Earlier this spring, I tried a new method of washing my exterior windows.
I have a 2-story house, and even some of the 1st floor windows require a ladder to clean. Some of the 2nd story windows are pretty much impossible to get to, even with a ladder. Either our ladder wouldn’t reach high enough, and/or because of the design of the roof, you just couldn’t get a ladder near them.
Even the windows that I could reach with a stepladder were difficult to clean well, and I usually ended up with spots and streaks. I’ve tried washing and drying with a squeegee, hand-washing with cleaners, and spraying with cleaners that are supposed to rinse off without leaving streaks. None of the methods or products I tried really worked well.
I was looking at videos on Youtube for washing windows to find a better/easier method, and found a video for the Windex Outdoor All-in-one window cleaner tool. It’s basically a cleaner-infused pad on an extension pole. First you use a hose to wet the window and the cleaning pad. Then scrub the window with the pad, and rinse immediately. Done! No wiping or drying needed.
It seemed to get really good reviews, and although I couldn’t find it at some of the stores they listed as merchants, I did find it at my local Target store – and it was even on sale! (Amazon carries it, too.) The product is supposed to clean up to 20 average-sized (30″ x 40″) windows. I haven’t counted my windows, but probably have pretty close to that, and was able to clean all the windows with one pad without running out of suds. (The pads are single use, so you won’t want to try washing just a couple of windows at a time – plan on doing the whole house at once.)
We picked an overcast day (but with very little chance of rain) so that there wouldn’t be any windows in direct sun, dragged out the ladder, and went for it. We even tackled the windows that hadn’t been cleaned in years. Truly. Years. One required putting a ladder precariously on the roof of the porch (which I don’t recommend – but there’s no other way to get close enough to it).
The cleaning part was pretty simple – wet, wash, rinse. And the results? Pretty mind-blowing. Although there were still traces of hard-water spots on some of the windows, they were amazingly clean for such little effort – and if were weren’t looking at the windows specifically to see how clean they were, we probably wouldn’t even notice the spots. Much better than the streaks and runs I usually had with other methods.
The product is also supposed to help keep the windows looking cleaner longer. I don’t remember how long ago it was that I washed them -I think it about 6-8 weeks ago. Although they do have some dust and rain spots on them, I think they still look pretty good.
I won’t say that you’ll get a cleaner result than hand-cleaning and polishing the windows if you can easily reach them, but this will definitely be my new method – and I’ll be willing to wash them more often since it’s so easy. I bought several of the refill packages (set of 2) since they were available and on sale. Some people say they have a hard time finding the refills.
The wand that comes with the tool is 4′ long, but it has a threaded top end to allow you to put it on the end of another extension pole if needed (which we did have to do for some windows).
Disclaimer: I have no connection with this product or the company – I’m just a satisfied customer.