Wednesday, March 12, 2014

46 Monthly Clean Home Challenge: Wash Windows

Welcome back to the Monthly Clean Home Challenge daily task!  I am on a quest to maintain a clean and organized home in less time and the goal is simple; four daily tasks, four weekly tasks and one additional quick task each week day. 

In no particular order, here are the individual tasks I am tackling each day this month:
  1. Make cleaning supplies
  2. Cycle clean appliances
  3. Clean out cars
  4. Clean out microwave
  5. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
  6. Wipe down trim/doors
  7. Clean out one drawer
  8. Clean out fridge
  9. Clean out freezer
  10. Vacuum under furniture
  11. Vacuum mattresses
  12. Clean oven
  13. Clean out one closet
  14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
  15. Wash windows
  16. Scrub grout
  17. Clean out one cabinet
  18. File paper piles
  19. Purge bathroom toiletries
  20. Clean out pantry

Today I am chatting about the extra task:  Wash Windows


I am not gonna lie; I only wash my windows once per month.  I used to do it weekly, however, our windows don't seem to get that dirty that quickly.  Especially during winter months when our windows really aren't used or touched.  With the exception of our patio door.  That thing is always looking like it was attacked by dog slobber, sticky fingers and slung yogurt and gets cleaned on demand.  So, although we clean our mirrors, tables and other glass around the home that collects dust on a weekly basis, the windows are a once per month task.  Remember, I am all about doing less in less time.


Last year I discovered glass polishing rags, and I have never looked back.  Each time I use one I am amazed at the results, especially considering there are no chemicals necessary.  In fact, all you need is water {I used distilled}.  I found the rags on Amazon and at Target in the cleaning aisle.

For today's cleaning task, I also brought back out the cleaning spray I used to wash the doors and trim last week {1 cup distilled water, 1 tbsp lemon castile soap, 10 drops lemon essential oil}.

Twice per year we remove all of the screens and wash the inside and outside of our windows really well.  This is not one of those times, as I am unable to wash our exterior windows during our cold months without everything freezing up.

We have a total of 8 windows, and at about 1-2 minutes each, today's task came in just under 15 minutes.

I started by using the soap mix to spray down the window trim and moulding.


Using a microfiber rag, I wipe everything down including the window jam.


I then fold my microfiber rag into a point so that I can use my claw hands to really get into the crevasses of the window.


Next I spray the windows with the distilled water.


And wipe them clean with my glass polishing rag.


The polishing rag is not very absorbent, so I follow up with a dry microfiber rag just to dry the windows quickly and prevent streaking.


I have tried many different glass cleaners and methods {newspaper, coffee filters, vinegar}, but this water/polishing rag combo is by far my favorite!  So easy!

See you tomorrow!




Looking for something?  Check out my favorite cleaning products below:


These are all cleaners/products that work for us and our current home finishes.  It is important to research the cleaners prior to using them on your specific counter and flooring selections.

46 comments:

  1. I could only hope to get ours done in that amount of time! LOL We have 8 just in our family room alone, 4 of which are two stories up!! I try, but every now and then I have to call in the professionals for it to be efficient.

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    1. Oh wow! Sounds like I would be calling in the pros as well! Ladders scare me. :) xo!

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  2. Oh boy! I admit, I got a good chuckle out of your confession "I only wash my windows once a month". Ummm... I only wash my windows twice a year! (and that's in a good year). And I only have to wash the insides as we live in a high rise. But I do love those microfiber rags from Target...they do the trick! Happy organizing!

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    1. I was thinking the same! A few I clean regularly (the ones within my 11month old's reach) but the rest are maybe twice a year. Maybe.

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    2. ha ha Lori! I was thnking the same thing! :o)

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    3. Glad I'm not the only one who had a freak out at the "only" once a month!

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    4. Seriously, THANK YOU ladies for posting!!! I was thinking, I'm such a lagger, but WHO has time to do that every month???

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    5. Thank you for not making me feel like a failure ladies. We've lived in our home 1.5 years & our windows have been cleaned exactly twice. Once on move in day & once when each room got painted the windows got a good wash down. I felt pretty good about that!

