What is the best thing to wash windows with?

In the quest for crystal-clear windows, the choice of cleaning agent is pivotal. While many commercial products promise a streak-free shine, a growing number of homeowners are turning to natural and homemade solutions for a more eco-friendly and cost-effective approach. This article delves into various methods and tools for washing windows, from DIY mixtures to professional services, guiding you to find the best option for your panes.

Key Takeaways

  • Microfiber cloths and squeegees are essential tools for effective window cleaning, leaving no lint or streaks.
  • Natural solutions like vinegar, lemon juice, and alcohol mixed with water can be effective for cleaning windows and are environmentally friendly.
  • A systematic approach to window cleaning, including preparation, dirt removal, and proper application of the cleaning solution, is crucial for the best results.
  • While DIY solutions are often sufficient, they may fall short when dealing with tough stains or buildup, where commercial products or professional services might be necessary.
  • Professional window cleaners offer safety, expertise, and convenience, ensuring quality results especially for hard-to-reach windows.

Choosing the Right Tools for Window Cleaning

Choosing the Right Tools for Window Cleaning

Microfiber Cloths and Squeegees

When it comes to achieving a streak-free shine on your windows, the choice of tools is paramount. Microfiber cloths and squeegees are the go-to options for many due to their effectiveness in leaving the glass clear without any lint or residue. A high-quality microfiber cloth can absorb a significant amount of water and dirt, which minimizes the chances of streaks forming. On the other hand, a professional-grade squeegee can quickly remove water from the glass, ensuring a clean, streak-free surface.

Italics are often used to emphasize the importance of selecting the right tool for the job. Here’s a quick guide to using these tools effectively:

  • Spray your chosen glass cleaner onto the microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe the window using an ‘S’ pattern to avoid streaking.
  • Finish off by using the squeegee to remove any remaining water, again working in an ‘S’ pattern for best results.

Pro tip: When using a squeegee, make sure to wipe the blade with a clean cloth after each pass to prevent water marks from forming on the glass.

Brushes and Vacuum Attachments

When tackling window cleaning, the right tools can make all the difference. Using a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment can help remove any loose dirt or debris before the actual cleaning begins. This pre-cleaning step is crucial for preventing scratches and ensuring a streak-free finish.

For those hard-to-reach windows, an extension pole can be a game-changer. It allows you to clean high windows safely from the ground, reducing the need for ladders and the associated risks.

A well-organized cleaning caddy, equipped with essential tools like microfiber cloths, multi-surface cleaner, and vacuum attachments, streamlines the cleaning process and saves time.

Here’s a quick checklist for your window cleaning caddy:

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Glass spray
  • Extendable duster
  • Soft brush or vacuum attachments
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

Selecting Professional-Grade Equipment

When it comes to achieving a streak-free shine on your windows, selecting the right professional-grade equipment is crucial. Professional window cleaning services often utilize specialized kits that can significantly enhance the cleaning process. These kits usually include an extension pole, a squeegee, and other tools designed to make the job easier and more efficient.

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, investing in a high-quality window cleaning kit for personal use is a wise choice. A typical Window Cleaning Kit might feature a 2 in 1 tool, which includes a silicone window squeegee cleaner and a microfiber padded cloth side, catering to different cleaning needs.

While DIY methods have their place, the use of professional equipment can ensure that even the most challenging windows are cleaned to perfection.

If you find yourself facing windows that are difficult to reach or if time is of the essence, consider the benefits of hiring a professional window cleaning service. They come equipped with the expertise and the necessary tools to deliver quality results that might be hard to achieve on your own.

Natural and Homemade Window Cleaning Solutions

Natural and Homemade Window Cleaning Solutions

Vinegar and Water Mixture

A simple yet effective solution for window cleaning is a mixture of vinegar and water. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for an easy-to-apply solution. This natural cleaner is known for its ability to cut through grime and leave a streak-free finish on glass surfaces.

