What type of window washing solution should I use?

A window cleaning solution of soap and water can clean most glass. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Nish J. of Woodland Hills, Calif.)

A window cleaning solution of soap and water can clean most glass. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Nish J. of Woodland Hills, Calif.)

Cleaning your windows is a difficult, time-consuming and a potentially dangerous job. Thousands of people are injured each year from ladder falls, and adding in buckets of soapy water and the need to stretch to reach corners increases the chances of an accident.

Angie’s List, the nation's premier provider of consumer reviews talked to window cleaning pros for advice on cleaning them properly and safely:

-Most homes should get a thorough window cleaning twice a year.

-The type of cleaning solution and equipment you need varies according to the type of windows you have.

-Most glass can be cleaned with soap and water. However, some situations will call for specialized cleaning solutions.

-Large panes are best cleaned with a squeegee and a window cleaning detergent solution and finished with detailing cloth to eliminate streaks. Small panes and leaded or stained glass are best cleaned with plain water and specialized window cleaning cloths.

-Minimize the need for extra cleaning by not taping or sticking anything to your windows you don't want to leave there permanently. If you're painting, protect your windows from drips or splatters.

-Window cleaners have the right equipment to take off glue, paint, and other debris that can settle on glass.  If you have tinted windows, it takes extra care to clean them. The cleaning of windows also includes the screens and wiping clean the sills.

If you hire a pro, make sure the company is insured because a lot of window washing involves ladders, safety harnesses and scaffolding. Precautions are essential to ensure everyone's protection.

For more on window cleaning, watch this video tip.

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