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If there's one spring cleaning ritual that I never skip, it's cleaning the windows.

All the elements from a long winter -- snow, rain, wind -- create a grimy film on your windows that actually make a room look darker because less natural light can pass through. On the inside, everything from kitchen grease to dust sticks to your windows.

And think about those spring breezes blowing through dusty window screens - letting dust pollute the air in your home. Windows won't stay clean for long if your window screens are covered in dirt.

Dish detergent
A squeegee
An old towel
Vacuum cleaner
Paper towels
Non-linting microfiber cloths and a spray bottle

Pick a cloudy day to wash your windows- sunlight makes the windows dry too quickly, leaving streaks. You actually don't need to buy a special window or glass cleaner. The best solution is simply a couple of drops of a mild dish detergent, like Dawn, mixed with warm water. Dish detergent is effective at cutting grease, which makes it perfect for window cleaning. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and you'll be ready to clean with your own homemade formula.

1. Open up your window, slide the screen and storm window out, and place them on an old towel.

2. Spray one side of your storm window with your cleaner. Wash the window with your microfiber cloth.

3. After washing, wipe down using a squeegee. Keep your squeegee clean between strokes by wiping off with a paper towel or rag. Repeat on the other side of the storm window.

4. Use the same process on the inside of your window - spray, wash, and squeegee. It's best to alternate the direction of your strokes with the squeegee to reduce streaking. For example, move the squeegee vertically on the inside of the window and horizontally on the outside.

5. Next, you want to clean your window sill, which is likely quite dirty. Spray the sill with your cleaner and use paper towels or microfiber cloths to wipe clean.

6. Use your vacuum to suck up all the dirt and dust embedded in your window screen. Alternately, you can hose off your window screens in the yard, and let them air-dry in the sun.

7. Head outside to clean the outside of the the window glass using the same method. You may need to add an extension pole to your squeegee.

Replace the screen and storm window.

Once you've freshly washed your windows, enjoy the big reward: windows that sparkle.

  • jan

    Don't waste paper towels - use newspaper! It makes your hands a little black but it washes off and you save the expense of a paper towel!

  • Sam

    All of these combined are good. My Grandma used HOT water with white vinegar that she applied with a sponge or cleaning rag and removed with the newspaper. The newspaper leaves behind something that helps repell water on the outside and steam (like when you boil pasta or potatoes,etc.) on the inside. I've always used her method, but about 35 years ago I upped the anti with my washing solution and added rubbing really helps the glass dry and super reduces the streaking. Be sure to use the same technique on mirrors as well, you'll see a big difference in the bathroom when people shower.

  • Bev

    The best way to clean windows on the outside of the house is to use white vinegar and HOT water. apply with a sponge and remove with a squeegee. Only wash the windows that are in the shade and have some paper towel handy to clean up the drips. I do this every single year in the spring and my windows look like there is no glass in them that's how clean they are.

  • JB

    Hot water with white vinegar is the best and is cost efficient. In addition, try using pages from an old telephone book instead of a cloth rag or paper towels. There is no fuzz and a great way to recycle old phone books.

  • mark

    i like this spray called invisible glass. they have it at walmart and some automotive stores. its the best glass cleaner ive ever seen.

  • Bo

    Sounds like too much futzing to me. I use an extended pole with a squeegee on one side and a sponge on the other, vinegar and watersolution, old newspapers (to wipe off solution to a streakless shine). Works perfectly degreasing and degritting thewindows and leaves ZERO streaks. Cheap,cheap,cheap.

  • Monika K

    That is the same solution my Mom and Grandmother have used and it is so cheap and never fails!

  • Bev

    The best way to clean the outside windows is with white vinegar and extremely hot water. Apply with a new, clean sponge mop and remove with a squeegee. Use paper towels to clean up the drips and the corners of the window. There will be NO streaking or marks or haze. The windows will be so clean and clear it will look as though you don't have glass in them. I do this every single spring and my windows are pristine. Also, never wash the windows in the direct sunlight, only the shade. Save money on all these new fangled cleaners, use white vinegar and hot water and you will be amazed!!!!

  • GINGER10487


  • GINGER10487


  • bile burger

    use elbow grease and Tide.

  • Bubba

    Use hydrochloric acid or alien juice.

  • explosion

    Use a grenade.

  • Karine

    I get the best results using Muratic Acid - that is what the professionals use. It works great especially when dealing with hard water conditions. Otherwise I used the vinegar method. Whats diescribed in the article is just too time consuming.

  • Clue

    Buy new windows. :o)

  • Kevin

    Clue, you don't have one! You have to wash new windows after installing!

  • RC

    the best way i wa staught to wash windows is with hot water and a little ammonia , wash with a sponge and dry with newspapers ...yes it works , try it and see ......

  • buster

    Forget paper towels-use old newspapers

  • ms

    wash windows only in the spring..I wish!

  • jimbo

    I use one of those dishwashing sponges with the soap filled handle. Works like a charm, and it gets in the corners nicely, too.

  • 31 Comments / 2 Pages

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