Vinegar is a versatile cleaning agent that can tackle dirt and residue without the need for harsh chemicals. For those sensitive to the smell, scented cleaning vinegars are available to make the experience more pleasant.

  • Spray the vinegar solution onto the window or directly onto a microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe the window using an ‘S’ pattern to avoid streaks.
  • Repeat if necessary to remove stubborn dirt.

Pro tip: Use distilled water in your mixture to prevent any mineral deposits from tap water on your windows.

Lemon Juice and Water Solution

A natural and effective way to clean windows is by using a lemon juice and water solution. This method is not only eco-friendly but also leaves a pleasant, citrus scent. Mix the juice of one lemon with two cups of water in a spray bottle for a simple yet powerful cleaning agent.


  • Juice of one lemon
  • Two cups of water


  1. Combine the lemon juice and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Shake well to mix the ingredients.
  3. Spray the solution onto the window surface.
  4. Wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or squeegee.

The acidity of the lemon juice helps to break down dirt and grime, making it easier to achieve a streak-free shine. While this solution is gentle on windows, it’s effective enough to handle common surface dirt and fingerprints.

Alcohol and Water Formula

An effective DIY window cleaning solution can be made with a simple mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. Mix equal parts of both in a spray bottle for a solution that evaporates quickly, reducing streaks and leaving windows sparkling clean.


  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water


  1. Fill the spray bottle halfway with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Add an equal amount of water to the bottle.
  3. Shake gently to combine the ingredients.
  4. Spray onto the window surface evenly.
  5. Wipe the window with a microfiber cloth or use a squeegee for a streak-free finish.

This alcohol-based formula is particularly useful for cutting through greasy fingerprints and other oily residues that can be challenging for soapy solutions to remove. It’s a quick-drying option that’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor windows.

Dish Soap and Hot Water Technique

The dish soap and hot water technique is a simple yet effective method for cleaning windows. Mix a small amount of mild dish soap with hot water in a bucket or spray bottle. This solution cuts through grease and dirt without leaving streaks or residue.

  • Wet a microfiber cloth with the soapy water.
  • Gently wash the window surface in an S pattern to avoid streaking.
  • Rinse the window with clean water and squeegee off excess liquid for a streak-free finish.

Pro tip: Use just enough soap to create a light lather. Too much can leave behind suds that are difficult to remove.

This method is not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly, as it avoids the use of harsh chemicals. It’s a go-to choice for many due to its simplicity and the readily available supplies.

The Step-by-Step Window Cleaning Process

The Step-by-Step Window Cleaning Process

Preparing the Cleaning Solution

Before you begin the window cleaning process, it’s essential to prepare your cleaning solution. Whether you’re using a commercial product or a homemade concoction, the right mixture is crucial for effective cleaning without leaving streaks. For a simple DIY cleaner, mix 2 cups of water with 1/2 cup of vinegar. If desired, add a few drops of essential oils to infuse a pleasant scent into your cleaning routine.

Ensure that all supplies, including a bucket for the solution and tools for application, are at hand before starting. This preparation step prevents interruptions and maintains cleaning efficiency.

Once your solution is ready, lightly dampen a microfiber cloth or sponge with the mixture. Avoid soaking the cloth to prevent excess liquid from dripping and causing streaks. With your solution and tools prepared, you’re set to move on to the next step: removing any loose dirt and debris from the window surface.

Removing Loose Dirt and Debris

Before applying any cleaning solution, it’s crucial to remove the top layer of loose dirt. This step prevents scratching the glass when you start the actual cleaning process. Begin by gently wiping the windowpane with a damp cloth. This will not only wet the glass but also lift away the initial dirt and dust.

After the initial wipe-down, use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment to get rid of any remaining particles. This ensures that you’re starting with a clean surface, which is essential for a streak-free finish.

Ensure that the entire window is covered during the wetting stage to avoid missing any spots that could cause streaking later on.

Wetting and Cleaning the Window Surface

After preparing your chosen cleaning solution and removing loose dirt, it’s time to wet the window. Dip your microfiber cloth or sponge into the solution, wring out any excess liquid, and gently cover the entire window surface. Ensure that the solution is spread evenly to avoid streaking.

