Let the Sun Shine In – 6 Cleaning Tips for Windows!


Are you a window cleaning ninja? Or, do you find it just a little intimidating? After all, there seems to be a never-ending stream of sources to conspire against a crisp view out our windows: fingerprints from kiddos, nose bumps from Fido, and grime from cooking. You care a lot about the presentation of your windows, so much so that you invested in elegant Folding Arm Awnings for the exterior of your house. But does that mean you should be hiring services such as NICK’S Window Cleaning every week?

Never fear! The Cleaning Crew’s got your back. Here are 6 time-tested window-cleaning tips to get those windows sparkling and streak-free, not to mention moving you closer to Window Cleaning Ninja status!

1. Clean Those Window Sills & Tracks!

Knowing how to clean window frames and sills properly will not only keep them looking great but will also keep them in better working condition to extend the life of your windows.

  • Use your vacuum’s soft bristle brush to vacuum the window’s interior track. While you’re at it, you may as well vacuum the whole interior frame. Use a dry, soft bristled paint brush to sweep dirt out of any hard to reach crevices.
  • Dip the another paint brush into soapy water and use this to swish any stubborn dirt out of the crevices. Follow up with a quick rinse with the damp, clean rag.
  • The good news: Regular dusting will help prevent dirt from collecting.
  • The bad news: Windows are natural dust magnets. Eventually you will have to repeat the process.

3. Create Your Own Window Cleaner

Windows get dirty, but you don’t need to reach for chemical cleaners to return them to a sparkling shine. Here at The Cleaning Crew, we’ve been Glass Cleanerusing natural, nontoxic ingredients for decades. For windows, we recommend the following vinegar solution!

Using a 32 oz spray bottle,

Add the following ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol (70% or higher isoprophyl content)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 to 10 drops of essential oil (we like mint), depending on how much fragrance you want.

Fill the rest of the way with water, shake well.

We use either all cotton rags or a microfiber cloth to wipe windows clean with this recipe.

4. When You Clean Windows Makes a Difference

The best time to wash windows is on a cloudy or overcast day. Although you might be thinking you can work on your tan, cleaning windows on a sunny day dries cleaning solution more quickly and can cause streaking.

Your best bet is to choose a cloudy day or work when the temperature isn’t above 70°F outside. However, if you’re wanting to hone your window cleaning skills, try cleaning in the direct sun, when the glass is hot and your solution is evaporating fast on glass! Treat it as a competition and you’ll to sharpen your window washing skills! You might try using the super swirl squeegee technique to dry glass immediately after you’ve finished scrubbing window and you’ll end up with a brilliant streak-free shine.

5. Mind Your Window Woodwork

Over time, excess water and cleaners can cause damage to the framed wood areas of our mirrors and windows. What to do?

  1. Avoid spraying too much cleaner at once. Instead spray the window in small sections working from the top down to the bottom of the glass. Try to avoid allowing the solution to pool at the bottom of the window.
  2. Use a spare rag or microfiber cloth to remove any excess water or solution.

6. How to Achieve Professional Streak-Free Window Cleaning Status

Want to get serious about your window cleaning? Then take a few tip from the pros.

Equipment:

Technique:
A long detailed step by step written description won’t help you near as much as watching it done! This guy’s a little boring, but he knows his stuff!

Now, get out there and let the sun shine in!

Remember, we’re committed to helping our neighbors achieve amazing results cleaning their own homes. But, if you need the help of a professional, we’ve been providing superlative window cleaning for more than 27 years!

For the month of May we’re offering a Window Cleaning Special.

Get $25 off minimum $100 job.

Click to Redeem Coupon

~ The Cleaning Crew

PS. Have any window cleaning questions? Or, have a few window cleaning tips of your own? Leave a comment below!

Preparing Home for Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is the perfect chance to treat yourself and your loved ones.

Your home is the easiest place for you to feel cared for.
Take 30 minutes to freshen up, brighten your home, and clear your clutter:

#1 – Freshen up with flowers and fabrics:

  • Fluff your pillows
  • Fold your throw blankets
  • Place fresh flowers around the house

#2 – Brighten your home and your day with more light:

 

*  Open blinds, shutters, and curtains to let in as much light as possible – clean your windows!
*  Set mood lighting around the house – strategically placed lamps create the perfect ambiance to feel spoiled!
*  Clean your crystal and glass – use a soft, water-dampened cloth and enjoy the sparkle and shine.

