9 Unusual Tips for Your Cleanest Windows Ever

Washing the windows can be a dreaded chore. If you're using conventional cleaning products, removing those stubborn streaks from the interior and exterior of clear glass is especially tricky. Paper towel leaves behind fibers that gunk up the window and commercial cleaners might not be the most effective choice. But with a few changes to your cleaning routine, you can have your windows looking sparkly and spotless year round.

  1. Work on a cloudy day

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    Clean windows cloudy day

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    Direct sunlight can cause your cleaner to dry and evaporate before you can properly wash it away, leading to streaks that are tough to buff out. Overcast skies also reduce glare on the glass, making streaks easier to find.

    Related: 12 Places You Probably Never Clean But Definitely Should

  2. Clean the frame first

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    Clean window frame

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    A lot of grime can hide in the window tracks and frame, and when mixed with window cleaner, it may form an unsightly sludge that can drip onto the glass while cleaning. To remove the grit, use a toothbrush and a sprinkle of baking soda and vinegar to scrub inside the tracks, then wipe away any remaining residue with a wet rag.

    Related: 10 Cleaning Habits to Blame for Your Messy Home

  3. Make your own soap

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    Diy window cleaner

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    Skip the specialty products and make your own cleaning solution using a mix of water and dish soap, which is tough enough to cut through grime on especially dirty windows, like those in the kitchen, yet won’t leave a residue. Alternatively, vinegar can also be used as an effective cleaner.

    Related: 12 Genius Tips for Everyday Speed-Cleaning

  4. Paper is bad news

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    Newspaper

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    Paper towels and newspapers are commonly misused as products for scrubbing and drying the glass—but they just break down and leave lint behind. Use a microfiber cloth to do the job instead; it will grab dirt and dust and leave nothing behind.

    Related: 11 Chores You've Been Doing Wrong All Along

  5. Invest in a squeegee

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    Squeegee windows

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    The best way to ensure a streak-free shine is to make sure all the water and soap are removed from the window. Use a rubber-bladed squeegee tool to run over the glass from top to bottom to scrape away excess water.

    Related: 9 Products You'll Love—Even If You Hate Cleaning

  6. Reach the top with a mop

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    Mop windows

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    For high exterior windows, use a sponge mop on a pole to clean with soapy water. Rinse the washed windows with a hose, and use a dry mop or a squeegee fastened to an adjustable pole to remove the water and prevent water spots from drying to the glass surface.

    Related: These Are the Only 9 Cleaning Supplies You Really Need This Spring

  7. Repel rain

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    Repel rain

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    If you live in a climate that gets a lot of rain, you may want to try a rain-repellent treatment for your windows. More commonly used on car windshields, these specialty spray products cause water to bead up and roll off windows more easily, leading to fewer stains.

    Related: The 10 Best Accessories You Can Buy for Your Car

  8. Defuzz screens with a lint roller

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    Lint roller

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    For everyday maintenance, you can use a sticky lint roller to remove dust and dirt from your window screens. For a deep cleaning, pop the screens off the window and rinse with soap and water.

    Related: Why Didn't I Think of That? 18 Clever Tricks to Simplify Your Life

  9. Clean biannually

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    Clean windows biannually

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    It’s a good practice to wash the inside and outside of your windows twice a year, in the fall and spring, to prevent buildup of tough mineral deposits from rain. The more you put it off, the deeper set the stains become and they more you'll need to rely on harsher chemicals for removal.

    Related: 10 Chores You Only Have to Tackle Once This Year

  10. Crystal Clear

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    Trick for your cleanest windows

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    Sparkling clean windows can be yours without hiring a professional. You just need to know what to use, and how to use it.

  11. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!