Cleaning your windows can make all the difference to your home. Dirty windows can block natural light causing your home to look dull and dingy. Light blockage can also be an issue if you’re trying to use natural sunlight to warm your rooms instead of turning the heat up. In addition, a dirty window and window sill can harbor dust and allergens that may make your family have everything from watery eyes to a cough if the air becomes too full of them. Bad view, dimmed light and allergy symptoms aren’t great for anyone!
Cleaning your windows is easy but no one wants to open a blind to look out the window only to find streaks. Streaks block the view and well; that’s part of the reason you cleaned the window in the first place. Getting a streak free window, however, can be tough if you aren’t sure how you’re cleaning the window incorrectly. If that sounds familiar, these three simple steps to streak free windows can help.
Oh, and just so you know, these tips work for cleaning any type of glass including your bathroom mirrors! We have even included a bonus tip at the end of this article to help you prevent your bathroom mirrors from fogging up the next time you take a hot shower. It’s super easy to do!
Remove Deep Dirt First
First and foremost, you will need to give the window a good cleaning. This is not the time to be worrying about streaks. Instead, focus on removing as much dirt from the glass itself, the window tracks and the window sill. Use a good, strong window cleaner to remove the surface dirt.
If you attempt to get a streak free window without cleaning it first, you will run the risk of streaking dust and dirt across the glass. If this happens, no amount of extra work will get that streak free shine you’re looking for on the glass until you give it a proper cleaning.
Clean with Rubbing Alcohol
Once the window is clean, allow it to dry and then give it a good spritz with rubbing alcohol. Yes, the same rubbing alcohol you sterilize your thermometer with. Part of the reason a window streaks is a result of moisture being left on the surface of the glass. Rubbing alcohol, however, evaporates far quicker when it hits glass. This quick evaporation makes it far less likely that streaks will have time to form.
One word of caution here is to not over saturate the glass. Yes, you need to apply enough to wet the glass down, but if your alcohol is dripping down the glass, you have applied far too much. A good spritz is a light one that is easy to wipe away.
If you don’t have rubbing alcohol, isopropyl alcohol will work as well. No matter which you use, be sure that it is at least 70% alcohol. Anything less will have too little alcohol and too much water in it to get a true streak free window.
Use Newspaper to Clean Windows
Another common cause for streaks on your glass and windows is that you’re using the wrong cloth to clean them with. Cloths such as paper towels and cleaning rags not only leave streaks but they’re prone to leaving trace fibers on the glass itself.
Instead of using something that will almost guarantee streaks, use plain old newspaper to clean the rubbing alcohol off your windows. That’s right. The Sunday comics can help you clean your home. Newspapers will actually clean any glass right off. Don’t worry about the newsprint coming off onto the glass. Since you are not leaving it to sit wet on the glass, there will be no transfer.
To get the streak free look you’re going for, don’t clean the windows by wiping in just any pattern. Wipe the window with the newspaper starting at the top and moving to the bottom in a single swipe. Move across the window in this exact fashion to avoid streaks.
Bonus Tip: Coat with Shave Cream
If you’re cleaning glass other than windows such as a bathroom mirror, you can help keep the glass from fogging up with temperature changes with one simple trick. Old fashioned shaving cream!
Simply lay a thin layer on the mirror and wipe clean with newspaper. It will help create a protective layer that prevents it from fogging up!
Getting streak free windows may seem hard but it simply requires that you know the proper technique and a little practice. You may not get it fully streak free the first time. Keep practicing though and eventually you’ll be a pro at having clear, streak free windows that really let the sun shine in!
Do you have any other tips for cleaning windows?