|a clean window at the kitchen sink|
As suggested by various people, I put a squirt of dish soap in the bucket, then added water. I don't think it's terribly important what soap you use. Brandy used Dawn, but I decided to use the natural dish soap I'm currently using. It's Seventh Generation which I typically buy here. I put a rag in my pocket to wipe the squeegee between passes, and changed it out as needed. The first thing I noticed was the scrubber head was extremely difficult to take back off the pole. I don't know if mine was unusually tight, or if that is typical of this design, but I ended up turning the scrubber head 90 degrees so it would not line up with the click lock button. As long as it wasn't locked in place with the button, I could manage to pull the head off. The squeegee head was easy to put on and take off. I scrubbed both top and bottom of one window, before switching out to use the squeegee, which worked well.
This method did work quite well. I did have to go over some spots with the squeegee more than once. Once I elongated the pole to its full length, I forgot I could shorten it, and struggled working around some furniture when I was inside, so there was a bit of a learning curve there :o). I could not clean the bottom of the top windows indoors, due to the locking mechanism in the way, so had to wipe this part of each window with my rag. As the squeegee brought the water down to the bottom of the window, it made it easy to use this water to wipe in this area. I loved that I only had to get on the ladder to clean 2 windows outdoors. Even with the 5' pole, they were too far from the ground. But otherwise, I could reach all with the pole, and it really was quicker and used less resources than my old paper towel and window cleaner method. It also did a much better job of actually cleaning the windows without streaks and smudges.
I'd love to say it took only minutes to clean my windows, like others I'd read about, but it took quite a bit longer than that. I didn't think to time it, but it was definitely a few hours. I should explain that I did more than window cleaning. If it were window cleaning alone, maybe it would be possible to do it in an hour or so, especially if you have one of the combination heads. I imagine that would easily cut my time in half. But screens were also taken down and cleaned, all the sills needed to be wiped down, & cobwebs removed. Too, all the wood blinds were dusted and the slats wiped down with Murphy's oil soap and water. It may be a testament to my housekeeping, or possibly heating with wood, or maybe living in the humid south, but dusting the blinds was not enough to get them clean. Cleaning blinds is a chore I'm glad I don't have to do every week, that's for sure. I cracked one slat, and broke another, during the process, & J repaired both with a bit of glue and balsa wood. In taking down the blinds, the little plastic pieces that hold the wood valance up top in place inevitably broke. As they are meant to have some give when you're putting up and taking down the valance, they could not just be glued and still work, so J found some of those pieces online for .79 ea, and ordered them. That was definitely a frugal accomplishment. When we'd searched for them previously, we couldn't find any. It sure would be a shame to have to replace an entire blind due to a .79 plastic piece, so I'm delighted he was able to find them this time. Especially since, ahem, a few more were broken this round. I think that pretty much sums up my window cleaning adventures. If you've got any tips or experiences to share, I'm all ears. Brandy has asked that we save our frugal accomplishments posts until October 2nd, so I may take a break in posting until then. Until then, be well!