How to Clean Windows Without Streaks: Everything You Need to Know

How to Clean Windows Without Streaks: Everything You Need to Know

October 7, 2018
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
How to Clean Windows Without Streaks: Everything You Need to Know

Are you tired of streaked windows when you’re done cleaning? It’s a frustrating mess and almost all of us have dealt with it at one point or another. It’s even worse when you go to clean your new windows for the first time, knowing that you’re going to end up with marks all over the glass. You deserve sparkling, crystal clear windows, you’ve just got to make sure you know how to do it. So, read on and we’ll show you how to clean windows without streaks.

Assess the Grime Situation

How long has it been since you’ve cleaned your windows?

If you’ve been procrastinating for long enough then chances are that there’s some substantial build-up on them. Not to worry, we’ll get to how to handle that in just a moment.

On the other hand, if you regularly clean your windows anyways but just end up with streaks then you’ll be able to skip the next step.

Just take a look, chances are if this is the first time you’re going for a real deep clean then you’ll want to give the whole process a shot.

Soapy Water and a Squeegee

Get your hands on some dish soap and a squeegee.

The mixture for the initial window washing solution is pretty easy: one tablespoon of dish detergent in a gallon of water will allow you to handle things with ease.

You can also use a sponge if you don’t have a particularly large job ahead of you.

Take your squeegee or sponge and put in the work. Most windows will clean pretty easily but in some cases, you may have to really apply your elbow grease.

Corners can be taken care of with a sponge. Simply press it in and apply a little bit more soap to get the job done.

Afterwards, use a natural chamois cloth or microfiber rag in order to get the soapy water off.

The soapy water is going to leave streaks but don’t panic, we’re going to take things a step further.

The important thing is to take the time to make sure that the corners are clean.

Clean the frames and the sills at this point with the same solution.

Apply a Vinegar Solution

White vinegar has something of a miracle reputation for those who are in the know about house cleaning. While it doesn’t really live up to its reputation in the wild it’s a fantastic way to clean windows without leaving streaks.

You’ll want to mix vinegar and distilled water in a 1:1 ratio for the best results and place it in a spray bottle.

This homemade window washing solution works great, but make sure that you use distilled water in order to avoid leaving calcium deposits.

Ditch the paper towels. They’re not doing you any favors and they’ll leave behind small particles of paper which are hard to get off.

Instead, you’ll want to buff the window with a microfiber rag. Chamois is even better, but it’s not necessary to spend the money if you don’t want to.

In a pinch, old newspapers do a great job as well. Just put on some rubber gloves since the ink will come off on your hands and fingers.

Keeping the Shine

Once you’ve finished up with cleaning the windows, there are a few ways that you can make sure that you can keep them clean.

Most hardware stores will have a decent selection of different sprays which can protect your windows. Applying most of them is easy if you follow the instructions.

They can be expensive but if you go for the better products you’ll often be able to keep things clean for months at a time. Talk about saved time!

There are also 2-in-1 cleaners/protectants. They’ll save time while you’re cleaning but they also have a tendency to wear off more quickly than the dedicated protectors.

For the most part, these will handle your average day-to-day window interactions such as the occasional touch and dust build-up but they’re not a miracle solution. Instead, think of them as a time buffer helping you to avoid having to get back to cleaning your windows every week.

Bonus Round: Metal Stains

If you’ve really let your windows go and you have metal stains then chances are you’ve got some oxidative staining on your windows. Whether it’s rust or aluminum these stains can be quite hard to remove.

Don’t panic.

You really don’t need anything extra specialized. Mix cornstarch, ammonia, and white vinegar in a 1:2:4 ratio and use a rag to get as much off as you can.

If anything is persistent then you’ll want to try using half of a lemon. The acids in the lemon naturally act harshly on rust and you can then wipe off all but the nastiest metal stains with a rag.

Be gentle at first to avoid any scratching on the windows, but once you’re past the thicker parts of the stain you can put some elbow grease in.

Knowing How to Clean Windows Without Streaks

Once you’ve learned how to clean windows without streaks, you’ll be able to enjoy them much more. Grimy windows can really make a room look dingy and most of us have struggled to remove streaks with commercial products for a long time.

Keep in mind that the vinegar solution may not work the first time. Some commercial products cause build-up that will repeatedly leave streaks until the final residue has been removed.

Really, it’s easiest to keep windows clean properly right from the outset. Years of abuse can take their toll.

It’s time to take a look at some of our work and decide if you’re ready to take care of crystal clear windows for years to come.