Once the window is wet, begin cleaning from the top using a straight, vertical motion. Overlapping each stroke with your microfiber cloth or squeegee is crucial for preventing streaks. If you’re using a squeegee, remember to wipe the blade after each stroke to maintain a clean edge.

After cleaning, it’s important to dry the window to prevent water spots. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth and wipe in a horizontal motion to remove any remaining streaks or moisture. This final touch will leave your windows with a professional, streak-free shine.

The following list outlines the key steps in the wetting and cleaning process:

  • Wet the entire window with the cleaning solution
  • Clean from the top down in a vertical motion
  • Overlap strokes to prevent streaks
  • Wipe the squeegee blade after each stroke
  • Dry the window with a clean cloth in a horizontal motion

Understanding the Limitations of DIY Solutions

Understanding the Limitations of DIY Solutions

Comparing Natural Solutions to Commercial Products

While natural and homemade solutions are eco-friendly and can be effective for general window cleaning, they might fall short when tackling more stubborn stains or heavy buildup. Commercial cleaning products are specifically formulated to deal with a wide range of cleaning challenges, including those that natural solutions may not be able to handle.

The effectiveness of natural solutions can vary, and sometimes combining them with commercial products is necessary to achieve the desired cleanliness.

For a clearer understanding, consider the following points:

  • Natural solutions are gentle and safe for the environment.
  • Commercial products often contain stronger chemicals that can tackle tough grime.
  • A combination of both might be needed for optimal results.
  • Professional services can provide a solution when DIY methods fail.

Dealing with Stubborn Stains and Buildup

When confronted with stubborn stains and buildup on windows, it’s essential to approach the problem with the right strategy. Hard water spots, environmental pollutants, and even previous cleaning attempts can leave behind residues that are challenging to remove with standard cleaning solutions.

  • Use a specialized stain remover: For tough stains, consider using a product specifically designed to tackle hard water spots and mineral deposits.
  • Gentle abrasion: Sometimes, a bit of gentle scrubbing with a non-scratch pad can help lift stubborn grime without damaging the glass.
  • Soaking: Allowing the cleaning solution to soak on the affected area for a few minutes can help break down the buildup before wiping it away.

It’s important to avoid harsh chemicals and abrasive tools that could damage the window surface. Instead, opt for mild, non-abrasive solutions and soft cloths or sponges to protect the integrity of the glass or frames.

When to Consider Professional Cleaning Services

While DIY window cleaning can be effective for regular maintenance, certain situations call for the expertise of professional window cleaning services. Professional cleaners offer not just thoroughness, but also safety and efficiency in their work. Here are some scenarios where you might want to consider hiring professionals:

  • You have windows that are extremely difficult to reach or are located at great heights.
  • The windows require special cleaning due to the type of glass or the presence of stubborn stains and buildup.
  • You’re short on time and would prefer to focus on other important tasks or leisure activities.

Professional window cleaning can be a wise investment, especially when dealing with complex cleaning tasks that go beyond the capabilities of standard DIY methods.

Remember, professionals come equipped with specialized tools and have the training to handle various window cleaning challenges safely and effectively.

The Benefits of Hiring Professional Window Cleaners

The Benefits of Hiring Professional Window Cleaners

Safety and Accessibility

When it comes to window cleaning, especially in high-rise buildings, safety cannot be overstated. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to ensure that the risks of accidents are minimized. Harnesses, safety lines, and helmets are examples of PPE that protect cleaners working at heights.

Italics are used here to emphasize the importance of accessibility in professional window cleaning. Not all windows are easily reachable, and professional cleaners have the necessary equipment to access even the most challenging areas safely. This includes the use of ladders, scaffolding, and even aerial lifts for the highest windows.

Ensuring the safety and accessibility of window cleaning operations not only protects the cleaners but also provides peace of mind for property owners.

Professional window cleaning services are well-versed in the regulations and standards required to perform these tasks safely. They are trained to identify potential hazards and know how to mitigate them effectively.

