Spring Cleaning Shortcuts
Focus on the exterior, where the most dirt builds up, and don’t sweat the detail work. For best results, choose a wind-free, overcast day. (Gusts will cause you to get sprayed; sunlight can leave streaks.)
- Plastic whisk broom (natural bristles tend to shed)
- Windex Outdoor Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner ($10 at grocery stores). The bottle attaches to your hose.
- Bucket filled with a few drops of dish soap for every gallon of warm water
- Old sheet
- A few microfiber cloths
1. Close all the windows and screens. Working outside and using a whisk broom, brush debris from the screens you can reach (no need to take them out) and the tracks.
2. Attach the Multi-Surface Concentrated Cleaner to your hose and remove the yellow plug. Turn the dial to Rinse and spray your windows through the screens from at least five feet away. The power of the stream will let you reach windows on the second floor without a ladder. Move the stream back and forth to shake debris loose, and make sure you hit cobwebs in the corners and bird droppings on the glass. Also run the stream up and down the window frames.
3. Turn the dial to Clean. Shoot suds onto screens and frames. Let the soap sit for 30 seconds.
4. Turn the dial to Rinse again. Spray every screen and frame top to bottom to remove suds. Give each another 10-second spray.
5. Push the screens (that you can reach) up to expose the windows. Repeat steps 2 through 4.
6. Take the bucket inside and lay down the sheet to catch drips. Open the windows. Dip a cloth into the cleaning solution, wring it out, and wipe the screens; close the windows. With a fresh cloth dipped and wrung out, wash the windows from the outside corners in, using circular strokes.
Time investment: About 15 minutes per window.