“I Can See Clearly Now”, as the song goes makes perfect sense for cleaning your windows. Window cleaning with non-toxic ingredients and reusable cloths protects your health, preserves resources, gains a streak-free view, and stretches your budget.
Mix a green window cleaning solution
Commercials cleaners leave behind a waxy residue on windows that can result in streaks. A homemade window cleaning solution made with vinegar and water helps cut through grime, minimizes streaking and water spots, and prevents windows from fogging.
The first time you clean your windows with a homemade vinegar solution, include a few drops of dish detergent to eliminate the waxy buildup. Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle for streak-free windows:
- ¼-cup white vinegar
- ¼- to ½-tsp. eco-friendly dish detergent
- 2 cups water
After an inaugural washing, keep your windows spotless with a window cleaning solution made from 2 teaspoons white vinegar mixed in 1 quart warm water. (Too much vinegar can etch window glass, which results in clouding.)
You can whip up gallons of window cleaning solution for a few dollars: A 32-ounce bottle of white vinegar costs about $2. A 16-ounce bottle of eco-friendly dish soap costs about $3.50. By comparison, a 16-ounce bottle of commercial window cleaner costs about $3.
Polish to a sustainable shine
Use microfiber cloths, rather than paper towels or newspapers, for window cleaning. Paper towels are manufactured from trees and end up in the landfill. Newspapers can blacken your hands and fall apart. Microfiber cloths are affordable, lint-free, and can be washed and reused again and again.
A six-pack of reusable microfiber cleaning cloths can be purchased at national discount stores for less than $10. By comparison, an eight-pack of bargain-priced paper towels costs about $9.
Window cleaning tips
- Window cleaning on a sunny day can dry the solution too quickly and create streaks, so select a cloudy day to work.
- Begin window cleaning by spritzing the glass with your homemade vinegar solution. Wipe away grime with a damp microfiber cloth. Rinse this cloth often in clean water.
- Follow with a dry microfiber cloth to polish the glass to a shine.
With four home renovations to her credit, Jan Soults Walker is a devotee of improvements, products, and trends for the home and garden. For 25 years she’s written for a number of national home shelter publications, and has authored 18 books on home improvement and decorating.
Published: October 11, 2010