Cleaning Windows (Inside and Outside)

Cleaning windows can be daunting taks but there are ways to make the job easier. This is a guide about cleaning windows inside and out.
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13 found this helpful
August 10, 2011 Flag

I figured this out years ago because I am short and we have lots of windows that need to be washed using a step ladder. Buy an inexpensive liquid dishwasher detergent (for a dishwasher) that has a "sheeting action" in the soap. Fill a bucket with warm water and stir in 1 cup of dishwashing detergent (for a dishwasher).

Go outside and set up your garden hose for rinsing the windows. First rinse the window with clear water. Then using a sponge mop on a handle dipped into the detergent, wash your window. Follow with a clean water rinse and let dry. The sheeting action of the detergent will leave the windows streak free.

By Shirley from Vicksburg, MI

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7 found this helpful
December 1, 2012 Flag

I hated cleaning our outside windows. It was a lot of work. Expensive too.
I was looking for a way to clean them cheaply on the fly without breaking my back.

Now I buy the cheapest off-season windshield washer fluid I can find, usually a no-name brand, dump it undiluted into a pail and using a telescopic long handled window cleaner sponge/scraper, the job is done in no time without having the backache afterwards that I always used to get.

Suggestions: Buy the summer time windshield washer in the fall when everyone wants to get rid of inventory, and vice versa in the spring when the winter fluid is on sale. You can get a gallon for little over $1.

Use a rectangular shaped pail instead of a round one. You can get these at the dollar store. It's easier for the window cleaning tool to get in and out of.

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January 13, 2011 Flag

Ever wonder how window washers get those skyscrapers so clean and shiny? My son used to be a window washer, here is how they do it! Take a bucket of warm water, add JOY dish soap (only use Joy), and a drop of ammonia if the weather is cold. Apply then squeegee off. Great for windows, mirrors, and bathtub tiles!

Source: My son, now the plumber!

By Jodi from Aurora, CO

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0 found this helpful
July 27, 2016 Flag

This is a guide about clean windows with coffee filters. Paper coffee filters can be used to clean your windows, leaving them streak and lint free.

Related Content(article continues below)

filters

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2 found this helpful
April 15, 2005 Flag

Into a bucket place: 1 cup Cascade. Fill bucket with hot water. Notice the suds! If they go away during the cleaning process, pour mixture out and start over

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2 found this helpful
February 17, 2010 Flag

Clean your windows with just water. I slightly dampen a clean terry cloth towel/rag with water and clean my windows with them. You may have to experiment to get the towel just moist enough to do the job without getting it so moist it leaves water spots.

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September 17, 2007 Flag

I have a huge bag of my husband cotton T-shirts he has discarded, so I started using them to clean all my windows. I am so happy, my windows look great.

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1 found this helpful
March 13, 2008 Flag

To clean glass mirrors and windows, I use a microfiber cloth. Wet the cloth well and wring out as much water as you can. Spray the window with Glass Plus, that is what I use, then quickly wipe the mirror dry.

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August 10, 2007 Flag

Instead of using paper towels or newspaper for cleaning your windows, try using the collection of wash cloths you have and never use, or pick up some cheap ones at a yard sale. They do a terrific job with a lot less elbow grease and there's no lint on the windows or black on your hands.

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May 24, 2011 Flag

Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean.

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0 found this helpful
January 14, 2009 Flag

I ran out of paper toweling and I don't want to buy any more. I used a cloth baby diaper to wipe down my windows and mirrors. It works great - no streaks! Now I just have to make my own glass cleaner with vinegar and water.

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1 found this helpful
June 20, 2011 Flag

If you have a problem reaching for cleaning windows or anything high inside or out, purchase a telescopic window washer; the kind they use for cleaning bus windows. It works like a charm!

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0 found this helpful
February 21, 2014 Flag

This is a guide about cleaning mobile home windows. Having clean windows inside and out on your home is wonderful, although it is not always easy to remove screens and reach all parts of the glass.

Mobile Home Windows

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July 25, 2006 Flag

Mix white vinegar 50 - 50 with water and put in a spray bottle. Spray it on generously. . .

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1 found this helpful
November 18, 2010 Flag

Try using newspaper to clean mirrors and glass. First spray on the cleaning product, then wipe dry with the newspaper. I find paper with just black ink works best, and not slick, shiny paper - just plain old newspaper.

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June 1, 2010 Flag

If you have run out of window cleaner, use a damp newspaper. They work really well and do not streak the glass. Be sure you only use it on glass and do not use newspaper with colored print on it.

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May 12, 2010 Flag

Joy dish detergent works great for cleaning glass tables and windows. It doesn't leave streaks. I use it faithfully.

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December 29, 2005 Flag

Forget microfibre cloths and proprietary cleaners. Place a sheet of newspaper in a basin of water; if it doesn't disintegrate, it's ideal for cleaning glass (windscreens, mirrors, and panes).

