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The Best Way To Clean Windows And Mirrors

Updated on August 27, 2011

Get Smear Free Windows

If you have ever cleaned your windows or mirrors and found yourself left with streaks or smears then you will know that it is not easy to find the best way to clean windows. There are plenty of window cleaning products out there that promise streak-free windows but I have only found one way that guarantees clean windows and you may be surprised by what that is.

You can use this method whether you are cleaning your windows indoors or outdoors and also on cleaning any mirrors in your house, or glass-topped tables and cabinets etc. I was taught this way of cleaning windows when I worked in a chalet in the Alps that had a large quantity of big windows that we had to clean every week, so obviously we needed to find the best and most effective way to clean windows!

Equipment Required

So what you need to clean your windows depends on the size and location of the windows you are cleaning. 

If you are cleaning windows or mirrors that are indoors I recommend the following:

  • Clean cloth or sponge (wet)
  • Dry cloth
  • Bottle of Glass cleaner
  • Old newspaper

Using scrunched up newspapers will give great results!
Using scrunched up newspapers will give great results!

Cleaning Windows and Mirrors Indoors

If your windows are really dirty then I recommend an extra step beforehand and this is - clean the windows with a weak mixture of washing up liquid and warm water and a damp cloth or sponge. Use quite a lot of water but don't worry about actually getting them clean but just take the worst of the dirt off.
If your windows and mirrors are not excessively dirty then do the following:

  • wipe the windows down with a damp cloth that has been rinsed in soapy water (as above but not using so much water) - this just gets the excess dirt off
  • spray the windows with the glass cleaner and wipe off with a scrunched up piece of newspaper

The second part is the key to getting the windows clean - for some reason (don't ask me why!) scrunched up old newspaper gives you streak free windows even though you would imagine it would actually put dirt on the windows. But believe me, give it a try to you will see great results.

Cleaning Windows Outside

If you are cleaning windows outside then the best way is to use a bowl of warm water with some washing up liquid in (not too much) and use a window cleaning squeegee/scraper to remove it.

Use a sponge or cloth to wash the windows down with the soapy water and once you have washed the windows you need to work quite quickly with the squeegee so that the water does not dry on the windows. Work from side to side with the squeegee overlapping your previous strokes so that you do not leave any lines. if the window is a large one start at the top and do that first then do the bottom half.

For outdoor windows you can still use the glass cleaner and scrunched up newspaper to finish off but you may only need to use it to tidy up any marks if you have worked quickly with the squeegee.

Scrunched Up Newspaper Is The Key!

If you haven't tried this before then you really will be surprised at how streak free or smear free your windows and mirrors are if you used the scrunched up newspaper method!

Get a good quality squeegee for best results


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    • Azure11 profile image

      Marian L 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks Cogerson and Jamie!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 6 years ago from Texas

      oh yeah, newspapers are awesome for cleaning mirrors and windows! I heard that the ink in the newspaper actually helps somehow... I dunno but anyway, great hub!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Being a stay at home dad...I do lots of cleaning...I will try the newspaper trick later today...thanks for posting...voted up and probably

    • Azure11 profile image

      Marian L 6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for your comment Sally - I have moved to a place with quite big windows and mirrors that all needed a good clean when I moved in so that is what reminded me of this method!

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      I had forgotten that about cleaning windows with newspapers. I will absolutely give it a try -- since it is time for spring cleaning.