There’s a simple joy in standing at a window to enjoy the view outside, maybe with a cup of coffee in hand, admiring the scenery… and then noticing the glass is dirty. Nothing ruins the scenery quite like smudges and debris on your window, which is one good reason for keeping them clean.
As anyone who’s ever attempted to clean glass knows, though, simply wiping down a window doesn’t do the trick. Doing that tends to leave streaks, especially if you’re using a damp cloth. To thoroughly clean glass without leaving streaks, here are some handy tips so you can get a view that’s picture perfect.
Dust first, wipe later!
Before you dampen a cloth to start rubbing down the glass, remove the dirt and dust! Wiping carelessly could cause any particles to scratch your glass, or smear on the glass.
To clean windows streak free, first take down any blinds or curtains hanging over windows. Then use a dusting wand or a dry cloth to lightly brush down the surfaces to remove any built-up dust and grime. Start at the top of the window and work your way down. Don’t forget to brush the sill after, too – and sweep or vacuum any dirt that fell to the floor!
Microfibre, that is! Use microfibre cloths – or if you don’t have one, old newspapers should do the trick. Cotton cloths or paper towels tend to leave lint on your window while rubbing. On the other hand, microfibre cloths are more effective for cleaning windows, able to trap dirt and moisture between ultra-thin fibres. They’re also more absorbent, soaking in 7 times their weight in liquid. They dry faster, too!
All-natural window cleaning.
You can, of course, use products like Windex or Ajax – they’ll get the job done well enough. But if you want to skip the chemical cleaners and go for something affordable and convenient, it’s sitting right in your kitchen! White vinegar is a miracle for cleaning: use it for benches, ovens, mirrors, and yep – glass!
How to clean windows with vinegar? Just mix a solution that’s 1:1 for white vinegar and cold tap water. You can add a few drops of dish soap as a boost, or a few drops of an essential oil to counteract the vinegar scent. Alternatively, if the smell is too strong, lemons also do the trick. Just like with vinegar, mix equal parts lemon juice and water for a streak-free shine.
When you have your cleaning solution, spray the liquid onto windows, then wipe off with a microfibre cloth or newspaper. Alternatively, you can dip your cloth into the solution and rub the window down. And channel your inner Karate Kid – wax on, wax off!
While you’re cleaning, there are two aspects in which temperature matters. First off, use cold water when wiping windows! Hot water will evaporate too quickly, so you’ll end up smearing more than cleaning. You don’t want water that’s over room temperature.
The other factor? Don’t clean when it’s overly sunny or hot out. True, it might make it easier to spot streaks and dirt on the glass, but it’ll also make the surface dry out that much quicker – meaning you’ll end up with streaky windows anyway! Glass absorbs heat, so save the window cleaning for early morning or late afternoon.
As for other tips…
Besides the above factors, here are some other things to keep in mind for how to clean windows without streaks.
Wipe off any excess cleaner.
Whether you go for the spray method or you dip your cloth into a cleaning solution, make sure you use a dry microfibre cloth afterwards to mop up any remaining dampness. You can also use a squeegee – just make sure you wipe the blade clean every few passes.
Intensify the vinegar mix.
If you’ve got particularly stubborn streaks, try heating up plain white vinegar in a microwave (but don’t boil it!). Use a microfibre cloth to apply the solution to your windows in small amounts, then scrub until clear. Follow up with a cloth dipped in plain water or lemon-water mix.
Don’t forget the borders!
Your glass may be streak free, but if the frame is dirty, what’s the point? For these, you can use plain water with mild detergent or soap. If your frames are white, try (white!) toothpaste. Mix with a little water to thin it out, then wipe it on and leave it to work its magic.
Always clean windows from top down – this ensures you don’t drip dirty water onto already-clean glass. You can layer old newspapers or towels on the sill to absorb the spill, or wipe up after!
Want clean windows without the effort? Get professional help!
Sometimes we just don’t have the energy to roll up our sleeves and do the work, or we just can’t get that spotless shine. Maid2Match offers regular house cleaning services in Melbourne and yes, we’ll buff the windows while we’re at it. So if you want to know how to clean windows professionally – just schedule your house for cleaning with us, and save the vinegar and lemons for dinner after!