My mom loves sparkling windows. I actually didn't realize this growing up. She did wash the windows of our house, but I don't think I noticed how frequently she did this. Nor did I perceive the joy she had from looking out her dazzling kitchen window at the beautiful maple tree outside.
When my husband and I were first married, we were living in Edmonton, miles away from my home in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. (For readers south of the border, that's like Niagara Falls to Montana). Anyway, my parents came for a visit - their first in our new "home" (it was a condo.) They were excited about our new place and we enjoyed their visit very much. Of course, I had been sure to make everything spotless, cleaning the stove, the toaster, the mirrors, etc. until everything shone. However, I didn't even think to clean my windows.
Well my mom was there about 2 hours, when I noticed her cleaning the window on our front screen door. "Mom, what are you doing?" was my question. To which she calmly replied, "Just cleaning the window. It was a little dirty."
A little dirty. I have to admit, I don't think I had cleaned it since we had moved in. It had never occurred to me. Well, since then, I too have come to enjoy clean windows, although I have a lot to clean in our present house and they aren't always as gleaming as I would prefer.
To achieve sparkling windows, I have come across some great tips that work well for me. First, I use 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a bucket of hot, hot, water. (As hot as I can bear. When the water starts getting cool, I change the water and prepare a fresh batch of starch water.) Then I use a window washing "system" from Lee Valley tools. It includes an extendable pole (great for the 2nd-story windows), a sponge tip, and a squeegie tip. This system, combined with the hot starch water make washing the windows quick and relatively painless.
I now also enjoy the view out my kitchen window, though my tree is a Hawthorne tree. It's really a small thing, but somehow I enjoy the sunshine just a little more when it sparkles on my windows.