Ask Estee: Window Cleaning

estee QWhat are your top tips for window cleaning?There are a few key tips I keep in mind when cleaning my windows.1. When to clean: Don't clean windows in direct sunlight--the window may dry too fast and streak.
2. Where to start: Start washing the exterior window with just plain water. I prefer a hose to give some pressure to help remove the grease and grime--Dramm garden hoses resist kinking, coil easily, and come in an array of vibrant colors. 3. Perfect your technique: Wash windows side-to-side on the inside and from top-to-bottom on the outside, starting with water and then going over with a window cleaner such as Common Good Glass Cleaner. That way, if there are streaks, you will know which side they're on. Change wash in your bucket (I like West Elm's metal version) and rinse waters often. 4. Choose your tools: Squeegee I like to use a stainless steel squeegee--plastic doesn't usually last very long, and brass can be too heavy. If you prefer not to use a squeegee, newspaper can also help to reduce streaks. Note: squeegees do not work on textured or stained glass windows, in this case, go newspaper all the way.) 5. Drying dos: Use a "hard" paper towel for wiping dry (soft ones leave lint) or cotton cloths such as old t-shirts or socks. 5. Dealing with screens: vacuum to remove dust, and scrub outside screens with warm water, then rinse with clean water and allow to air dry.   estee-signature-layout Photograph: Courtesy Le Vie en Rose