Over time, grime can build up around your windows. We all want a streak-free finish, but cleaning your windows can be a real chore. Not to mention that specialist cleaning products can be costly and can be made with extremely harsh chemicals that are dangerous to inhale.
If your windows are starting to look dirty, our handy guide is here to help. From lemon juice to cornstarch, there are plenty of common household items that you can use easily to clean your dirty windows.
1. Distilled vinegar and hot water
A true tried and tested method, distilled vinegar and hot water has proven to be one of the most successful methods to clean your windows. Since vinegar has an acidic composition, it’s quick in breaking down the thin film of grime that collects on the glass’ surface. Not only is vinegar completely natural and brings no risks for allergic reactions, but it won’t cause any health problems if it’s accidentally ingested or inhaled.
For those who are cleaning their windows for the first time or haven’t washed them in a while, it’s best to use a slightly stronger solution. Mix 480ml of water with 60 ml of distilled vinegar and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the entire window with the vinegar mixture — but avoid getting the solution on any wood, vinyl or fibreglass frames as it may discolour its finish.
2. Baking soda
If you want your windows to be shiny and sparkling clean, baking soda is guaranteed to remove any tough scuffs or stains on your glass and panes. With the added bonus of being non-toxic and containing no harmful chemicals or fumes, baking soda is a great cleaning solution, and it’s relatively inexpensive.
First, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda onto a wet cloth and wash the window. As baking soda is soft enough to not scratch your windows, all the dirt should be removed. Take a clean paper towel or cloth and dampen it, applying it to the window to remove any excess baking soda that may be leftover. Fill a spray bottle with 75ml of baking soda and 75ml of vinegar, mix the solution well and spray onto the windows. Finish with a dry cloth to wipe over the window, giving it a fantastic shine.
Be sure to wash your windows on a cloudy day so the direct sun won’t cause any streaks on the glass. And remember, you should never use a baking soda cleaning solution on stained glass or antique windows as it could damage its surface.
3. Lemon juice
Tackling those grimy window panes needn’t be a challenge with a lemon juice cleaning solution. Due to its acidic base, lemon juice can be used on glass and plastic surfaces without the fear of damage. The acid in lemons acts as a natural bleach as it’s antibacterial and antiseptic. Similarly to vinegar, lemons are a terrific cleaning agent and provide a natural cleaning power.
If you’re sick of pesky greasy fingerprints, lemon juice also works great as a degreaser.
Shake one tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into an empty spray bottle, pour in one cup of hot water and shake the mixture together.
4. Dishwasher soap
Perfect for a streak-free finish every time, dishwasher soap — and in particular the sodium lauryl sulfate within it — helps to easily remove grease from windows. Almost everyone will have dishwashing soap readily at hand, so simply add a few drops to a bucket of warm water and you’re ready to get those windows looking squeaky clean. Make sure to use a non-scratch scouring sponge too.
If the weather is a little bit warmer, you can use slighter cooler water to wash the windows. Or if you’re cleaning your windows in the winter, it’s best to apply a windshield cleaning solution to prevent the water from freezing over the window.
Cornstarch can work wonders when it comes to cleaning your windows. Windows aren’t perfectly smooth — in fact, they have small pits across the glass that traps water and causes spots and streaks to run down your window.
Cornstarch can help break down water bonds, leaving your windows spotless, shiny and streak-free. Fill half a bucket with water and sprinkle in cornstarch, and then mix together until cloudy. Use a sponge if your windows need a deep clean.
6. Rubbing alcohol
To leave your windows glistening clear, rubbing alcohol can do just that. When combined with water and vinegar, rubbing alcohol evaporates fast — easily eliminating spots and streaks. Mix all three ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
The alcohol and vinegar combination will quickly cut through grease and leave your windows looking sparkling.
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