Cleaning windows is rarely anyone’s idea of having fun. Adding to the hassle are the streaks that always seem to be left behind. Some people can look past the smears and accept them as part of the view, while others spend hours trying to wipe them away.
You don’t have to spend hours trying to wipe annoying smears on your window panes away. There’s a secret to getting streak-free windows. Best of all, it doesn’t take a lot of time or hard work.
Top 5 Tips for Streak-Free Windows
Getting clean windows without streaks is easier than you think. Here are five simple tips that will make the job quick and easy.
- Use Distilled Water
This is a simple fix. Your tap water might look clean and be perfectly safe to drink but it contains mineral particles that show up on the glass. Distilled water doesn’t contain any impurities. Switching to distilled water will be a little more expensive, depending on the size and number of windows, but it will help prevent smears.
- Clean with Vinegar
Vinegar, as a cleaner, has been in the news lately due to Covid-19. Vinegar will not only clean your counters, but it will also give you streak-free windows. There are various types of vinegar and not all work as a professional window cleaning solution.
You want to use white vinegar. It is non-toxic, antibacterial, and won’t irritate sensitive skin. To mix the cleaning solution, pour equal parts vinegar and water into a spray bottle. Another tip is to rinse off accumulated dust and debris before spraying the windows with the cleaner.
- Less Soap is More
Nothing gets rid of dirt and grime like a lot of soapy bubbles but this is the last thing you want when you’re cleaning windows. Too much soap will leave residue behind that turns into ugly streaks and smears.
If soap is necessary, use it sparingly. In most cases, you’ll only need it to clean outdoor windows. A great recipe is to mix 2 quarts of water with equal amounts of rubbing alcohol. Then add only three small drops of liquid soap, any brand is fine.
- Forget About Paper Towels
For many people grabbing a bottle of window cleaner and a roll of paper towels is natural. However, they’re often left with streaky windows. Paper towels not only leave streaks behind but also tiny pieces of lint. The more you try to wipe them away, the worse your glass looks.
A newspaper is a great option. Just make sure you only use the print sections. Glossy ads and the comic sections won’t be as effective and often leave streaks.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra money squeegees are a great option, along with microfiber cloths. Paper coffee filters are inexpensive and work great, along with old bath towels.
- Buff Your Windows
You might still have window streaks even after using newspapers, distilled water, and vinegar. Don’t panic! You won’t have to spend hours trying to get rid of smears and smudges. Grab a coffee filter, clean cloth, etc. and buff the smear out. The process is just like buffing your car after a wash and wax.
After a couple of rubs on the smear, your windows will be sparkling and streak-free.
How to Get Rid of Window Stickers
Sometimes cleaning and buffing won’t be enough to get your windows streak-free. Stickers and decals are a problem when it’s time to get them off of the glass. Even if you manage to safely use a razor blade, knife, or another tool to scrape the sticker off, you’re still left with the glue.
There’s a quick and easy way to take care of this problem. It’s also relatively inexpensive. You can find a handy product known as “Goo-Gone”. Apply a couple of drops of the liquid cleaner to a clean cloth. With a little buffing, the cleaner will break down the glue so you can easily wipe it away.
Now you can clean your windows as usual without worrying about streaks.
Additional Window Cleaning Tips
Here are a few additional tips that will leave your windows smear and streak-free.
- Rinse excessive dirt and grime off first
- Never use bladed tools on glass
- Avoid using Windex and similar cleaners on tinted glass
Getting rid of excess dirt before you start wiping down the windows will shorten the amount of time you spend scrubbing. If your windows are tinted, you want to avoid using certain cleaners. The chemicals can react with the tint leaving streaks that cannot be “cleaned” away.
Using sharp blades to remove stickers and decals is not only dangerous, it can scratch the glass. If this happens, your windows will never look perfectly clean.
Getting streak-free windows every time you clean them doesn’t have to be difficult. It also doesn’t have to take all day. Just by following a few tips, you might find that the chore isn’t as bad as you thought it would be.