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Cleaning the windows can be a task people accidentally miss off their to-do list. Aim to clean them every few months to allow more light into your home and bring back the sparkle!
As a tip, avoid cleaning your windows on very sunny days - the heat will make the glass dry too quickly and cause smears undoing all your hard work.
To do a proper job, take down net curtains and blinds and clear windows and sills of any bits and bobs.
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Don an old pair of washing up gloves and clean off mildew with an old lint-free cloth dipped in a branded fungicide or a weak solution of household bleach.
Use a branded window cleaner or create your own with a solution of one part white vinegar to nine parts water into an old spray bottle. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe them down and then a chamois leather to buff them to a brilliant shine. Vinegar is an age-old wonder and has the added benefit of being non-toxic and antibacterial, so a very handy product to have in your cupboard - and not just for your chips! You could also try adding dishwasher rinse aid to water when you wash your windows, for ensuring a streak-free finish.
Alternatively, the GHI also rates the e-cloth Window Pack, which is a microfibre cloth. Simply add water, no chemicals required.
If you have large areas of glass to clean, such as a conservatory or patio doors, it’s worth considering a window vacuum, to save you the energy.
GHI TIP: Avoid scrunched up newspaper to clean the windows – old newspapers where the ink came off used to work well but most modern ones are smudge-proof.
Dust the internal sills regularly. Check external sills regularly for rot, and replace any crumbling putty with the correct type for either timber or metal. Repaint as necessary.
GHI TIP: If you have metal window screens, write a number on each window in erasable pencil. Write a corresponding number on the screen before removing it from the window so you know which screen goes back where. Remove the screens and dust the mesh and frame with the soft brush attachment of a vacuum cleaner. Scrub both sides of the screen with a stiff brush dipped in detergent solution (if you are doing this in the bath, line it with towels to prevent scratching the finish). Rinse using a shower attachment or the fine spray nozzle of a hosepipe. Leave to dry thoroughly in a sunny spot before refitting to the window.