#3 – Clear Surfaces and Organize – open spaces allows for rest and relaxation:

* Tidy your newspapers, magazines, and mail – and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with clear spaces
* Create piles of keep, maybe, and toss. Let go of out-dated decorations and décor, making room for the new!
* Control kitchen clutter with our ten tips to create an enjoyable kitchen

 

Enjoy more ideas on Pinterest about Preparing Your Home for Valentine’s Day:

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16 Chores – Fall Cleaning Checklist


It’s that beautiful time of year again. The leaves are changing, the weather is colder, and the hot beverages taste better than normal. Enjoying the fall season is far more than warm coffee and yellow leaves. These things would not mean half as much without an organized and clean house to enjoy them in.

The Cleaning Crew Fall Cleaning Chore Checklist will help you prepare your home for the coming winter season:

  1. Re-Organize and Clean Out Pantry – Throw away expired goods. Re-arrange as needed. Write out a pantry inventory and make a grocery list of the things you will need to stock up on.
  2. Clean Out Spice Cabinet – Throw away stale spices. Wipe down inside of cabinet. Make a list of all spices needing to be purchased.
  3. Clean Oven – Prep your oven for holiday cooking and baking. If you don’t have a self-cleaning oven, The Cleaning Crew can offer some quick and easy oven-cleaning solutions.
  4. Wash Windows, Inside and Out – This may be your last chance to clean the exterior windows this year!
  5. Wash Curtains – Pull down any curtains that can be washed and clean them. If you can’t wash them, take them outside to shake the dust off.
  6. Wipe Blinds – Wipe down the blinds of the interior windows.
  7. Dust or Wash Light Fixtures – Most light fixtures are removable and unscrew so you can dust or wash them. Make sure to turn the switch off and allow bulbs to cool before you do this!
  8. Vacuum Furniture – Vacuum your upholstered furniture and/or dust & wipe down any wooden furniture.
  9. Wipe Down Kitchen Cupboards – Wipe down your kitchen cupboards. Wipe the insides and the tops, if you feel ambitious!
  10. Vacuum and Shampoo Carpets – Be sure your carpets are clean before all the winter mud and snow!  Schedule a carpet cleaning in early autumn.
  11. De-Clutter the Closets and Re-Organize – Clean out the closets and make several organized piles. One for donating, one for keeping, one for trash, and one for seasonal clothes.
  12. Bring Out Winter Things for Closets – Don’t forget to bring out your winter gear!
  13. Dust the House from Top to Bottom – This means everything from the cobwebs in the corners of the ceiling to the baseboards. Go from room to room and dust everything!
  14. Prepare For Holiday Guests – Guest rooms should be not only clean, but also inviting. Try Setting out flowers or other special touches to make guests feel especially welcome.
  15. Clean all Bedding and Bring Out Winter Comforters – Bring out heavier bedding and winter comforters.
  16. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Don’t skip this step, especially if you have any kind of wood fired heat. Just a simple push of a button is all it takes.

Brisk and breezy days are best for overcoming the deep-cleaning chores necessary for a clean, comfortable winter home and a wonderful autumn season. Happy Fall!

 

Window Cleaning Homemade Recipes


Spring is upon us once again in lovely Southern Oregon, and as spring cleaning commences across the Rogue Valley, we are happy to share two simple, economical, and all-natural window cleaning recipes to brighten up your view of all the spring activities underway.

Club Soda Window Cleaner

club soda window cleaner

The first DIY is so simple and inexpensive, it can hardly be called a recipe, but it works so well we had to share!

You will need:

Spray Bottle

Club Soda

That’s it! Yes, this really works. Even on water stains, the carbonation acts as a dissolving agent. The best part: absolutely no smell, and streaks are not an issue. Let us know what you think!

Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol Window Cleaner

natural window cleaning

The second recipe is a simplified version of our multipurpose glass and surface cleaner. This recipe is great for the bathroom, as it also serves as a disinfectant, thanks to the rubbing alcohol.

You will need:

16 oz Spray Bottle

1 Cup distilled vinegar

1/4 to 1/2  Cup rubbing Alcohol

Combine vinegar and alcohol in spray bottle, and fill the rest of the way with water. We haven’t tried this with club soda instead of plain water yet, but we are guessing it would make this solution even more powerful. If you beat us to it, let us know how it works out, we would love to hear from you!

If you liked these tips, you might also enjoy reading about our Good, Better, and Best All-Natural, Homemade Glass Cleaners.

