If you're like me, I dont take the time to clean my windows very often. I know. Shameful. I have these wonderful little fuzzy creatures that declare my home theirs too and rub their noses on the windows and doors all the freakin time. They leave these snotty, streaky messes that I end up having to look at. And, well, sometimes I'd rather have clean laundry than to have clean windows. So...
Here is how to take back your pretty windows!
First of all, I try not to use harsh chemicals any time I dont have to. I learned this trick YEARS ago and boy oh boy does it WORK! You'd be amazed by the things you already have on hand to help clean your house and save you money.
What You'll Need:
White Cider Vinegar (the cheap stuff)
Newspaper is a wonderful product for cleaning windows. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but its economical and safe too. But here's the reason why is works so well:
Newspapers are good at cleaning glass because the paper leaves very little lint. Compared to paper towels, news print is much more rigid and hence the fibers will not individually separate like they will from a paper towel. This is the source of the lint. The ink does not come off for two reasons, one you are wiping a mirror or glass, which is a highly polished surface, so there is nothing for the dried ink to stick to. Second, upon wetting the news print with liquid, the ink becomes infused in the fibers of the newsprint. Think of ink as nothing more than a stain. It is hard to stain windows with ink, yet easy to stain paper. Glass does not absorb ink, while paper will. And so all of the dirt on the window or mirror will be absorbed into the news print.To think of this more on a molecular level, the paper is nothing more than long interlinked strands of atoms with a flexible backbone. Glass however, is a highly crystalline solid that is hydrophobic (repels water). The molecular properties of each give the unique properties in absorbing stains.
Ok, so now that we know WHY it works so well.. lets keep going to the vinegar. Most of your chemicals for cleaning windows are composed of a Ammonia and Vinegar combo. Ammonia is a very good cleaning agent (unless you use it with bleach and then you can say goodbye to all your loved ones and kick the bucket. I do not recommend this combination) but it is very aromatic (and not in a good way) However, vinegar is just as good a cleaner, without all the nasty side-effects.
So, we put some water into our spray bottle. I'd say about 1/3 of the way. Then fill the other 2/3 with vinegar. Then spray all the windows, doors and mirriors you can find! Using your newspaper to scrub, scrub, scrub.
Ahh.. Freshly clean windows.
Now, if you are a fanatic like me (when I get around to doing this chore). I like to do what a great friend of mine, Amanda (hey girl!) recommended to me. On the inside of your house always use a DOWNWARD motion to your cleaning. And on the Outside of your house use a SIDEWAYS motion to cleaning. This way, if you ever have any of those streaks, you can tell which side of the window it is streaking from.
I hope this clears up any confusion on why your windows are streaky, lint-y, or just arent as clean as you would like. Before the holidays clean all (or at least the front of your house, this is reality) your windows so everyone can see and appreciate all your holiday decor through your beautiful, clean, streak-free windows!