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Westchester Window Washer Spreads Sparkle

Can you see out of your home's windows or does the grime on your panes make everything look foggy? Squeaky-clean windows make all the difference to the way your house looks and feels, and springtime is the perfect time to tackle the job. Chris Nix of Pristine Window Cleaning, which operates in Westchester and Fairfield counties, recommends washing the windows twice a year to keep your views in sharp focus.

Nix started washing windows in 2005. "I didn't want to start a painting company because there's so much competition," he says. "A friend was washing windows and I thought I'd give it a try." At this time of year, Nix is busy every day up and down his ladder, bringing the light back into homes. The price for having your windows cleaned ranges from $8 to $12 per window, which includes the inside and outside of the window as well as installing the screens. He also cleans gutters and powerwashes houses.

Here are Chris Nix's tips on washing windows if you want to tackle the job yourself .

* Forget spray cleansers and paper towels. You’ll waste a lot of energy moving dirt around the glass. Too much rubbing creates a static charge, which will attract new dirt to your windows.

* Get the right tools. You’ll need a small squeegee, a sponge, a soft brush, a bucket, a microfiber cloth and soapy water.

* If your screens are still on the windows, remove them carefully and mark each one so you know which window it belongs to.

* Do the outside of the windows first. Many windows tilt so that you can clean your windows from the inside. If you're not used to tall ladders, this isn't the time to practice. Call a professional to wash your windows.

* Use the brush to remove cobwebs and dead insects from the outside of the window.

* Put a squirt of dishwashing soap into a bucket of warm soapy water. Wash the windows and frames using the sponge.

* Run the squeegee down the pane, removing the soapy water. Wipe the squeegee blade on the rag. Use the chamois to wipe up any water along the edge of the window. If the squeegee squeaks on the glass, add a touch more soap to the water.

* Wipe the window frame with the damp rag.

* Clean your screens by hosing them off gently and wiping the frames with the rag. Don’t power wash them or you’ll tear the mesh. If any screens are broken, this is a good time to get them fixed.

How often do you clean your windows? Do you do it yourself or do you call a professional?

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