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How do I make my windows clear?

Crystal clear windows can significantly enhance the appearance of your home, allowing more natural light to flood in and offering unobstructed views of the outdoors. However, achieving streak-free, spotless windows requires the right techniques, tools, and cleaning solutions. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to make your windows gleam, from choosing the appropriate cleaning solutions to effective cleaning techniques and maintenance tips.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right cleaning solution is crucial for achieving streak-free windows. Options include water and dish soap mixtures, cornstarch solutions, and rubbing alcohol with vinegar.
  • Properly preparing your windows for cleaning, such as dusting frames and ledges, and cleaning window tracks, can make a big difference in the final result.
  • Effective cleaning techniques, like the top-to-bottom wiping method and using newspaper for a sparkling finish, can help eliminate streaks and smudges.
  • Having the right tools, including microfiber cloths, soft brushes, and spray bottles, is essential for a thorough and efficient cleaning process.
  • Regular maintenance, including a consistent cleaning schedule and seasonal deep cleaning, is key to keeping your windows clear and spotless.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Solution

men's gray shirt

Water and Dish Soap Mixture

A basic water and dish soap mixture is highly recommended by most experts. To make your window cleaner, mix two gallons (7.6 liters) of water with one teaspoon (6 ml) of dishwashing liquid. This simple solution is effective and cost-efficient, ensuring a clean finish without streaks.

Cornstarch Solution

For a more unique approach, consider a cornstarch solution. Mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with one quart of water. This mixture can help remove stubborn dirt and grime from your windows, leaving them sparkling clean.

Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar

Another effective homemade cleaning solution involves mixing equal parts rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. This combination is particularly good for cutting through grease and grime. White vinegar is a fantastic natural option for cleaning your windows. Unlike chemical sprays, it doesn’t fill your home with fumes or pollute the environment.

For particularly dirty windows, you can create a stronger solution by mixing a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar to warm water. Be sure to use rubber gloves if you choose this option.

Preparing Your Windows for Cleaning

person holding yellow plastic spray bottle

Before you start cleaning your windows, it’s essential to prepare them properly to ensure the best results. Removing curtains or blinds is a crucial first step to avoid any dust or dirt from them leaving marks on the windows. Additionally, this prevents your curtains or blinds from getting wet during the cleaning process.

Dusting the Frames and Ledges

Begin by dusting the frames and ledges to remove any accumulated dirt and debris. You can use a soft brush or a vacuum for this task. This step ensures that you don’t spread dust and dirt around when you start polishing the windows.

Cleaning the Window Tracks

Next, clean out your window tracks. This is important to avoid spreading dust and dirt around after you polish your windows. Use a soft brush or vacuum to remove any build-up in the tracks.

Removing Obvious Marks

Finally, use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe the dust from the glass panes and remove any obvious marks. This step ensures that your windows are ready for a thorough cleaning.

Effective Cleaning Techniques

grayscale photo of woman sitting on table looking at the window

Top-to-Bottom Wiping Method

When cleaning windows, start at the top and work your way down. This ensures that any drips are cleaned up as you go, preventing streaks. Use a squeegee or a microfiber cloth for the best results.

Circular and Vertical Strokes

For a thorough clean, use a combination of circular and vertical strokes. Circular strokes help to loosen dirt, while vertical strokes ensure a streak-free finish. Remember, the right technique is crucial for achieving clear windows.

Using Newspaper for a Sparkling Finish

After applying your cleaning solution, buff your windows with newspaper. This old trick is highly effective for a streak-free shine. The paper’s texture helps to polish the glass, leaving it sparkling clean.

While cleaning the glass is essential, don’t neglect the window frames and sills. Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any dirt or dust. For stubborn stains, a bit of extra elbow grease may be required.

Tools and Materials You Need

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To achieve crystal-clear windows, having the right tools and materials is essential. Professional cleaners often use specialized equipment, but you can find most of these items at your local hardware store.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are indispensable for window cleaning. They are highly absorbent and leave no lint behind, ensuring a streak-free finish. Use them for both washing and drying your windows.

Soft Brushes and Sponges

A soft brush or sponge is perfect for scrubbing away dirt and grime without scratching the glass. For tougher spots, consider a sponge with a scouring pad.

Spray Bottles and Buckets

A spray bottle filled with your chosen cleaning solution allows for easy application. Pair this with a bucket to hold your cleaning mixture and rinse your tools. An extendable pole can also be useful for reaching high windows.

Having the right tools not only makes the job easier but also ensures a more effective and efficient cleaning process.

Tips for Streak-Free Windows

hallway between glass-panel doors

Cleaning windows is one of the most unpopular household chores. It requires manual work, takes time, and the result is rarely satisfactory since there are often streaks left on the windows. Use these tips to clean the windows quickly and with no streaks.

