The American Cleaning Institute (ACI)

Clean Windows

Plant in a window with curtains

We love fresh fall breezes, but not when it blows dust and grime into our home. Here are some tips for cleaning the entire window, coverings, sills and glass:

Window Sills and Frames:

Remove dirt and debris. Use a small broom or vacuum window frames and sills to get rid of dust, soot, cobwebs, and dead insects. Wipe plastic or vinyl frames and sills with cleaning wipes. If you use a spray product, be sure to spray the product on cloth, and then use the cloth to only clean the sills and frame not the glass. Always read the cleaning product label to know if they can be used on the surface you are cleaning.

Window Glass Cleaning:

Spray clean. Traditional glass cleaners may have a crisp, ammonia scent or a pleasant scent. New varieties offer a range of fragrances, including lavender, berry, orange, and lemon. Use a glass or glass and multi-surface cleaner.

Or combine 1/2 cup of ammonia in a gallon of water. Wet a sponge or cloth with the ammonia solution. Rinse with a clean, damp cloth and dry with a clean cloth, paper towels or a squeegee.

Keep cleaning product away from the window frame and sill by spraying product on a clean cloth then cleaning the glass. Or, hold cardboard or a cloth against the frame while spraying cleaner.

Head outdoors. Check out new outdoor window cleaners. These spray products come with a nozzle that attaches to your garden hose. Spray outside windows from at least five feet away. The sheeting action helps get the windows clean. And, windows don't need to be towel dried.

Wood, Plastic or Vinyl Blinds:

Dust regularly with a clean, soft brush or the brush attachment of a vacuum. To clean, use water and scrub gently with a sponge or soft cloth. Dry with a clean, soft cloth. A furniture polish applied to the slats after cleaning will make dusting and cleaning easier.

Blinds are great dust traps. An easy cleaning tool is an electrostatic duster with a soft, disposable head - the modern version of the feather duster! The multitude of soft, fluffy fibers pass easily between the slats, grabbing dust and dirt.

Special Instructions: 

  • Follow blind manufacturer's care instructions.
  • For wood blinds, use furniture polish sparingly to avoid a wax buildup.

Curtain Cleaning:

The deteriorating effect of dust and sunlight can make curtains and draperies fragile. If the care label says they're washable, launder on the delicate cycle. Otherwise, have them professionally dry-cleaned. But, with elaborate treatments that are difficult to dismantle on a regular basis, a good vacuuming may make more sense. Follow up with a fabric refresher spray to remove lingering odors.