Keep Your Children Safe From Lead! How to Clean Your Windows the Right Way

In Milwaukee, windows have been found to be major sources of lead paint chips and lead dust in your children’s envi-ronment. If they are exposed to these, your children could be lead poisoned. Cleaning your windows the right way can reduce these lead hazards and keep your child safe. Note: Please don’t do this yourself if you are pregnant, and please don’t have small children do this job. Here’s how: 1. Raise the lower sash of each window. Secure the lower sash if needed. You have just exposed the exterior sill, the lower flat portion of the window frame as shown in the picture. 2. Remove and wash any toys found in windows with soapy water. 3. Use wet paper towels or rags to remove paint chips and dirt from the exterior sill of each window. Dispose of the rags/paper towels in a heavy-duty trash bag. 4. Clean out all remaining dirt, paint chips, and debris from all exterior sills. Use a bucket full of water and wet paper towels or clean rags. (Soap and water works best, but you can use plain water, too). Repeat this process until the area is clean. Throw the dirty paper towels and rags into the trash bag. 5. Wipe down the trim and interior sill of each window, using clean rags or paper towels and water. (These are the decorative portions of the window that face the inside of your house, as shown in the picture.) Do this from top to bottom. Dispose of these dirty towels or rags in a trash bag. 6. Flush the dirty water down the toilet when you are finished cleaning. 7. Repeat this procedure every two weeks. It may be necessary to do this more often in warm weather, or at windows where your children spend most of their time. 8. When finished, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Visit the Health Department’s Lead Program at the City’s website: