How to Clean a Window




About: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since then I've done work for Mart...

This is a cleaning tale as old as time. Well, as old as windows anyway. Stubborn smudges and streaks on your windows!!  In this Instructable I'm going to show you how to clean a window or mirror, and make it spotless, using household items that also happen to be chemical free! This is by far the cheapest, healthiest, and most effective 'green' window cleaning solution going. 

All you need is:

- my homemade glass cleaner 
- newspaper (NOT colored/glossy color flyers)
- elbow grease
- a step ladder (if you have tall windows)

Work from the top of the window down. Spray cleaner horizontally and wipe with crumpled newspaper. Allow to air dry.

For best results, clean both sides of the window.  (Enlist a professional for the outsides of 2nd story windows!)

That's it! The reason newspaper trumps paper towels is that newspaper is fibrous enough to effectively clean the surface, but has a smoother finish which keeps it from leaving behind fuzzy fibers the way paper towel does.  And it's tons cheaper (and far more educational) than paper towel!   



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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Love the newspaper technique, as a coworker at a cleaning company in Fulham, I am totally recommending it


    2 years ago

    I learned from professionals how to use a window squeegee. It needs to be a good one with a black rubber strip, not one to clean your shower. They are not expensive.

    First, add a few drops of dish washing detergent to a bucket of water. The detergent will leave the window slippery. You can also add a tiny amount of dishwasher rinse-aid. Then, either with a window cleaning "mop" or just a soft cloth dipped in the water, wet the window and rub all around in circles. Then, drag the squeegee down the window in stripes, overlapping a little each time. It's a lot easier than newspaper and no elbow grease is required.


    3 years ago

    I didn't read whether you addressed cleaning a window with full sun. Is that a no no? It seems to me it should be but correct me if I am wrong about that.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    The reason you don't clean windows in full sun is if your window cleaner dries too fast. If it doesn't for you, go for it whether the sun is out or not.

    The other thing is to clean using side to side swipes on the inside and up and down swipes on the outside. If you have a side to side streak, you know its on the inside.