How to Clean Windows


To find streaks, wash one side with horizontal strokes and the other with vertical strokes.
To find streaks, wash one side with horizontal strokes and the other with vertical strokes.
Publications International, Ltd.

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Windows look best if they are cleaned on a regular basis, at least twice a year on the inside and outside. Here are some useful techniques for cleaning windows:

  • Wash one side of a window with horizontal strokes and the other side with vertical strokes so you can pinpoint which side of the window has a streak.
  • Use a squeegee on a long handle or a sponge/squeegee combination to prevent streaks on large windows.
  • Eliminate tiny scratches on glass by polishing the affected areas with toothpaste.
  • Washing windows should be done on a cloudy day, because direct sunlight dries cleaning solutions before you can polish the glass properly.
  • Use a soft toothbrush or cotton swab to clean corners. ­ ­
  • To give an extra shine to window glass, polish it with well-washed cotton T-shirts or old cloth diapers. Or rub a clean blackboard eraser over a freshly washed and dried window to give it a diamond-bright shine.
  • Polish windows to a sparkling shine with crumpled newspaper. The paper also leaves a film that's resistant to dirt.
  • Wash windows from the top down to prevent drips.
  • R­ememb­er that window cleaners pose a threat to woodwork. Don't let them drip on the windowsill where they can harm the paint or varnish.

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Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

A cotton swab or soft toothbrush works for cleaning window corners.
A cotton swab or soft toothbrush works for cleaning window corners.
Publications International, Ltd.

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­Don't want to spend money on a glass cleaner? Home recipes work just as well as commercial products for washing windows, and you'll save money. Try this recipe for a homemade glass cleaner:

  • Use 2 tablespoons ammonia, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1/4 teaspoon dishwashing detergent.
  • Add all ingredients to a small spray bottle, then fill the bottle with water and shake well. You can substitute 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice for the ammonia.
  • Use as you would any commercial window cleaner.

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