Learn how to clean windows so that they are streak free, once and for all. Easy tips and tricks to get smear free windows. Have you ever been frustrated by cleaning windows and they NEVER seem to look clean? – I wanted to look at the 5 main ways there are to clean windows, and look at what’s the best way to clean windows without streaks – both inside AND outside.
I would like to thank Bosch Home and Garden for collaborating with me on this post. As always, you can be assured that even with collaborations, all words and opinions are my own.
Why Do My Windows Never Look Clean?
Have you ever felt like this, or is it just me?
I used to spend HOURS cleaning my kitchen windows and be really happy that they were grime free and that job was done for a while. Without fail though, the next morning, I’d come down to find the suns’ rays showing off all the streaks and marks you could imagine.
I love my kitchen because of this gorgeous morning sun that streams in and wakes you up – but I HATE the way it shows up every last mark…..
It’s embarrassing and looks like I haven’t touched them for weeks.
Not a good look – and I was sick of apologising to guests that my windows looked like I just hadn’t bothered.
It got to the point that I started to think that the time spent cleaning them the day before could have been put to much better use somewhere else, and that had to change.
Wasting time is NOT for me – and I’m sure you feel the same too.
So – today I wanted to look at 5 methods I’ve tried to clean windows so that they actually LOOK clean as well as being clean, and give a few window cleaning tips along the way.
It’s something that I know drives a lot of people mad, and it’s time to fix it.
You with me?
Let’s get started then!
#1 – Wipe Your Way To Streak Free Windows
Simply cleaning with a spray and a cloth is the first method we usually try when we start cleaning our windows.
Yes, it’s quick – and yes, there are products out there that can help to get rid of the dirt really well, including branded sprays and homemade solutions, BUT everything tends to leave streaks galore when paired with a cloth, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WE WIPE THE GLASS.
TIP – For a cheap and eco-friendly cleaning solution, try a 50% vinegar to 50% water solution in a spray bottle for the best cleaning
This is where the streak free challenge (as I like to call it – it feels like a challenge, doesn’t it!) comes into play – I find myself going over and over each window – stepping back and finding that the streaks are still there – no matter what I do.
I’ve yet to find a simple cloth that actually does the job well enough.
QUICK WINDOW CLEANING TIP – Always clean windows on a cloudy day, because a sunny day means they will dry and leave residue/marks too easily.
#2 – Get Smear Free Windows With Newspaper
NOW we’re getting to the streak issue…..
Instead of using a cloth, a great method that a lot of people swear by for finishing the windows after cleaning them is to use newspaper.
Sound weird, doesn’t it – but it actually works pretty well.
Simply screw up some newspaper and rub over the entire window, and voila!
There are only two issues with this method that I’ve found: –
#1 – It takes a lot of elbow grease, and can feel like a workout
#2 – In this more digital world, not many of us actually have newspaper anymore – so it’s becoming something that can’t be used on a regular basis anymore.
Although it’s an OK solution, I want more!
#3 – Use A Squeegee To Clean Windows
I get quite mesmerised when my window cleaner comes round and cleans the outside windows for us. He uses a squeegee and he makes it look SO easy!
So – I tried it on the inside windows and even though it was fun and great at cleaning them, I got into a mess with the excess water and dirt that came off the windows….
You need 3 hands!
…. One for the cleaning spray, one for the squeegee – and another for a cloth to grab the dirty water coming off the window.
Of course, on outside windows the window cleaner can just flick the excess water away and onto the ground, so it’s not really an issue as much, but for inside windows there’s nowhere for this mess to go other that the windowsill or the floor.
Far from ideal.
QUICK WINDOW CLEANING TIP – Use a squeegee in your shower for daily wiping – to avoid the build up of water marks. Works a treat!
QUICK WINDOW CLEANING TIP – Always use separate cloths/squeegees for outside and inside, as you don’t want to bring in dirt from outside into the house. A good way to remember which is which is to use different colours, OR label them.
#4 – Use A Steam Cleaner Attachment On Your Windows
My floor steam cleaner has a window attachment, and the steam means that I can clean without any products at all which was a huge bonus because I’m all about making it as easy as possible!
And yes, the windows DO stay quite streak free, but it does have a couple of drawbacks: –
- It’s heavy to use. I’m quite strong, and go to the gym several times a week, but I still find that my arms are really aching after a few minutes of using it. I couldn’t do the entire house in one go, which I would prefer to do.
- Because it cleans with steam, there’s LOADS of water to contend with (more than the squeegee even!) that runs to the bottom of each window and then down onto the window sill if I’m not quick – so I get through lots of cloths when doing the whole house, and it can get quite messy.
#5 – Use A Window Vacuum
Yes, really! – they exist, and I have to admit that I was sceptical about bringing another gadget into my home that wouldn’t be worth the space it would take up in the cupboard.
Basically, you spray and clean your window as usual, then you use the vacuum to suck all the excess water/cleaning liquid/dirt off the window, and you’re left with streak free windows.
Bosch kindly lent me one of their GlassVAC range to try, and I have to say that I’m converted! – here’s a quick video to show it in action: –
Some of the reasons I like this solution are: –
- It’s small and lightweight – so I can actually do the job without feeling like I’ve had a workout at the gym (it also means I can store it away easily).
- It’s cordless – so REALLY quick to move around the house, and take outside
- You get rid of the excess water in an easy way – no need to have extra hands for wiping up after cleaning!
- You can use on mirrors, tiles, car windows, shower screens etc…. – so it’s not a one-trick-pony! (I’m all for multi-tasking tools that you can get the most value from)
- You can use in conjunction with your favourite cleaning products – whether that be vinegar, a favourite brand, or even just good old soap and water – you can pick!
I tried it on the windows a few days ago, and I came downstairs yesterday morning for a cup of coffee in the kitchen. It was a bright autumn day and the sun was streaming in to the windows. I sat and enjoyed looking at my garden, with all the gorgeous colours of the leaves…..
And then I realised – for the first time in a LONG time I hadn’t even noticed the windows…..
and I smiled, because this meant they were finally clean and streak free.