Window washing may be one of the least favorite home care tasks there is. In order to avoid leaving streaks on windowpanes, many people believe you must use expensive solutions or even steam clean the windows instead. We’ll show you how easy it is to use simple household supplies to clean your windows cheaply, organically, and leave a streak-free shine, every time.
Cleaning Your Windows – the Best Cleaning Tips for Glass
As soon as sunlight hits your windowpanes, it’s easy to see the dirt and grime that’s blocking light – even on dark and gloomy winter days. Advertisers tout expensive chemical cleaners or steam machines, promising to get your windows cleaner than ever before. But don’t believe the hype – there are numerous options already lurking in your cupboards that are not only cheaper than those advertised products, but which are also environmentally friendly. If you keep a couple basics in mind before you begin cleaning, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and annoyance:
- Never wash your windows in direct sunshine. Your cleaning solution will dry too quickly on the windowpane, leaving behind pesky streaks.
- Whatever cleanser you use, if at all – only use a little bit! Otherwise you also run the risk of creating streaks.
- Don’t use cleaning rags that have been washed with fabric softener, as these will also leave streaks.
- The more quickly you polish the windowpane dry, the less likely it is that you will leave streaks behind.
Cleaning Your Windows with Household Supplies: Environmentally-Friendly, Streak-Free Shine
Supplies we already have around the house are very effective for cleaning dirty windowpanes. Fill a bucket and –depending on your windows’ issues – grab the supplies below:
Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol, and Lemon Juice
Hard water is often the reason that streaks return again and again. A shot of vinegar in the cleaning bucket is an easy solution to this problem. Rubbing alcohol or lemon juice are alternative substitutes for vinegar.
The tannins in black tea help remove grease and nicotine build-up and create a kind of protective layer on the glass. Simply make a concentrated cup of black tea with two tea bags; steep ten minutes, then add to your cleaning bucket. If you like, add lemon juice to counteract the hardness of the water.
If your windows are really dirty, a squirt of ammonia in your cleaning bucket can work wonders. But beware: it smells awful!
The classic solution and even today our unqualified favorite. You can use it both wet – dunk in your cleaning bucket and use it to scrub – and dry – to polish your windows once they’ve been washed.
Really dirty windows benefit from the fine mesh of pantyhose or other stockings that have been retired after getting runs. They are excellent at getting the most stubborn panes clean.
— by Katharina Bliem
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