.
5) Call the professionals
Professional window cleaners are accustomed to working in all weather, and they’ll have the job sorted in no time. They’ve got the right kit, perfect cleaning solution that won’t freeze, and a safe working practice. Meanwhile, you can stay snug and enjoy the benefits of a lovely, brighter indoors when it’s all done.