And as always, we invite you to check out the ideas we are collecting on our Window Cleaning Pinterest Board:

 

Follow The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s board Window Cleaning on Pinterest.

Good, Better, and Best All-Natural Homemade Glass Cleaner


House cleaning with natural products is becoming more important than ever to many people, both to maintain healthy homes and a healthy planet. The Cleaning Crew, LLC focuses on using natural products because we believe it is the right choice and we find that many of our clients value eco-friendly house cleaning as well.

With this in mind we have been trying out a few new house cleaning recipes, starting with a variation on an old standby of vinegar and water glass cleaner, something that I have come back to time and time again despite the occasional test run of store bought glass cleaners. This simple recipe has proven to be a great combination of economy and efficiency. Keep reading for an updated version of this recipe that has become a new favorite  glass cleaner for The Cleaning Crew, LLC.

Good Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Combine  vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and mist surface evenly. Use lint free cotton cloths for the best results on glass. This basic solution is best suited for light cleaning on most surfaces.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved this simple vinegar and water solution, and planned to go on using it for the rest of my cleaning days. Never mind that it takes a little bit more elbow grease than the smelly blue stuff, and never mind that its really only effective for cleaning glass and other slick surfaces, I still loved it for all of its earth and people friendly simplicity.  Also, it costs just a few pennies to make, always a nice bonus!

However, about a year ago I came across a suggestion to add rubbing alcohol to the mixture, and my oh my, what a difference! My appreciation for homemade, natural cleaning products has reached an all time high! The boost of rubbing alcohol elevates this humble glass cleaners effectiveness and provides disinfecting properties as well. My mirrors and other shiny surfaces sparkle like they have never sparkled before, and counter tops and faucets handles are squeaky clean, nary a germ to be found!

Better Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 c. filtered water
  • 1/8 cup rubbing alcohol (70% or higher isopropyl content)
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar

 

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle, and use lint free cotton cloths to clean and polish. Also works great for stainless steel and other slick surfaces, or for light cleaning on most surfaces.

We are careful not to use the alcohol and vinegar mixture on delicate painted or lacquered surfaces, but counter tops, sinks, appliances, door knobs, and any other durable and high traffic areas are fair game.

Best All-Natural Glass Cleaner (from Crunchy Betty)

I have included the Crunchy Betty recipe below:

The Best Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

  • 1 c. filtered, very hot water
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 c. rubbing alcohol (at least 70% isopropyl, if not more)
  • 1/8 c. white vinegar

Instructions: Boil your water and let it cool just a bit. Add cornstarch to your spray bottle, and then the hot water. Shake well to dissolve. Add the rubbing alcohol and vinegar, and shake again. Every time you use this, you’ll want to shake it up to avoid clogging the spray nozzle with undissolved cornstarch. Use liberally and happily. Smile.

Don’t ask me how, but something amazing happens with the addition of cornstarch to the mix. I have never seen anything like the polishing power of this recipe, it is amazing! We wondered if the cornstarch would leave a residue on other surfaces, like counter tips and stainless steel, but this is not the case. After a frenzy of house cleaning  with this stuff, everything comes up sparkling, and the disinfectant action of the alcohol is a welcome addition. I still keep a bottle of just vinegar and water for really delicate surfaces, but rarely is it called into action, as most of the daily house cleaning occurs in areas with durable surfaces.

Bleach now sits in the very back of the cleaning supply cabinet, only pulled out for areas with high germ populations. Since my house is regularly cleaned and low traffic, this means the bathroom. Although bleach kills a larger spectrum of germs, rubbing alcohol is less corrosive to the skin and lungs of  soft and pink mortals like ourselves, and it kills many germs. Of course you don’t want to expose alcohol to flame of any kind, but I don’t find myself going out of my way to make sure this doesn’t happen.

When I need a boost in the cleaning power of the glass solution, a dash of Bon Ami works wonders, especially on stainless steel appliances as long as you are careful to go with the grain. In the course of researching this article, I discovered that bleach breaks down fairly quickly into harmless components, mostly oxygen and table salt. Who knew? I certainly didn’t, and although I still prefer to use bleach as little as possible, I don’t feel as guilty about the eventual result of my bleachy house cleaning choices.

We hope that you try one of these recipes and would love to hear what you think! Do you have a favorite homemade house cleaning solution? Please let us know!

Enjoy more ideas about Window Cleaning on The Cleaning Crew, LLC’s Pinterest board.