There are many instructions available on how to clean windows, some better than others. Cleaning windows has got to be one of the most hated and put-off household chores. It usually requires some extra effort on your part. If you have any sort of physical disability or weakness then it becomes something you do only when you absolutely have to. Many of the products sold to clean windows do not work the way they are supposed to for most people. People have been driven to distraction trying to remove streaks from their windows after using a "no streak" product.
The best way to clean windows is the natural way, using natural products that will not harm you or the environment around you. Products like white vinegar, baking soda, corn starch, club soda and lemon juice are all helpful in cleaning windows.
The natural ways of cleaning windows also seem to be the most effective. They don't leave any residue (if properly rinsed) that builds up. Regardless of what you use, you should clean your windows when the sun is not directly shining on them, this will make them dry too quickly and they will leave streaks. Also, if the windows are very dirty or if they have a lot of residue from commercially available products, you should wash them with warm, soapy water and a sponge first. After they have dried, then you can apply these ideas to get your windows sparkling clean.
Natural Products to Clean Your Windows
The most widely recommended natural way on how to clean windows is using a combination of white vinegar and water and a sponge; combine ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water. Use a squeegee to remove the excess water and then dry the window with crumpled up newspaper or a soft cloth. You can also mix the vinegar and water in a spray bottle and just spray it on. If you use a spray bottle add 2 cups of water and ¼ cup of white vinegar.
You can add cornstarch to a mixture of vinegar and water to clean your windows as well. Combine 2 tablespoonfuls of cornstarch, 1 cup white vinegar, 1 gallon warm water. Rinse well and dry with a squeegee or crumpled up newspaper. Another natural way to wash windows is using lemon juice. Squeeze some lemon juice on a soft cloth or sponge and wipe off the residue with a soft cloth. .
soda, the miracle compound that seems to be able to do anything, can also
be used to clean your windows. Sprinkle some baking soda on a damp sponge or
soft cloth. Rinse the windows with a clean sponge and plenty of water. Dry the
windows with a squeegee or a crumpled up newspaper (newsprint is probably
better). Club soda is another natural way to wash windows. Just pour the club soda in a
bucket, soak a sponge in the club soda and wash the windows. Dry them using a
squeegee or newspaper.
No matter which method you choose on how to clean windows, wash the windows in an alternating up and down, and right to left motion. Do not use a circular motion as that will cause streaks. Any one of these methods should leave you with clean, shiny windows without too much effort. You can be proud of yourself for not putting your health or your environment in jeopardy from dangerous fumes in order to have a clean house.
lovedoctor926 on June 14, 2012:
I use Windex or Mr. Clean for windows, but baking soda for hard to reach places such as the tub and to make my teeth extra white. I'm going to try baking soda next time I clean the windows in my room.
Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 14, 2012:
Oh I needed this the commercial cleaner never works for me! Thank you my windows are going to look pretty!
Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 11, 2012:
I always use white vinegar and water to clean windows. In fact I use vinegar to clean almost everything in my house. I wrote a Hub about vinegar. When you have some time, check it out. I enjoyed this Hub; very informative. I'll vote it UP, etc.etc. Goodnight.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on January 07, 2011:
Great tips here. I have used vinegar and newsprint but never knew about baking soda. Will have to try that one as I use baking soda for many things. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will clean all the gunk out of a thermos and make it look brand new.
American_Choices from USA on December 17, 2010:
My grandmother would wash windows with newspapers - it really does help with the lines that form - great frugal add in. Haven't tried the baking soda for windows - use it on a regular basis with salt for my teeth and plaque control.
Good and useful information here for a necessary domestic duty.
KLeichester on November 23, 2010:
Must admit, we all need to learn this. I'm thankful for this.
Window Clean on May 27, 2010:
Thanks for the useful tips. They are also useful
Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on April 03, 2010:
This is great information to have!
Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on March 18, 2010:
Writer, I always have used newspapers but lately have not been to crazy about the results. Now, reading the comments, I see where Red Elf says the changed ink causes streaks. Durn it. One thing about washing windows is that the newly cleaned windows just make the whole room look better.
Stylinbikerchick on September 15, 2009:
I have always used the vinegar and newspaper to clean my windows with and you are right it's the best and cheapest method. However, we have some very old windows at work that someone let go way too long before cleaning and I have the darndest time getting them completely clean,,,I'm gonna try your baking soda compound on them, after the soap and water method (which duh! I never thought to try first) Thanks Bunches. By the way I use vinegar to clean most everything in the bathroom and kitchen too.
sminut13 from singapore on September 01, 2009:
wow really useful information. i had no idea regarding the natural ways. definitely learned something new, though i'm still buying the soap to clean it.
Susan Keeping (author) from Kitchener, Ontario on August 12, 2009:
Glad to be of help RefElf.
MindField, once I watched that video I knew I had to fit it into my hub.
Thanks for the compliments both of you :)
MindField from Portland, Oregon on August 11, 2009:
Really useful, UW. Gleaned lots of good info, as usual. Most of all, though, just adored the George Formby video!
RedElf from Canada on August 11, 2009:
I haven't been able to use newsprint since the local papers switched to canola based ink - better for the environment, but leaves smears on everything, darn it.
Great info, as usual.
...and thanks for the heads up on the hub, lol. God bless that copy/paste function and my being in a hurry - anyway, thanks again.