Our contemporary style open-concept homes (whether a house or an apartment) with its numerous sliding glass doors and windows has made it a mammoth task to keep them clean. In Singapore, there are strict safety rules governing how this job is to be done by your helper. You are required to be personally present whilst this task is being executed and to provide proper protection against falls. Are you asking her to clean interior or exterior windows and glass panes?
Click here for more information about window cleaning regulations in Singapore.
Although many have said that using old newspapers and water is all that you need, I have found that this to be a very slow and laborious method which leaves unwanted newsprint marks on hands and the metal parts of the windows. The abrasive action of the papers on glass will cause scratching over time. The video clip below gives good explanations and shows you how to clean glass efficiently.
I have tried several methods. Sourcing for a professional window cleaner did not turn out to be fruitful (most had tight schedules already so they came and did not quote. The last cleaning company gave a quotation that ran into several thousands of dollars). I finally settled for the method listed below. I did not know where to find the brand that was used in the above video clip so I bought a “3-piece” telescopic pole, 2 squeegees of different sizes, a longitudinal microfibre mop head for the soapy water. It was a brand called Leifheit which is sold in many department stores.
Work out a schedule for cleaning external and internal windows over several days. For external windows, pick a period of fine days to get this job done. If you are cleaning external windows, start with those away from the harsh rays of the sun. The sun’s rays shines at different parts of the house at different parts of the day. Clean one or a short stretch of windows at a time.
Gather all your equipment and supplies.
- A vacuum with correct nozzles (to clean the dust and cobwebs of internal windows)
- 2 Pails ( one for soapy water and the other for clean water)
- Some dish-washing liquid (this cuts the grease built up over time)
- One 3 piece telescopic pole with an adaptable head to which you can fit a “mop” or a squeegee
- At least one squeegee or 2 of different lengths (depends on the size of your glass doors and windows)
- 2 to 3 Microfibre cloths (does not leave lint and gives a shinier and cleaner surface)
- One or 2 old bath towels to catch any drips.
Using a vacuum fitted with the proper nozzle, suck away all the cobwebs, dust and dirt from the screens (if any) on the windows and the metal frames.
If you are living in a house and you are cleaning external windows, close windows in the area. Use your water hose and spray away as much dirt as possible. Do one or a short stretch of windows at a time.
Fill your pail with water and the detergent of your choice (2 tablespoons of dish-washing liquid into the water of a half filled 15 litre pail has been sufficient for me). Follow the method from the video clip. It is not as complicated as it looks. For microfibre cloths, I have tried several different types and my helper likes the brand called “SMART”. There are now so many brands in the market.
Practice makes perfect. Even though I had no problems using the squeegee, some helpers have had to use it a few times before they experience the speed and the cleanliness that comes with using the squeegee. The answer lies in mastering the angle at which she had held the mop head and the squeegee and it requires a bit of wrist action. Now she loves the ease and speed at which she accomplishes her task!