French windows are prized for their decorative effect and intricate glasswork, yet when it comes to the chore of cleaning French windows, regret can set in without an easy strategy to tackle this common household task. French windows are constructed with small to mid sized glass panes that are inset in between strips of wood and can be seen in either windows or doors format for a traditional look and feel. While it can take some time to establish an effective, quick cleaning routine the first couple of times that cleaning French windows is done, with a little practice this task holds no more difficulty or mystery than any other household cleaning task.
Materials You Will Need to Clean French Windows
You will want to have a small squeegee, cleaning rags, a toothbrush, steel wool, a hose, kitchen gloves, water, vinegar, dish detergent or dish soap, a container that holds at least one gallon of liquid, and some white vinegar. All of these materials can be obtained at any local home goods store, as well as many grocery type stores.
How to Prepare Cleaning Solution for French Windows
To begin, fill the container with three cups of plain water. Next, add approximately one quarter cup of white vinegar and one half tablespoon of dish detergent or dish soap. All of these amounts can be adjusted as necessary. This is a clean, safe, natural cleaning solution that can be made at home.
How to Clean Interior French Windows
First, dust the French windowpanes to remove the worst of the grime and dust prior to washing. Next, put on the plastic kitchen gloves. Then begin by wetting the squeegee in the cleaning solution and cleaning the first pane. For very small panes, it can be easier to use the squeegee without the attaching rod that is designed for larger panes. Simply remove the squeegee from the rod and use it like you would a sponge. After cleaning the pane thoroughly, use the cleaning rags to wipe off the excess moisture. Continue until each successive pane of glass has been similarly cleaned and dried. Be sure to dry thoroughly to avoid streaking.
How to Clean Exterior French Windows
Depending on the location, it can be possible to simply hose down exterior French windows and then wipe with the squeegee and dry with cleaning rags. Otherwise, repeat the same procedure that was used for interior French windows.
Additional Options for Hard to Clean French Windows
For harder to clean French windows and persistent dirt and stains, thoroughly wet the area to be cleaned, then use steel wool very gently to loosen and remove dirt and stains. To get dirt and debris out of tiny corners and insets, use the smallest attachment on a vacuum cleaner or handheld vacuum cleaner to exhume the material from difficult to reach places. A toothbrush wet with cleaning solution can also accomplish this for the toughest areas to reach. Once tough dirt has been removed, continue with normal cleaning, taking care to dry each pane thoroughly to avoid streaking.