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Perfect Window Cleaning Every Time

Updated on July 14, 2015
Vicki Perry profile image

For several years when I was young, I worked as a residential and vacant house cleaner, giving me a chance to experience numerous products.

Don't spend another dime on window cleaners that leave streaks and affect your health.
Don't spend another dime on window cleaners that leave streaks and affect your health. | Source

Window Cleaners Break the Bank

After all the money I have spent on window cleaning products over the years, I could have purchased a new car or put a nice down payment on a home. Being a mother of three daughters, a foster mom and a step mom, plus the umpteen years I cleaned vacant and occupied homes for various companies, I know window cleaners well.

Window cleaning consists of rags, newspapers, buckets, soapy water or filled spray bottles and plenty of elbow grease, depending on how bad the windows are in your home. It's not a fun job nor a job I prefer to do, but we all know it has to be done.

The methods of getting windows clean vary depending on your preferences. Some tackle the job with buckets of hot, soapy water and a squeegee, others prefer to attack the window with products such as Windex and rags. Whatever your method, there are typically streaks left on the windows especially when you're outside with the sun shining on your work. My personal preference is not cleaning windows at all, but until I gain a housekeeper, it's a job I have to do at least once every couple of months.

Clean windows allow more light to shine in to your home and make the overall appearance of the room brighter and cleaner.
Clean windows allow more light to shine in to your home and make the overall appearance of the room brighter and cleaner. | Source

Nobody Likes a Streaker!

After spending time on cleaning a window, nothing is more disheartening than to see streaks across the glass. I have, like I said, used all types of window cleaners and while some do work better than others, nothing is perfect.

At times I have thought I had found the right window cleaner. I didn't see any streaks until later on in the day, when I believed the job was finished. This meant the grueling work of rewashing the window. Once again, I would find streaks.

I spoke to a professional window washer or two in my years of cleaning. All of them claimed that a bucket of hot water, one drop of Lemon Joy and a squeegee was the optimal way of washing windows. I used this combination of ideas on my next few jobs. Now call me uncoordinated or outright stubborn due to being a triple Capricorn, but I hate squeegees. I despise them. I am one who likes to get into corners of windows and floors and I do believe in not using mops to wash floors nor do I feel like squeegees get into the corners of the window. It's frustrating to me to wash a window or mirror and find build up residing on the edges of either.


Free Window Cleaner

After attempting to use a squeegee, I found myself cleaning the corners of the window afterward. I also confirmed that the Lemon Joy was a mediocre form of cleaning as I still spotted streaks on the windows when the job was complete. This set me out on a mission. What was the perfect window cleaner?

I tried suggestions from fellow cleaners and friends, all good ideas and all sound advice. Yet I also saw that I was spending money on ridiculous items that either I didn't want to carry with me to various jobs or products that didn't live up to the hype.

I tried vinegar and water, alcohol and water and the list goes on and on. Six months into the process of using multitudes of products, I was cleaning my own home and found the solution. I have used this method of window cleaning time and time again, all with no streaks and no purchases of unnecessary cleaning supplies.

A friend was on the way over to visit and I noticed that I had some cobwebs on the outside of my kitchen window. Being a cleaner, I immediately bolted to the outside of the window to remove the spider and rid my window of the web. This led to a smearing of dirt and debris, leaving the panes of glass worse than if I had left the spider in his home. At least my friend and I could have had a science project to view while sipping coffee. Now there was nothing but smears, dirt and a nasty looking window.

I ran a terry cloth rag under hot water, wringing it out when wet. I grabbed another rag, this one dry and headed out the door. Wiping the window with the wet rag, it removed the smears, previous streaks from the last time I washed the window and all of the dirt and dust lying dormant on the panes. I followed up with the dry rag to assist in removing the dirt and to dry the window.

After my friend left, I found the window to be perfectly clean and streak free. I thought this was too good to be true. Running around the house, I washed down anything shiny or see-through, such as windows and mirrors alike. The windows and mirrors in my home sparkled! There were no streaks, no smears and no dirt.

Since this trial period, I have advocated for the simple use of hot water to wash mirrors and windows in any home. There is no cost involved, in terms of purchasing products or tools, just a couple of rags and water.

Now I fill a sink full of water when I'm washing windows on the inside of my home. Window cleaning is fast, simple and I can guarantee they will be streak free. On the outer windows, after winter has fulfilled its stay, I use a bucket of hot water and typically wipe the windows down twice, followed by a dry rag. The water evaporates quickly when the sun is resting on the panes of glass and yet the glass is without a film or residue from cleaners or from drops of dishwashing liquid.

Tips for Cleaning Rags

When washing your cleaning rags, whether they are the microfiber or terry cloth rags, don't use fabric softener and only a small amount of soap. Better yet, use vinegar in the wash cycle and dry as usual. The buildup of cleaning products on the rags will end up on your windows or mirrors and can leave steaks.

Happy housecleaning!

© 2015 Vicki Perry


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    • Vicki Perry profile imageAUTHOR

      Vicki Perry 

      3 years ago from Oregon

      Thank you. It is sometimes the easiest of solutions that work. Water. Who would have thought? :) After all the money I have spent in cleaning supplies, I could have a trip to Hawaii with that money.

    • MichalWrotter profile image


      3 years ago from Czech Republic

      What a great article. I hate when I clean my windows just to find is not done to my wishes. I certainly going to use your way. Thank you for such idea.


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