Avoiding Excess Cleaning Solution

If too much cleaning agent is used in the solution, a greasy film can form on the window. You should therefore only ever use glass cleaner or household remedies sparingly and in the correct dosage – this prevents streaks and stripes.

Buffing with Newspaper

Using newspaper for a sparkling finish is an old trick that works wonders. After wiping your windows with a cloth, buff them with a piece of newspaper. This helps to remove any remaining streaks and gives the glass a brilliant shine.

Quick Drying Methods

Quick drying is essential to prevent streaks. Use a lint-free paper towel or microfiber cloth to wipe your windows from top to bottom. If you see any streaks, give them another wipe until the glass is clear.

For the best results, always clean your windows on a cloudy day. Direct sunlight can cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leaving streaks behind.

Cleaning the Outside of Your Windows

white, blue, and pink painted house

Cleaning the outside of your windows is essential for maintaining a clear view and a sparkling finish. Rinse away dirt and grime from outside windows to start the process. This initial step helps remove the top layer of pollutants and other materials.

Removing Loose Dirt and Dust

Begin by using a garden hose to rinse away the top layer of grime from the windows and panes. If you don’t have a hose, use a lint-free cloth and water to wipe away some of the dirt. You can also use a pressure washer as long as it is on a low setting.

Using a Soft Brush

After rinsing, use a soft brush to scrub the window surface gently. This helps to remove any stubborn dirt that remains. Make sure to use a brush that won’t scratch the glass.

Wiping the Frames

Once the glass is clean, don’t forget to wipe down the window frames. Use a cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth to lather the frames and wipe them down thoroughly. An extendable pole with a microfiber mop or squeegee attachment can be very helpful for reaching the very top of tall windows.

Regularly cleaning the outside of your windows not only improves your view but also extends the life of the windows by preventing the buildup of harmful substances.

Maintaining Clean Windows

white teapot and tow flower vases on windowpane

Regular Cleaning Schedule

To keep your windows looking their best, establish a regular cleaning schedule. This helps prevent the buildup of dirt and grime, making each cleaning session easier and more effective. Aim to clean your windows at least once every few months, or more frequently if you live in an area with high pollution or dust levels.

Seasonal Deep Cleaning

In addition to regular cleanings, perform a seasonal deep cleaning to tackle any stubborn dirt and grime that may have accumulated. This is especially important after winter, when windows can become particularly dirty from rain, snow, and wind. A thorough deep clean will ensure your windows remain clear and streak-free throughout the year.

Protecting Windows from Dirt

To minimize the amount of dirt that accumulates on your windows, take steps to protect them. This can include:

  • Installing window screens to catch debris
  • Trimming trees and bushes near windows to reduce the amount of dirt and pollen
  • Using weatherstripping to prevent dirt from entering through gaps and cracks

Maintaining clean windows not only enhances the appearance of your home but also allows more natural light to enter, creating a brighter and more inviting space.

Maintaining clean windows is essential for a clear and beautiful view. Our professional team at Edinburgh Window Cleaners ensures your windows are spotless, enhancing the overall appearance of your property. Don’t wait any longer to enjoy pristine windows. Visit our website to get a free estimate and see how we can make your windows shine!


Achieving crystal-clear windows is not just about aesthetics but also about enhancing the quality of light and views in your home. By following expert tips and using the right cleaning techniques and products, you can ensure your windows remain spotless and streak-free. Whether you opt for a simple water and dish soap mixture, cornstarch, or a combination of water, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol, the key is in the application. Remember to clean your window frames and tracks first, use a lint-free cloth or newspaper for wiping, and always work from top to bottom. With these steps, your windows will not only look professionally cleaned but will also contribute to a brighter and more inviting living space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best cleaning solution for windows?

Most experts recommend a basic water and dish soap mixture. You can also use a cornstarch solution or a mixture of rubbing alcohol and vinegar for a streak-free finish.

How do I avoid streaks on my windows?

To avoid streaks, use a lint-free paper towel or microfiber cloth to wipe your windows from top to bottom. Buffing with newspaper and ensuring quick drying can also help.

Can I use newspaper to clean my windows?

Yes, using scrunched-up newspaper to wipe the glass can give windows a sparkling finish. The paper helps to absorb any leftover cleaning fluid, leaving the surface streak-free.

How often should I clean my windows?

It’s recommended to have a regular cleaning schedule. For most homes, cleaning windows once every month or two should suffice. Seasonal deep cleaning is also beneficial.

What tools do I need for cleaning windows?

You’ll need microfiber cloths, soft brushes and sponges, spray bottles, and buckets. These tools will help you clean effectively without scratching the glass.

How do I clean the outside of my windows?

Start by removing loose dirt and dust with a soft brush. Then, wipe the frames and glass using a suitable cleaning solution. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid streaks.