Ode to Double Hung Windows
I love clean windows. There is no better reward in house cleaning than being able to stand back and admire your work. Windows give the best return on your cleaning investment. Our old house was a town house that had 5 windows and 2 doors. Cleaning them was a breeze. Doesn’t mean I did it all the time, but it wasn’t too bad to do. There was always one dirty window pane on the second storey windows, as they opened outwards to the side and I could never reach them. Talk about annoying. I never got that reward for fully clean windows! Now in our new house there are 13 windows and two doors. Sweet Jesus. That’s a lot of windows. The ones on the second floor are crazy high up in the air. They were so dirty when we moved in. Plus the farm fields around us blew constant dust on them in the spring before crop planting. The blinds were a whole other level of gross. They were caked with dirt from the previous owners. But I waited to clean them because I had no way of doing the outside so it seemed pointless. That is…until someone pointed out that they were double hung windows!
What are double hung windows you ask? It means that both the upper and lower sash are functioning. I can open the top half of the window, and the bottom half (sometimes I even do both!) It also means that they tilt open so that I can clean both the inside and outside of the window easily. The previous owners had to put these windows in to prevent people/ children/ cats/ dogs from falling out the windows as they are not to code and are only 2 feet from the floor upstairs. Whoever invented these windows deserves a fucking award. Let me tell you how magical it was to clean these windows. It still took me hours on end due to them being completely crusted in dirt, but so much easier with the tilting!
What do I use to make my mass amount of windows so sparkling clean? Norwex cloths! (Here comes the shameless product plug.) An Enviro cloth, Window cloth, dust mitt, and water are all you need! Being the scent sensitive person that I am, I cant use sprays. I have tried vinegar, but I hate the smell. I tried newspaper and omg what a mess that was (I was probably doing it wrong…but thats another story). Let me just tell you how I found out about these glorious cloths. So I was invited to one of those host parties. You know…like Pampered Chef and Tupperware and Mary Kay. But this one was for a brand I had not heard of, Norwex. I went for the free wine and conversation to be honest. I needed to escape my house. But the rep did a really good job and I actually bought something! I got the household package with the Enviro cloth, Window cloth, and dust mitt. I thought they were too good to be true. So I awaited my order, determined to put these nifty products through the paces. Well long story short, I cleaned my whole house in 45 minutes. I kid you not. I was amazed. Called the rep right away and started selling the products. Now I am not going to sit here and shove MLM down your throats (but if you would like to know more, you can message me obvi) but I have to share how amazing these cloths are for windows.
It took me a long time to clean all these windows, due to amount of windows, my crazy children, and the disturbing amount of dirt. Not to mention I cleaned alllllll the blinds as well. Ugh blinds. So here is how the Norwex cloths work with my lovely double hung windows:
Step 1: Open windows (duh!)
So I opened the bottom stash so that the bottom part of the window was 4”-6” from the bottom of the frame. Then I popped those buttons and tilt opened the top and let it hang.
Next I did the same with the top sash and pulled it down a couple inches and then gently tilted it down and let it hang on top on the bottom window.
Step 2: Clean the screen
Did you know you are supposed to clean your window screens?! I had no idea. If you did know, how bad did your frames warp and bend or screen loosen? The general rule of thumb for cleaning screens is taking them out and cleaning them in the bathtub or with the hose, which usually over time leads to warping, bending, or screen stretching. I don’t take my screens out to clean them. I use the Norwex dusting mitt. I soak the mitt in water and wring it out good and then gently wipe the screen with it (being sure not to push hard). This also keeps your windows cleaner longer! So that when it rains it downs just splatter the screen dirt back onto your freshly cleaned windows! You can’t always reach the bottom half of the screen with your windows in the way, so top half first and then bottom half after.
Step 3: Clean the Windows
If your windows are only a bit dirty, you can just use the Norwex window cloth dry and give them a wipe. If your windows are dirty AF like mine usually are, then bring out the big guns: The Enviro cloth!
Wipe window with a wet Enviro cloth (don’t miss those tricky corners) and then follow up with a wipe with the dry Window cloth. Thats it! No chemical laden sprays. No stinky vinegar. Clean the outside, top facing glass first, then swing that window back up into its place (make sure it clicks into place) and then clean the inside side.
Close the top sash once its all clean, then work on the bottom and do the same thing. Once you finish the bottom sash, grab your wet dusting mitt and finish up the lower section of screen. I then usually vacuum out any dead bugs from the bottom of the window frame and then give it a wipe out with the enviro cloth as well.
Step 4: Blinds
Oh the dreaded blinds. So many ways to clean such an annoying household item. You can try vacuuming them, using a plethora of dusters, or spend money on ridiculous specialty blind dusters. If my blinds are only a bit dusty, or for regular cleaning, I use the Dust mitt (dry this time). It has a thumb that makes cleaning blinds especially easy. Because my blinds were exceptionally dirty, I used a wet Enviro cloth. This took a long time, but now I will just be able to give them a quick dust with the mitt from now on.
I also finally got to clean and bring out the awesomeness of my original windows at the front of the house. I took the storm window off (with some help of my handy hubby) and gave them all a good wipe with the Enviro cloth and then polish with the Window cloth. It was very exciting to see those old windows in their shining glory. The previous owners did an awful job painting the windows and got paint EVERYWHERE. I will be working on restoring these beauties in the spring! Be sure to subscribe to catch that adventure!
The other great things about these Norwex products is that they trap and hold bacteria with their Bacloc system. So if you have a slobber dog, or weird window licking children (again…like me) then you are getting all that gunk off and also protecting them from the chemicals in most window cleaning spray products. Every one wins!
What has been your worst window cleaning experience? Share your story below! For more info on Norwex products, comment below, or contact me here via website.