How To Get Crystal Clear Window Views

My Grandma was an old school farm wife, and she swore by vinegar for washing her windows!

Did you ever wonder what the hype is about vinegar as a cleaning solution? How did it come to be such a trusted cleaning product, and what about vinegar makes it so special? It turns out, grandma was really onto something all along. Find out for yourself why you might prefer vinegar as your window cleaning solution too!

Vinegar is a miracle from nature. Completely non-toxic and anti-bacterial, vinegar is beneficial to any surface it touches. It safely kills germs and is much more economical than chemical cleaning solutions. It’s not even harmful when accidentally inhaled or ingested. (If you’ve got kids, you’ll love that part).

The acidic composition of vinegar acts quickly to break down the kind of film that frequently accumulates on glass surfaces. When you wash a window using a solution that contains vinegar, the results will almost always be free from streaks and sparkling clean. It is also mild enough not to damage most surfaces.

Recipes for Vinegar Window Washing Solution

  1. Mix one-part hot water to one-part distilled vinegar.
  2. Sponge cleaning: Moisten the window, using the solution, then clean.
  3. Squeegee cleaning: Always dampen the squeegee first and clean from the top down, wiping the edge of the squeegee after every stroke.
  4. Clean only when there is no direct sun on the windows.
  5. Rinse and dry the window frames immediately to avoid any damage.

Depending on the size of windows in your home, you may want to invest in a squeegee if you haven't already. If your windows are relatively small and quick to clean with a cloth or sponge, you can stick to these methods and maybe give paper towels or newspaper a try when wiping down your windows in the future.

Green Living, from National Geographic, recommends this simple recipe, plus a few extra tips for the best window cleaning outcome. If you go through the process step by step, the results for your clean windows and glass and the ease with which a perfect clean window can be achieved might just amaze you. 

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 50% distilled vinegar (white) and 50% tap water.
  2. For extremely grimy glass, prewash with very soapy water, then go to the vinegar spray.
  3. Got highly resistant spots? Try rubbing hard with a cloth dipped in undiluted vinegar.

Are the Streaks Still Blurring Your View?

Don't blame the vinegar. Streaks are caused by residue left on the glass by commercial products. The answer? See the information below:

First Vinegar Wash

  • 2 c. water
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dishwashing detergent or liquid
  • Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, then just spray and clean.

If any oil or grease is remaining on your windows, adding a bit of dish soap can resolve that. Only a small amount of dish soap is needed, and it will be highly effective cutting through the grease you keep seeing on the surface of your glass. Children's hand prints on your windows can be cleaned effectively with this method.

Forever After Vinegar Wash

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • Combine these ingredients in a spray bottle, spray and clean. This is for normal windows.

This is a stronger mixture of vinegar that will ensure no streaks remain on your glass after you are done cleaning and wiping it down. If you've used soap previously, this is a good method of removing any soapy residue that could be remaining on your glass.

Vinegar Wash for Your Horribly Grimy Windows

  • 1 c. full strength white vinegar
  • Warm up the solution and use directly on glass to clean.

If you are using a microwave to warm your vinegar, it's best to warm it for about thirty seconds at a time, and don't allow it to reach boiling. Heat can help to break down grime, but it does not to be extremely hot to work well, and you don't want to burn yourself.

What's the Best Wipe?

You can ensure a streak-free, squeaky clean window by using one of the above tips and wiping with paper towels, microfiber cloths or newspaper. Whatever you use, make sure its lint-free. Most cloths will shed small hairs and pieces of lint, causing frustrating fluff and all-too-visible grains all over your glass, especially if you are cleaning a mirror. Newspaper and paper towel fibers are rigid, and won't separate and shed all over the surface of your glass. Also, you don't need to worry about the ink staining your windows, as modern-day soy-based newspaper ink doesn't smear and the slick, non-porous surface of glass does not absorb or catch liquids.

The combination of purely vinegar-based cleaning solutions and recycle-able wipes such as newspaper means your glass cleaning strategies are environmentally friendly as well as safe for your home, family, and pets! Not only is it effective for cleaning your glass, it also gives you a clean bio conscience as well.

Whether working with businesses or individuals, everyone at Crystal Clear View Glass puts people first. It starts with Brandon, who hires self-directed professionals and empowers them to make a difference in every interaction. That culture is pervasive, from the team member who answers your call to the installer who expertly completes your glass project.