Task of the day: window cleaning

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Blurgh. Window cleaning is a tough job and not one I much looked forward to until about a year ago, I hit on a solution – clean one at a time.

Voilà. I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me earlier. I’m used to splitting up other jobs, after all – I don’t vacuum the whole damn house in one go. Now that I do one window or one room at a time, window-cleaning seems like less of an uphill struggle.

Your mileage may vary but I now clean the windows in a multi-part process, and the squeegee is my friend. The tools are:
* household cleaner and squeegee
* window cleaner and squeegee
* kitchen paper for drying
* newspaper for polishing

Spray household cleaner all over the window and use the sponge side of the squeegee to thoroughly soap up and scrub off all the dirt. In this household, that includes dog snot, cat snot and fly shit – yours may include toddler nameless sticky stuff, mud, etc.

Use the scraper side of the squeegee to scrape off the suds, in a downward motion. Mop up the run-off with kitchen paper.

Repeat the process with the proprietary window cleaner of your choice and use the second squeegee to soap up and scrape off the suds.

Dry all around with kitchen paper. Now quickly polish, using scrunched-up newspaper. You can also use a clean microfibre cloth but newspaper has the advantage of leaving a fine layer of printer’s ink on the glass, which helps to prevent dirt from adhering.

Here in rural France there are no visiting window cleaners, so I have to do the outsides myself too. Luckily, French windows open inwards, so it isn’t too much of a chore. Frequently I give them a last blast with a hosepipe too.

I hope it goes without saying that you should do windows in dull weather, or on the shady side of the house – if you clean windows in sunlight, the products will dry on the glass before you can get them off and you’ll end up with streaks.

Rinse the squeegees off afterwards.

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