Expertise and Quality Results

Professional window cleaners bring a level of expertise that ensures quality results every time. With years of experience and specialized training, they know exactly how to tackle various types of window grime and stains, leaving your windows with a sparkling finish.

The right techniques and high-grade equipment used by professionals can make a significant difference in the outcome of your window cleaning.

Additionally, professional services often come with guarantees or warranties, providing peace of mind that the job will be done to the highest standards. Here’s why expertise matters:

  • Knowledge of the best cleaning solutions for different window types
  • Ability to handle complex issues like hard water stains or mineral deposits
  • Precision in using tools to avoid streaks or damage

By choosing professional window cleaning services, you not only get clean windows but also the assurance that the cleaning process will not damage your windows or property.

Time-Saving and Convenience

In today’s fast-paced world, time is a precious commodity. Hiring professional window cleaners can significantly reduce the time you spend on maintenance tasks, allowing you to focus on other important tasks. Professionals are equipped with the right tools and expertise to complete the job efficiently, which means your windows get cleaned faster and with less effort on your part.

  • Time-saving: No need to spend hours cleaning windows.
  • Safety: Professionals handle the risk, especially for high or hard-to-reach windows.
  • Quality: Expect streak-free and thoroughly cleaned windows.
  • Convenience: Cleaning schedules can be tailored to fit your busy lifestyle.

By entrusting the task to experts, you not only ensure a spotless view but also reclaim time that can be better spent with family, on hobbies, or advancing in your career. The convenience of having someone else take care of this chore is invaluable, especially for those with a hectic schedule.

Ensuring your windows are impeccably clean can transform the look and feel of your home or business. By hiring professional window cleaners, you not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property but also benefit from their expertise, efficiency, and high safety standards. Don’t let dirty windows dull your view. Visit our website to schedule an appointment with Edinburgh Window Cleaners and experience the difference that professional window cleaning can make. Our team is ready to make your windows sparkle from Leith to Morningside and beyond!


In conclusion, the quest for crystal-clear windows can be met with a variety of cleaning solutions, from homemade mixtures like vinegar or lemon juice with water to commercial products. Tools such as microfiber cloths and squeegees are essential for a streak-free finish. While natural solutions are eco-friendly and effective for general cleaning, tougher stains might require the strength of commercial cleaners or the expertise of professional services. Remember to prioritize safety, especially when cleaning hard-to-reach windows, and consider professionals for quality results. Ultimately, the best thing to wash windows with may vary depending on the specific needs and circumstances of each cleaning task.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best homemade solution for cleaning windows?

A popular homemade solution is a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. You can also use a combination of lemon juice and water or rubbing alcohol and water. Simply mix these in a spray bottle and apply to the window surface, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth or squeegee.

Can I use dish soap to clean my windows?

Yes, a small squirt of dish soap mixed with hot water in a spray bottle can be used to clean windows. Spray lightly and wipe with a lint-free cloth or newspaper for a streak-free finish.

What tools do professionals recommend for window cleaning?

Professionals often recommend using high-quality microfiber cloths or professional-grade squeegees because they don’t leave lint or streaks. Additionally, brushes and vacuum attachments can be used to remove loose dirt and debris before washing.

How do I prepare my windows for cleaning?

Start by mixing your chosen cleaning solution, whether it’s a commercial product or a homemade mixture. Then, use a soft brush or vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt or debris. Wet the window with the solution, starting from the top, and make sure to cover the entire surface.

Are natural window cleaning solutions as effective as commercial products?

Natural solutions like vinegar, lemon juice, and alcohol mixtures can be effective for general cleaning, but they may not perform as well on tough stains or buildup. For stubborn dirt, you might need to use commercial cleaning products or seek professional help.

What are the benefits of hiring professional window cleaners?

Professional window cleaners provide safety, especially for hard-to-reach areas, and ensure quality results with their expertise and professional-grade equipment. Hiring professionals can also save you time and provide convenience.