10 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Windows

Many homeowners find that window cleaning can be a perplexing and often frustrating task. It’s a chore that demands time, patience, and the right technique. Yet, despite our best efforts, we often end up with streaks, smudges, or dust and grime that seem to reappear almost instantly. Why is this so? 

Well, when it comes to window cleaning, many of us are unknowingly making mistakes that are sabotaging our best efforts to achieve that clear, sparkly finish. In this blog post, we’ll be shedding light on the ten most common errors people make during window cleaning, along with practical cleaning tips to dodge these pitfalls.

10 Window Cleaning Mistakes to Keep Top of Mind

Woman cleaning her window

1. Cleaning On a Sunny Day

Bright sunshine might tempt you into taking out your cleaning supplies, but be warned – cleaning windows under the sun can cause the cleaning solution to dry up quickly, resulting in unsightly streaks.

Tip: Wait for an Overcast Day – Instead, plan your window cleaning spree on an overcast day when the cleaning solution will dry at a slower pace, resulting in a streak-free shine.

2. Using Paper Towels or Newspapers

Resorting to paper towels or newspapers is a common error. These materials tend to leave behind lint, causing more mess than before.

Tip: Use a Microfiber Cloth or a Squeegee – For a clean, lint-free finish, opt for a microfiber cloth or a squeegee when cleaning your windows.

3. Not Removing Dirt and Dust First

If you don’t dust off your windows before cleaning them, you risk causing scratches as you drag dust and dirt particles around.

Tip: Dust Before You Wash – Always remember to dust off your windows before you begin with a liquid cleaning solution.

4. Using Too Much Cleaning Solution

An excess of cleaning solution can leave a hard-to-remove, soapy residue that clouds your windows.

Tip: Less is More – Remember, when it comes to window cleaning solutions, less is more. A small amount applied to your cloth or squeegee is usually enough to get your windows sparkling.

5. Not Cleaning the Window Frames

Overlooking the window frames is another common mistake. Dirt and dust often accumulate here, defeating your window cleaning efforts.

Tip: Clean Frames First – Always start with the frames before moving on to the glass.

6. Cleaning Only the Inside

Cleaning only the inside of your windows won’t give you the crystal-clear result you want.

Tip: Clean Both Sides – Be sure to clean both the inside and the outside of your windows to ensure optimal cleanliness.

7. Ignoring Window Screens

If you don’t clean your window screens, you’ll end up transferring the dirt and grime onto your freshly cleaned windows each time you open or close them.

Tip: Clean Screens Regularly – Make it a habit to remove and clean your window screens regularly to prevent the transfer of dirt.

8. Not Drying Your Windows

Leaving your windows to air dry often results in unsightly watermarks.

Tip: Always Dry After Cleaning – After washing, be sure to dry the glass using a dry microfiber cloth or a squeegee for a streak-free finish.

9. Using the Wrong Cleaning Solution

Using a cleaning solution not suited for windows will often leave them looking streaky and dull.

Tip: Choose the Right Solution – There are a host of commercial window cleaning solutions designed to leave your windows streak-free. A vinegar and water mixture is also a great DIY natural cleaning solution that works well as an alternative.

10. Not Cleaning Regularly

Allowing dirt and dust to accumulate on your windows makes the cleaning task more challenging.

Tip: Set a Regular Cleaning Schedule – Clean your windows on a regular basis, ideally once a month, to maintain their shine and make the job easier each time.


Avoiding these common window cleaning mistakes and following our recommended tips will have you well on your way to achieving brilliantly clean windows. However, we understand that only some have the time or energy to tackle this task. That’s where SweepSouth comes in.

As South Africa’s #1 home services platform, SweepSouth offers reliable and professional cleaning services. The vetted cleaning professionals you can find on our platform, known as SweepStars, are trained to take care of all your cleaning needs, including windows. Let us take the load off your shoulders so you can enjoy your home in its best light, literally and figuratively. Book a SweepSouth cleaning service today and make window cleaning woes a thing of the past.

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