Yesterday I decided that I would wash the exterior windows. This is usually Kevin's chore but it was nice out and it was very overdue. I mentioned it to Kevin and he was surprised because I'm not usually a volunteer for these kinds of things. And I'd spent the morning in the garden so I was setting the bar pretty high for myself.
Before starting I thought that I would look up "How to wash exterior windows", just in case someone out there has an easier way than I had planned.
I tapped out after seeing multiple listings for microfiber cloths, vinegar and water recipes, and squeegees. I just wanted to wash the doggone windows. I wasn't competing for a spread in Better Homes and Gardens. Instead I went with the tried and true dish soap, giant bucket, and Kevin's car wash brush.
The more difficult decision was whether or not to listen to music while I did this. I decided no because my wireless headphones weren't charged and they're noise cancelling, which gives Kevin way too much leeway to be mischievous. Also, I had visions of tangling cords with the scrub brush handle plus a bucket of water and my phone. I didn't want to risk being a Three Stooges episode so instead I worked to the dulcid tones of my father-in-laws riding lawnmower.
It was both as easy and as difficult as I anticipated. The windows are high and I am short so Kevin's brush on a long handle made it easy. I was afraid I was going to have to use the ladder, afraid not because of heights but the hassle of getting up and down repeatedly.
The worse part was taking off and cleaning the screens. As I've mentioned before, I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest amongst the trees. While pretty, trees can wreak havoc. It's also damp here most of the year so I'll leave that description to your imagination. It ain't easy being green, for sure.
Kevin also has what we call the Wheel Brush, which is a snub, soft bristled brush that, as you may have guessed - we use on wheels. It worked perfectly for the screens. One of the adorable things that the internet suggested was to let the windows and screens "air dry". We don't treat our expensive racecar this gently, I sure wasn't going to follow this advice.
Luckily our house is small; it has only eleven windows and two doors. The doors were the most difficult because one is a storm door with a screen so figuring out the configuration of cleaning both the windows and the screen was a challenge for my brain.
Kevin's only concern was getting water in the house. This is valid because he has met me. I am pleased to say and much to my own surprise that the only place that water seeped in was one of our doors. Whew.
Luckily for me, I had cleaned the interior windows not long ago but I was still anticipating needing to do it again once the outside was sparkly clean but Nope, they looked good. But, and there's always a but, I still had to do the window tracks. This is probably one of the yukkiest grownup jobs there is. I envy folks who live in dry climates in this situation.
Again, the internet suggests vinegar and baking soda, q-tips, toothbrushes and microfiber cloths. I went with a wet rag and a small watering can. It wasn't the most thorough job but to quote the internet: Ain't Nobody Got Time for That. It is probably not meeting Martha Stewart's unattainable standards but it works for me.
Once we settled down for the evening, I thought that it looked brighter outside but I wondered if it was just my perception because I knew the windows were newly cleaned. This morning, however, seeing them with the sun shining in made the difference - wait for it - very clear. Even Kevin, still sleepy at 5:20 in the morning, said "The windows look very nice, thank you."
Now I don't have to worry about that until next year and I can tell Kevin "Remember? I did it last year!"