How to … clean your windows like a pro

Seven top tips to brighten your day and let the sunshine through.

There’s nothing like clean windows to brighten up your home. Whether you’re a perfectionist or not, streaks, smudges and cloudy film fogging up your windows can ruin even the nicest view.

Getting your windows streak-free might sound tedious but these easy cleaning steps will see the sun shining through in no time.

1. Distilled water
One of the reasons why you’re left with streaks on your freshly cleaned windows is because of the minerals in regular water. If you live in an area where your tap water is hard, it can be difficult to get those crystal clear results if you’re using just water and a dilution product. Using distilled water should produce better results.

2. Vinegar
It’s an old method passed down between generations. Many glass cleaners promise streak-free results, but the products are full of toxic chemicals and come at a pretty high price tag. White vinegar is highly recommended for being cost efficient and for removing stubborn stains and grime. Try mixing a 50-50 solution of water and vinegar – or experiment until you find the perfect balance – and use paper or a squeegee to wipe down the glass.

3. Newspaper
Once you’ve finished reading the weekend paper, put it to good use by using it to clean your windows. It turns out that when scrunched into a ball, newspaper is far more effective than using a paper towel – especially when paired with your vinegar and water solution. But be warned, newspaper ink is not standard across the industry and some ink may actually contribute to streaking.

4. Buff it out
Sometimes, streaks occur no matter which methods you try. In this case, some good old-fashioned elbow grease will do the trick. Use newspaper or a microfiber cloth to really get that shine on.

5. Jeweller’s rouge
What about those pesky scratches on your mirror and windows? One ingenious trick to minimise the appearance of those flaws is to use jeweller’s rouge, which is a polish designed for metal and optical glass.

6. Does time of day matter?
The experts say we should avoid cleaning windows on a hot, sunny day. That’s because everything dries so much faster, which means streaks are more likely to occur. The solution? Clean earlier or later in the day.

7. And if all else fails …
A window cleaning expert suggests wiping windows dry in a vertical direction on one side of the windows, and wiping horizontally on the other side. “This way, if streaks appear, you know what side they’re on,” she says.

There you have it – the best tried and tested tricks for streak-free windows. Bring on the shine!

What methods do you use to get perfectly clear windows?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    25th Nov 2018
    I am intrigued how I can dilute water, as suggested in No 1.
    Maybe dispersant, or detergent?

    Vinegar is dilute(!) acetic acid, which gobbles up the calcium in most water, that leaves the streaks. Be aware that this is not a good thing with aluminium frames, which the acid also likes to chew at. Rinse off really well...
    25th Nov 2018
    Newspaper? Are you kidding? That has ink in it. Read my lips.
    My wife finishes with Methylated Spirits (alcohol) and that produces a spotless finish.

    I's clear you don't clean your windows. You're fired Olga. Chuckle....
    25th Nov 2018
    It was Amelia Mick, you need to unfire Olga :_)))
    By the way, cleaning glass windows without rehanging the curtains immediately can cause birds to fly into them and break their necks.....they can't see glass so think it is a space and lose their lives.
    25th Nov 2018
    I agree. Apologies Olga.
    25th Nov 2018
    White vinegar in squeeze bottle heat in microwave. Add equal part dishwashing liquid.
    Saturate windows with the mixture, give windows a bit of a rub, hose off and allow to dry.
    I’ve used this to clean the showers too for over five years. You will be amazed.
    25th Nov 2018
    Yes Autumn Oz, I have birds flying around all the time and I hate seeing them crash into my windows, I never clean them on the outside for this reason, and besides most of them are too high for me to get too.
    25th Nov 2018
    Amelia, in this article you have misspelled "microfibre". You might like to correct it.
    25th Nov 2018
    I think microfiber is the American spelling.
    25th Nov 2018
    yes, Rod 63, noted. Remember where you are Amelia, in Australia, NOT America. That's like typing kilometer, liter, and other silly spellings. In a U.S. crossword, the answer was 'Falser', not 'more false'.!!!
    25th Nov 2018
    Try mixing white vinegar with methylated spirits to make a 1% solution of the acid. If you have some hydrochloric acid, add 10ml of that to 990 ml of meth spirit. We always used that formula for cleaning glass in the laboratory, but we did use absolute alcohol.You can get brickies HCl from Bunnings.
    26th Nov 2018
    I paid a professional window cleaner $110 to clean all the windows in my house, inside and out. He was gone in not much more than an hour and all the windows were beautifully clean and streak free, far better, and easier, than doing them myself. The only thing I had to do was hose off the flyscreens while he had them down. Simple
    26th Nov 2018
    Water, microfibres cloth & old towel (or better still cloth nappy)
    Damp the microfibres cloth, spray window with water, wipe with microfibres cloth and polish with towel/nappy. Works every time no streaks and better still windows stay cleaner longer as no residue to hold the dust.

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