Cleaning Windows with Vinegar Without Streaks

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:46:00 AM

In this how-to, you'll learn

  • How to make your own vinegar window washing solution.
  • What type of solution you will need based on how dirty your windows are.
  • How to use vinegar for other house hold chores.


window washing with vinegarVinegar is a miracle from nature. Completely non-toxic and anti-bacterial, vinegar is actually 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.

Recipes for Vinegar Window Washing Solution

Martha Stewart included a section with detailed recommendations for window washing in her series, "20 More Things Everyone Should Know". Below are a few choice tips, along with her vinegar window-washing recipe.

  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.

Green Living, from National Geographic, recommends this simple recipe, plus a few extra tips for the best window cleaning outcome.

  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 resistent 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:

white vinegarFirst 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.

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.

Vinegar Wash For Horribly Grimy Windows

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

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.

HINT: Squeegees are harder to get the hang of, but they almost always do a better job.

Homage to Vinegar in the Home

Psst! Reader's Digest recently published a collection of over 150 uses around the home for common vinegar. Here are just a few to give you a glimpse of tricks you are probably missing out on:

  1. Clean window blinds- A cool idea is to don a pair of white cotton gloves, dip your gloved hands in a 50/50 solution of hot water and white vinegar, then clean the blinds by simply sliding your gloved fingers down each side simultaneously.
  2. Unclog drains- Did you know you could use 1/2 cop of baking sods and 1 cup vinegar to foam clean a stubborn drain? Put the baking soda in first, followed by vinegar and watch the chemical magic. The combo kills bacteria too and is easier on pipes and drains than harsh commercial preparations as well.
  3. Spiff up your silver- Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and soak your silverware in the solution. Rinse, then dry and voila!

Not just a cooking phenomenon, vinegar is truly the homemaker's panacea!