Windows are on their don’t-like-to-do list

Unhand that Windex. Forget crumpled newspaper and water. Phooey on ammonia.

I asked readers what was their least favorite spring cleaning chore, and the majority said it was washing windows. I asked a professional, in the trenches, to recommend the best way to clean windows.

The word f

or today is: squeegee.

Here are reader comments about spring cleaning, followed by the pro’s tutorial:

Sam Colt of Camano Island learned cleaning in the military.

“I dislike all spring cleaning chores,” Colt said. “In the Navy we called it ‘Field Day.’ Maybe that’s where I developed my dislike for cleaning.”

Also, Colt said, after “umpteen” moves during his sea career, he said washing windows tops his list as the worst cleaning chore.

“So why did I settle on an island next to salt water where I have lots of windows to do?” he said. “Maybe it’s the view. Excuse me, I gotta go clean some windows after this especially wet and windy spring.”

Rhonda Bradley of Lynnwood said she cannot stand cleaning the windows.

“It involves getting a stool and/or a ladder and lugging it around the house, cleaning and reaching and using muscles I don’t use on a regular basis,” she said. “I wish that there was such a thing as self-cleaning windows. … I would pay extra for those.”

Tonya Tye of Bothell said she doesn’t like to clean the windows. Her husband, Pat Tye, hates to clean the skylights, de-moss the roof and doesn’t enjoy cleaning the gutters.

Cara Ianni, who works in Everett, said she isn’t a fan of chores in general.

“I have a super-high dust tolerance, but my favorite thing about spring cleaning is opening up all of the windows on that semi-warm spring day and letting the fresh air in while I halfheartedly scrub at something,” she said. “My least favorite is probably getting all of the green moldy stuff off of the outdoor furniture, bird feeders, shed door, etc.”

Barb Graver, who lives on Camano Island, said that when she was a kid growing up in Ohio in the 1950s, the very least favorite spring cleaning chore she was assigned was to dust all the coils on the old box springs on all the beds.

“It was impossible to feather dust them,” she said. “You had to stick the rag way down to the bottom of the coil and twist it around several times. I think my hand was the only one small enough to get to the bottom. And Mom made me do it over if it didn’t suit her.”

Thank goodness for the modern box springs, Graver said.

Sue Strickland of Everett said her least favorite spring cleaning chore is window washing, inside and out.

“I’ve always disliked this chore no matter what my age,” she said. “It is especially unappealing now that we have two stories and a lot more windows than ever before — 20 in all.”

Cyd Leahy, who lives in Snohomish, asked if there is anything worse than windows.

“The mildew that accumulates in the Northwest makes this additionally unpleasant — both outside and in,” Leahy said. “Plus with the rain and weather we have, the windows don’t stay clean for long. This makes your efforts seem unappreciated. I never would have picked the exterior door I did for my back entrance had I really considered how hard it would be to clean each one of those individual small panes. What was I thinking? The older I get, the harder it seems.”

Sherri Pribble-Jones, who lives in Lake Stevens, hates not only window washing but cleaning the blinds.

“One year I did hire someone to clean my windows, thinking a professional must do a better job than I could ever imagine doing,” she said. “To my surprise, I was highly disappointed. They cleaned only the window, not the tracking, and so I was left with dead bugs. I still do it myself, but if I could, I would give another person a crack at it.”

And now, the expert:

Grant Yeager, who lives in Lynnwood, cleans gutters and windows for AA Window and Gutter.

He said he likes the mostly outdoor job, working on his own and setting his own pace.

What does the professional recommend for cleaning windows, inside and out?

He said he couldn’t mention the name of the product he uses, but it’s basically soap and water in a bucket.

“I use squeegees and sponges,” Yeager said. “Sponge on, squeegee off.

Use the same method indoors, he said, placing a bath towel on the window sill to catch the water.

“Using a paper towel and window cleaner gets you swirl marks,” Yeager said. “Squeegee is the best way.”

I didn’t poll gas station owners about window washing techniques, but we all know what tool they keep in buckets by the pump.

Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, oharran@heraldnet.com

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