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    6. No failures happening here! Some windows need to be cleaned less often and as long as you are happy, then that is what matters right? We live in an area that gets dusty quickly {near farm land} and have three young boys that touch our windows, so I felt like once a month was the right balance. But as with every cleaning task, there is no one general rule or answer, it is what works best for YOU! :)

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  3. Oh my gosh, we have 18 windows on the main floor alone! Upstairs is another 9. That will definitely take me longer than 15 minutes :)

    I love those glass cleaning cloths too - makes for a quick & simple job.

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    1. That is a LOT of windows! I bet you have great natural light! xoxo!

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  4. Funny seeing this tonight. I have started tackling my windows. LOL Despite the chilly weather you and I have, I did wipe down the outside (and inside of course) of the patio door today. :) It is where most of the grime is.. for now (we just got a new Aussie pup, so I know that will change, as I just reprimanded him for licking my nicely clean patio door tonight. LOL). I too tear apart our windows twice a year and give them a good cleaning. More often on the insides. But we are in the process of replacing our old builder grade sliders with Marvin's double hungs. I love that both sashes tilt in to clean. :) Two down, 12 more windows to go (and we also replaced the patio door).

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  5. Hmm... I really like that you clean them all natural! I use a cleaner, which I love, but I know it's not the healthiest option to be breathing.

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  6. Love all these great cleaning tips!! Thanks Jen!
    Random side-bar...did you paint all your window trim white?

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    1. Hi Katy! We sure did! It was varnished oak when we initially built our home. You can read more about it here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2011/08/finally-how-to-paint-cabinets-trim.html

      xo!

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  7. Thanks for the tip on the polishing rags, I just washed my windows today with a regular towel and was wishing for a better option!

    Lavish Introvert

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  8. Where do you find the spray bottles to make your cleaners in?

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    1. Hello!

      I can't recall where I purchased the pink topped bottle, the smaller bottle is from the travel section at Target. You can find many of my cleaning product sources at the end of this post as well: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/03/monthly-clean-home-challenge-set.html

      xo!

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  9. Um, mine don't get washed nearly that frequently. We have almost 50 windows total in our house and I pay someone to do them all twice a year.

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  10. Hi, I just wanted to mention that im really enjoying these daily series of tasks. The format of presenting these small tasks on a daily basis has me motivated to complete them, however since i work full time i find i tend to do what i can during the week and finish the rest off on the weekend. Thanks again!

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  11. Nice post Jen! I will keep all your advice in mind. I'm in the Buffalo area and we got over 15 inches of snow yesterday from our latest blizzard so today would be scraping the ice off the windows. Maybe by June we can wash the windows. Fingers crossed :-)

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  12. My husband was just commenting about how dirty our windows were looking with all that beautiful sunshine pouring in. Might have to give these glass polishing cloths a try. We have 22 windows downstairs. I would be happy to clean once per year.

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  13. It seems that many people read your blog around where I live, because the Targets SELL OUT of those cloths every time you post about them! :)

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  14. I absolutely hate cleaning windows and glass. Nothing is more annoying to me than scrubbing down a window and having streaks or little fuzzies left behind. These cloths are great for the fuzzies and streaks. I like your idea of using castile soap and water. I usually use vinegar and water. Have you tried out that mixture?

    -Lara

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    1. That is what I use -- 50/50 vinegar and distilled water. Works wonders!

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  15. Ooh I will have to check out those cloths! Hopefully our Target won't be out of them!

    I also chuckled at the 'once a week'. Our windows are lucky to get cleaned once or twice a year. They really do not get dirty, just a little dusty. We have 16 plus a patio slider door.

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  16. We have 9 windows so maybe I can get it done in 15-20 minutes. Our blinds Re what really need cleaning. Any tips? Also after your micro fiber rag post I bought a set of 48 on amazon and loooove them! I even have great success with cleaning stainess and mirrors with just water! I follow up with a dry one and they come out streak free! No more buying stainess cleaning wipes or windex!

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    1. Maybe an occasional sweep over the blinds with a duster to prevent them from getting build-up? If they are more than just dusty, maybe a mild soap combo {a tbsp castile soap + cup of water}, and a microfiber rag should do the trick. xo!

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    2. If they are regular vinyl mini blinds, take them down and take them outside and go to town with the hose and some dish soap.
      If they are wood, I found a really neat little tool at lowes that is a microfiber cloth on a handle that cleans 3 blind slats at a time (front and back). Works really well.

