I have come up with a very effective method for cleaning windows in homes that have been smoked in. If you attempt to clean smoker's windows with a standard method....your regular bucket of solution, a strip washer and squeegee....you'll find your strip washer and bucket of solution get fouled VERY quickly. You'll end up changing your solution several times, and you'll be constantly detailing to remove streaks and smears. This method is a little time consuming, but in the end it actually saves time vs. not using this method.
First, going in, have LOTS of huck towels ready. Second, have a can of aerosol window cleaning foam. I use Zep Professional window cleaning foam. You'll still be using your strip washer, bucket of solution, and squeegee.
Spray the glass with the window cleaning foam. Be careful not to overspray on the surrounding wall. You can create a "clean spot", then you'll be stuck cleaning the wall too. Try to keep the foam on the glass only. You'll end up spraying some of the frame too, but that's ok. Cover the whole pane with foam.
Do NOT wipe the foam off with a towel, as is usually done when using foam. Instead, squeegee the foam off. I recommend having a brand new squeegee rubber in place when doing smoker's homes. You'll end up with a blob of foam at the bottom of the pane and on your squeegee. With a huck towel, wipe the bottom of the pane, the whole frame of the window, and your squeegee. Do not worry about detailing the glass at this point. But, it is important to wipe overspray off of the frame. Otherwise you'll leave unsightly yellow drips and runs on the frame.
Now, simply soap the window with your strip washer and wash & detail the glass as you normally would. Using the foam & squeegee method first gets nearly all of the smoking residue off of the glass, leaving you with a surface that is not going to foul your strip washer and solution.
Yes, you're cleaning the glass twice. But, I've found this method to be a time saver vs. having to change bucket solution several times and having to spend much time detailing. And, in my opinion, it produces superior results.
You can purchase Zep foam at your favorite big box home store. You can purchase everything else you need for window cleaning by clicking any of the links above. Thanks for stopping by.