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Besides having a bad hair day, the next worse thing is grimy streaked windows. You’re probably thinking, hey, my Windex does the job and I don’t really need to worry about it.
Wrong! Hard water, grease, and dust are just a few of the causes of streaked windows. You’re gonna need something a lot stronger than a normal window cleaner to get the stains out for longer lasting cleanliness.
17 Amazing Window Cleaning Hacks For A Streak-Free Shine
1. Blinds Cleaning
It’s time now. You simply can’t put it off any longer. It’s time to clean the blinds of your window! Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s gonna take forever, I won’t cover all the areas properly….etc. Fear not! By wrapping your kitchen tongs with towels and securing them with rubber bands, you can easily cover the slotted areas (or you can simply get this blind cleaner duster brush).
Always make sure the towels you use are clean and dry. Do not clean with wet towels first; contrary to what we think, that’ll just attract more dust. After cleaning the blinds with dry towels first, resume your normal cleaning routine of DIY cleaners and spray.
Avoid using cloths and wet paper towels, since they aren’t efficient in preventing stains on your hand or cleaning in general.
2. Magnetic Window Cleaner
Much like sci-fi movie technology, this glass cleaner looks like something from Star Wars. This magnetic glass cleaner is adjustable and uses a magnetic force to clean the glass inside and outside in a matter of minutes. It gets those “hard to reach” areas without you risking your safety by using ladders, stools, and excessive reaching to get those corners that are simply too hard to clean! It’s safe on all windows and glass, so if your car is looking a little streaky, this might do the trick!
3. Wait For Cooler Weather
While you may think that it’s the best idea for the sun to do all the cleaning while you spray and clean….stop! Drop the spray bottle. You’re doing more good than harm. What actually happens is, when you spray a product or wipe the windows in the heat, the product ends up drying causing more streaks to form.
You’re basically back at square one, minus some wasted product. For optimal cleaning conditions, make sure you wipe down the windows with some dry paper towels to get rid of the 1st layer of dust and dirt. Then attack the windows with a clean squeegee. Notice I said CLEAN. You don’t want to create streaks over streaks. It’s similar to drawing over a paper that’s already been scribbled on. A complete mess.
Gone are the days of reading the newspaper. It’s as old as MySpace! If you don’t know what MySpace is, you’re making me feel old. Use gloves, tear the newspaper into foldable sections, and clean the windows in this manner. Contrary to popular belief, cloths will become dirty the instant you use them, and you’ll waste more time cleaning the cloths than the actual windows.
It’s also a better alternative compared to paper towels, because of the environment (duh), and they aren’t that effective. Take it from someone who used two rolls, and still had a couple of windows left to clean!
5. DIY Cleaner External Window
Yet another DIY cleaner to save the day! Water, detergent, and white vinegar are literally the only items you need to make this simple cleaner. Mix 1 teaspoon dish detergent, 1/2 cup white vinegar in 3 cup water.
Wipe down the windows with newspaper beforehand to get the thin layer of dirt off. Then, use this cleaner and get your hands dirty, making sure to get all the tough spots and edges.
If you can’t reach a certain spot, dip your sponge in the cleaner and attach it to a pole, rather than risking your safety by using a stool! Trust me, I know a thing or two about falling/ You think I was born this weird?
This is a must-have in your cleaning arsenal. Not having it is like going to war without a shield! The scraper comes with replaceable metal blades, which are very helpful to get rid of very tough stains.
So the paint marks or varnish stains you haven’t been able to get rid of will come off with a couple of scrapes. If you don’t know how to use the scraper, don’t just wing it! Check the guide unless you want to end up with scrape marks on your window. Or worse!
7. DIY Cleaner
The best part about this cleaner is that all of the ingredients are items you already have stocked in your pantry. You also won’t need a squeegee to clean up! With the right proportions of ammonia, rubbing alcohol, hot water, and detergent, you’ll do the trick. Apply it on your streaky windows and let the air take care of the rest! It’ll create that “perfect halo shine” that we always crave windows to look like.
8. Chemical Free Glass Cleaner
While it’s perfectly normal to use a much stronger DIY cleaner that includes detergent or ammonia, some of these items may not be the best to use at home around kids or pets. And despite what you may believe, grocery store products aren’t always the best to use at home, since we may not be aware of the ingredients in the cleaners.
This glass cleaner is chemical-free, has only 3 ingredients, and gets rid of streaks as fast as you clean the windows. The cleaner can be made with some water, white vinegar, and a few drops of essential oil. (Lavender is my personal favorite!) The vinegar is abrasive, cutting through the grime and grease, but in a pleasantly smelling manner due to the essential oils.
9. Use A Blackboard Eraser
This is not a long term solution, but it’s great if you’ve got guests coming over and you need a quick fix! Run over to your local craft store, or any store really, and pick up a blackboard eraser. Rub it across the window to get rid of the more obvious and stubborn streaks.
Alternatively, a soft diaper or shirt could also get rid of the streaks very quickly. Make sure that the shirt or diaper or whatever you are using is completely clean because you don’t want it to leave more streaks and residue dirt behind. It’s like when your kids track mud all over your clean floor. Double the work!
If you don’t have one, buy one. Or borrow. Either way, your house will have the “effortlessly shiny” look if you invest in a good squeegee. It’s not like you can make your house look as good as Martha Stewart’s, but you can certainly try! Squeegees are very affordable and easy to use, making them an obvious household favorite in the cleaning arsenal.
Always make sure to clean the windows at an angle, and wipe the blade off with a paper towel after a couple of swipes. It may sound tedious, but trust me, the process goes by quite quickly! If you aren’t comfortable with using paper towels, newspapers are your best option.
11. Palmolive Or Dawn Dish Detergent
Less is more. Can this motto be any more simple? The humble, simple dish detergent combined with some warm water can do wonders to wipe off the streak marks. Make sure that the water isn’t too hot, otherwise, when you apply the mixture on your windows, it’ll evaporate faster than you can clean it.
12. Spotless Windows
While cleaning windows can be a calming ritual for some, and a hair-pulling activity for others, this hack will set you free. Sometimes, all you need is that one right product to revolutionize cleaning at home!
Rain-X is that one “right” product. Rain X and a few paper towels are all you need to have spotless windows for months to come.
13. Take Care Of The Details
“The difference between good and great is attention to detail.” The hard to reach spaces, corners, and other details aren’t something you should overlook. After each scrape with the scraper or squeegee, wipe off the blade with a paper towel or newspaper.
For deep and large scratches, use non-gel toothpaste, and get rid of sticky residue with rubbing alcohol! Pretty simple!
14. Use An Air Compressor To Clear Out Dirt And Dust
You know those corners you can never fit your fingers or cloths into? Use an air compressor! This will clear out the dirt in a much more quick and efficient fashion than wet cloths or Q-tips ever could.
15. Don’t Neglect Window Screens
While the actual window is important, so is the screen! What’s the point of cleaning just the window, if it’s going to be dirty again from the screen? If you’re short on time, use a lint roller. (Genius right?)
If you’re doing your normal cleaning routine, use the soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner to clear out the dust. Then wash the rest of the dirt off with your garden hose, preferably in spray mode.
16. Coffee Filters
Your coffee obsession finally has some value to add other than your caffeine intake! Spray on your DIY cleaner, and wipe it off using large coffee filters.
It’s better to use many at once for a higher absorption rate, avoiding the whole “my filter is drowning in cleaner” situation. If the filter doesn’t work well, wipe down the window with paper towels, then use the coffee filters.
Focus on the little details, and your windows will thank you for it!