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  17. Hi I am new to your blog and must say I have become quite addicted! I am taking on the cleaning challenge but have a question on the windows. The tracks on the windows are super dirty how do I get all that dirt out? My vaccum attachment doesn't reach in to the grooves. What have you found works best for that?

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    1. Is there a way to get your microfiber rag down into the grooves? It should sort of act as a magnet and grab any dirt it comes in contact with. Or maybe some sort of a grout brush?

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    2. I used QTips to get down in the track grooves of the window. I sprayed cleaner and then used many QTips to wipe in each groove.

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  18. I have 15 windows and don't do this nearly as often as I should...It's bright and sunny today, I think I'll improve my view.

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  19. I am loving this cleaning segment! Yesterday I vacuumed my mattress (for the first time) and sprinkled with baking powder/ lavender essential oil. I even washed our pillows, and I credit you for getting me on a cleaning roll! I just have one question for you, why do you use distilled water for the aforementioned cleaning solution? Is it due solely to your hard water? Just wondering if it would make a noticeable difference to skip it where I live.

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    1. Hello Elizabeth! From what I have read, minerals in tap water can inhibit cleaning. I figure it just reduces any chance that it will leave residue on what I am cleaning or build-up in my bottle. xoxo!

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  20. I'm loving this series!!!

    I usually break-down the "daily" chores in small chunks throughout the day in 10-15 min. increments (ie. laundry washed/folded, cleaning kitchen/putting dishes away, general pick-up, dusting & vacuuming as needed). But why have I never thought about breaking down the major "spring cleaning" tasks into individual tasks??? I will usually exhaust myself by working an entire long weekend, or every evening for a week, to do my "spring cleaning".

    I was about ready to hire out a housecleaner (as I don't have as much energy for extensive cleaning, being pregnant right now)....but with one extra task only taking 15-30 min/day, my house is really starting to sparkle again! :-)

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  21. Where can I purchase the lavender and the lemon essential oils?

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    1. Hi Lori!

      I purchase mine on Amazon. You can find links to many of the products I have been mentioning at the end of my first post here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/03/monthly-clean-home-challenge-set.html

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  22. Hi Jen! Where do you get your microfiber cloths? Thanks.

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    1. Hi Priscilla!

      You can find the glass polishing cloth and nice microfiber cloths at Target, but I also purchased bulk cloths for our bathrooms and other daily tasks on Amazon: http://amzn.to/NoFnLR

      You can find sources for all of the cleaning supplies I am using in this series here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/03/monthly-clean-home-challenge-set.html

      xoxo!

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  23. Dear Jen thank you! you inspired me! unfortunately my house has about 30 windows, so I can't do them all at once but today I did the kitchen ones (5 total) and even though I could do the outside of only of 2 of them, they look so much better! You are an inspiration!

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    1. That is so fantastic to hear! High fives to you Lily, I can imagine even getting that done felt wonderful! Especially in a space that is used more than just about any other in the home. xoxo!

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  24. Excellent! Glad you clarified that you only clean the outside twice a year. I was feeling like a slacker thinking you clean all your windows inside and out once a month :) Though my windows tilt in, I do take the screens out and scrub them when I do the exteriors. I use regular blue dawn dish detergent with hot water and a microfiber cloth when I wash the outside of my windows. Then, I use the same soapy water solution to wipe out the frame, track, etc. Lastly,
    I come inside and use a mix of 50/50 vinegar and distilled water with the blue microfiber on the glass (both sides). Never a streak. I sure wish it would warm up so I could open the windows and clean them. I love clean windows with the sunshine pouring in!

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  25. You reminded me that "yes" this is one of the projects on set for my spring break...I have a circa 1940's home with windows that I usually hire Jack and his giant pal (I pay extra for the beanstalk) to clean outside but they're booked up for the break (guess I wasn't the only one with the same idea). Any suggestions? Usually a brush that my father cleans his RV and a bucket of hot soapy water...but it has to be very warm for that because it ends up rolling back down my arms and into my t-shirt. And I end up cleaner than the windows...well wetter anyways. Thanks for any ideas-

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  26. I love the microfibre cloths too - the best method I've found is to use a damp cleaning microfibre cloth (the one I use for countertops) to clean the glass, then dry with the glass microfibre cloth. If you spray the cloth wet instead of the window it is quicker to wipe over too

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