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6 Simple Steps to Your Cleanest Windows Ever

5/9/2011 1:07:47 PM

Tags: window cleaning, natural window cleaning, simple window cleaning, Happy Simple Living, green window cleaning, Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailEliza Cross’s Happy Simple Living blog is one of my go-to sources for tips on home, family, good food, personal finance and sustainable living—and not just because she was my boss many moons ago. I love Eliza’s practical yet personal advice, and she’s always right on the money when it comes to frugal, simple living.

In “How to Wash Your Own Windows, Save Big and Be Green,” Eliza tackles a subject that I’ve been thinking about (and putting off) since brilliant spring sunlight began exposing the state of my windows. It’s time to clean the glass. Eliza’s window washing tutorial is simple, effective and makes use of materials I already have around the house. My ex-husband’s aunt, Ciocia Paulette, taught me that using newspapers eliminates streaks—and it really works—but Eliza’s horizontal/vertical strokes technique is a new twist. I'm grateful to Eliza for giving me the steps I need to take on a task that can seem overwhelming. She continues to teach me well.


2 cups water

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap

Spray bottle


Sponge or rag

Dishwashing or work gloves (optional)


6 Simple Steps to Cleaner Windows 

1. Combine water, vinegar and dishwashing soap. Pour mixture in spray bottle.

2. Use a wet sponge to gently remove odd bits of crud on the windows.

3. Wearing gloves, fold two pieces of newspaper into a paper towel-size rectangle and fold in half.

4. Spray cleaner on the windows and use a horizontal stroke to wipe down the outside. Switch to a vertical stroke for the inside and continue cleaning. Avoid window frames, as newsprint can leave a mark.

5. Keep a sponge or rag handy to wipe the window sill and catch drips. When the newspaper becomes dirty and soaked, put it in the recycling bin and grab a fresh piece.

6. Check your work; horizontal streaks mean you need to go over the outside, and vertical streaks mean you need to go over the inside.

clean window 

Let the sun shine in through sparkling windows.

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Post a comment below.


Sandra Socolick
7/14/2011 5:22:42 PM
I used just water and vinegar the last time I had a problem. I'm not sure about using the dishwashing liquid. What's the necessity?

Suzanne Horvath
7/4/2011 9:57:56 AM
A good microfiber cloth (wrung out and only slightly damp) and some water are all that's needed. Just keep rinsing and wringing out the cloth and it will take everything off the window/glass. Use the same idea of going vertical on one side and horizontal on the other.

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