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
September 24, 2015 Flag

I bought an older home that has a sunroom. I don't really want to replace the windows because they are in working order, but they have a film on them due to the sun and other reasons. Is there a way to get this film off or to at least brighten and clean them up?

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September 25, 20150 found this helpful

Addendum:

Thinking further on this-if the sunroom windows were not cleaned properly before you bought your house, it is possible that they were permanently affected/damaged by whatever cleaners were used in the past. The "film" you see may be the result of bad cleaning products used over the years and may be permanent.

Good Luck!

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September 14, 2016 Flag

I need to clean my business windows. I'm on a busy main road were anything from farm vehicles, semis, cars, and so on are passing. There is lots of wind blowing dirt, chemicals, and more. I've cleaned the outside windows with Windex, ammonia, vinegar, and tried the toothpaste. I still have these dirty not appealing spots on the window. What else do I try before paying $300 for my 9'x9' window to be cleaned by a pro.

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June 5, 2009 Flag

What can I use for cleaning windows? How do I use vinegar for window cleaning?

By gauchogran from Stockton, CA

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June 6, 20090 found this helpful

I use a previous tip of the day from this site

1/2 tsp liquid dish washing soap

1/4 cup vinegar

2 cups water

Put it in a spray bottle and shake to mix.

I don't subscribe to a newspaper...so I just use paper towels.

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August 6, 2016 Flag

What is a good way to clean outside windows on a house?

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March 2, 2009 Flag

I have Pella low-E glass windows, approximately 40 windows. To have them professionally cleaned is costing approximately $400. Due to the low-E glass they are difficult to clean. When I do it, if the sun shines in they look like they haven't been cleaned in ten years. Any suggestions would be welcomed. I hate to keep throwing away money on something that I could easily do if I could get good results.

Mary from Kiel, WI

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May 31, 20100 found this helpful

There are s few positives to paying a professional to clean your windows, one is the transferring of risk from you to a professional.

If you are not getting the results you are wanting and are using the right cleaning mixture there might be a few reasons.

1. Make sure you are using enough cleaner to suspend the particulate and film build-up. It might be necessary to clean a few times before buffing to a streak-free shine.

2. Degree of difficulty increases as temperatures gets warmer, cleaning in direct sunlight takes a lot of practice, patience and personal hydration.

Micro-fiber rags are the best choice. There are different types though, some are very absorbent and others are not absorbent at all. Use the absorbent ones for cleaning and the non-absorbent for polishing at the end.

Hope this is helpful.

Jim

Here is a link to an article I wrote that has recipes for vinegar based cleaners: http://www.beck  ing-going-green/

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February 23, 2009 Flag

Can anyone help with a do-it-yourself solution for cleaning outside windows and screens? Sure would appreciate any good mix that works.

Leo

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February 26, 20090 found this helpful

I think that it doesn't much matter what you use in the water; the secret is using a squeegee. I have one with a long handle so that I can do the high windows without a ladder. (I live in a split level house.). I use some Dawn dishwashing soap in the pail.

I brush my screens with a broom. Usually all there is on them is some fuzz from trees.

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March 24, 2010 Flag

We have multiple dots developing on our low E windows. They are in the front and back of house, so it doesn't matter which direction the sun is coming from. We had the original installer out to look at them, but since they are beyond warranty, he just shrugged his shoulders and said he had never seen this problem and we were pretty much ignored.

Has anyone heard of this and what might be causing it? They spots are definite round circles as are polka dots.

By Laurie from Edmonton, Alberta

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March 26, 20100 found this helpful

We had new pella windows installed on our house a few years ago, we had large circles on windows. They said it was from the factory the way they move the glass, it took a few years to remove them, and when the sun is just right they still show. Pella did not stand behind the windows like they should have, the local window company that installed them messed up and the company said it was due to poor installation, and the local glass company said it was a fault of the pella 's manufacturing. That put us in the middle with no fix to problems. Loved the windows with the shades in between panes, but would not ever go through pella again.

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January 14, 2009 Flag

How do I remove contact paper from windows that have has been on over 5 years?

Catina from Heidelberg, MS

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January 19, 20090 found this helpful

Use WD-40 on it spray it on the edges and if it tears keep at it till it comes off use a rag to rub it off it is the oil in the can that is taking it off then clean glass with alcohol in a spray bottle all nice and shiney again.

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July 28, 2010 Flag

I have just had new PVC windows installed and there seems to be some sort of scummy marks on the glass, it's like grease or something. Everything I have tried to clean the glass with just seems to wash over the scum and I have tried everything I can think of. Any ideas?

By Kathleen from UK

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July 28, 20100 found this helpful

This works for me every time, first wash the windows with warm water with a few drops of dish washing detergent in it. Then while the window is still a bit damp but not dripping with water use kitchen paper and white vineger to polish to a sparkling finish.

To be even more frugal newspaper works well for the polishing stage too.

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