A set of white framed windows looking out on nature, with flower vases on the sill.

How to DIY Spring (Green) Clean Like a Pro – Part 2

Rhys Jones, Two Bettys Marketing and Project Manager

April 13, 2021

Last week, we tackled deep cleaning your couch and vacuum cleaner. I hope those spring cleaning tasks left you feeling empowered to clean anything and everything. Next up? Grimy winter windows. Let’s clean them, so all this spring sunshine can actually make its way into your home.

De-gunk your windowsills

Time to pull the plastic wrap off your windows, swap storm windows for screens, and let in the  fresh air! Most windowsills, and the wells between the glass pane and screen, get downright gunky. 

To clean them, you’ll need:

Start by busting out your vacuum with the crevice tool attached to the hose. Thoroughly vacuum the windowsill and well. Starting here will make the rest of this process way easier (and less icky, tbh).

Once all the loose debris and dirt is gone, break out the cleaning spray and thoroughly spray the grimy surfaces. Let the spray sit for a minute or two to allow it to penetrate the crud. Then get in there with your cleaning cloths and wipe, wipe, wipe! Microfiber cloths are great because they not only wipe away dirt, but actually capture it, leaving surfaces cleaner.  

Last but not least, if there’s still dirt clinging to corners and crevices, get in there with your detail brush! Bonus round: remember that squeegee you used on your couch? Use that bad boy to help clean your windows quickly and more efficiently than wiping alone.

Show those windows who’s boss

My living room windows are covered in  dog nose prints, my kitchen windows have a weird film because my old apartment doesn’t have kitchen ventilation, and my bedroom windows are speckled with water spots from frequent plant misting. Luckily, getting your windows in shape is pretty simple. 

You just need a window-cleaning spray or all-purpose spray, and a microfiber cloth. Got some extra grimy windows? Grab your trusty rubber-tipped squeegee. Wanna kick it old school and get some reduce-reuse-recycle points? Pull out that stack of newspapers that haven’t made it to your recycling bin yet, and get ready to make grandma proud.

First, clear everything off the windowsills. Spray the glass pane of the window liberally with your chosen cleaner. If the pane is really gnarly, let the spray sit for a minute before hitting the next step.

Here’s the choose-your-own-adventure part:

  • If you’re using a squeegee: Starting from the top of the window pane, pull your squeegee down, using consistent pressure, and work your way left to right until the pane has all been squeegeed. You may need a microfiber cloth to catch extra product at the bottom of the window or to buff out any smears.
  • If you’re using a microfiber: Starting from the top of the pane, wipe the surface, paying special attention to spots with tougher grime that might need a little extra effort. Pro tip: Fold your cloth into quarters. As you’re cleaning, periodically refold it so you’re always using a clean, dry section of the cloth.
  • If you’re using newspaper: Pull out one page of newspaper and crumple it up into a ball that fits in your hand. Using this newspaper ball, wipe down your window, using circular motions. As your newspaper becomes saturated with the cleaning product, swap it out for a fresh ball. Work top to bottom and pay special attention to especially grimy areas.

Bonus: Newspaper is compostable! 

If you’re one of those lucky humans who has windows that unlatch and lean inward so you can easily clean  the external side of your window panes, go for it!  As a heads up, the external side of your window pane will probably be literally DIRT-y, so make sure you have plenty of cloths on hand. Your squeegee can be extra helpful here too!

Now what? 

Have a hankering for more spring cleaning projects?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Clean out your fridge AND freezer. Don’t forget to compost food waste and rinse out and recycle glass, plastic, and tin containers!
  • Clean out your cupboards—especially the ones that hold food.
  • Clean your doors and door frames—things we touch all the dang time, but often don’t include in general cleaning.
  • Got a clothes line? Air out your favorite blankets and rugs in the fresh air.
  • Dust that knickknack shelf.
  • Dust your plants! Especially for plants that rely on the surface area of their leaves to absorb all that sweet, sweet sunshine, this can be really good for their health. Just be super gentle as you clean the leaves.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to wipe down all of your electronics cords, headphone cords, and charger codes. This task always grosses me out AND is deeply satisfying.