How to Clean Windows with Vinegar

You don’t need a professional cleaning solution to get clean, streak-free windows. You can make your own vinegar based window cleaning solution without leaving the kitchen.

Hand spraying vinegar solution on window

You don’t need to clean windows often, but they do get dirty over time. It’s never a fun job to do, especially if you have high windows and need a ladder to reach them. 

But at least this vinegar solution will help make things easier.

Mixing the Vinegar Solution

This is such an easy cleaning solution: vinegar and water with a little bit of dish liquid. And it works just as well as commercial cleaners.

  • 2 cups (480 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dishwashing detergent (Dawn is great, especially for anything greasy)

This is a strong cleaning solution. Using a higher concentration of vinegar could leave streaks on the windows, so it’s important to get the ratio right. 

The dish liquid helps to loosen the dirt, which makes the vinegar more effective.

When making the solution, be sure to use distilled white vinegar, as other types of vinegar may not be as effective or could even damage your glass. Just mix your ingredients together in a spray bottle and shake well to combine.

Gathering Your Supplies

Before you start cleaning your windows with distilled vinegar, you’ll need to gather a few supplies to make the process easier. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • A squeegee
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A ladder (if cleaning high windows)

Make sure the cloth you use is clean and lint-free to avoid leaving residue on the windows. It’s also a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands from the vinegar solution.

Applying the Solution to the Windows

Now that you have your vinegar solution ready and your supplies gathered, it’s time to start applying it to the windows. Follow these steps:

  1. Start at the top of the window and spray the vinegar solution onto the glass. Be sure to apply enough to cover the entire window, but not so much that it drips down the glass.
  2. Using your squeegee, start at the top of each window pane and pull it straight down the glass in a single stroke, applying firm pressure as you go.
  3. Wipe the squeegee with a clean cloth after each pass to ensure that you don’t leave any streaks on the glass.
  4. Once you have squeegeed the entire window, use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth to wipe down the edges and corners of the glass. If there are any streaks left over, you can buff them out with a clean cloth.

If you have large windows or windows that are high up, you may need to use a ladder to reach them safely. Make sure that you have a stable ladder and someone to help hold it steady while you clean.

Remember, the key to avoiding streaks on your windows is to work quickly and efficiently. Don’t let the vinegar solution sit on the glass for too long, or it may start to dry and leave streaks behind.

Can This Be Used on Exterior Windows?

Yes, you clean outside windows the same way you clean inside. Just be careful if you need to use a ladder to do it. Consider hiring a professional for this if you’re not 100% sure how to do it safely.

Using the Right Technique to Wipe the Windows

After using the squeegee, wipe down the edges and corners of the window to remove any remaining solution. Use a dry, lint-free cloth to avoid leaving streaks or residue on the glass.

If there are streaks on the window, use a clean cloth to buff them out. Don’t wipe windows in circular motions, because this can also cause streaks. Instead, wipe horizontally or vertically in a straight line.

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble with streaks, try using a clean (not chalky) blackboard eraser to remove them. Simply rub the eraser over the streaks until they disappear.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Windows

Keeping your windows clean is a big task, so here are some tips to help make it easier:

  • Choose the right day: Clean your windows on a cloudy day to avoid the solution drying too quickly.
  • Prep the area: Before cleaning the glass, wipe down the windowsills and frames to prevent dirt and grime from getting on the windows again.
  • Clean regularly: Regular cleaning will prevent the build-up of dirt and grime, making the job easier in the long run. Kitchen windows may need cleaning a few times a year. Most windows probably only need once a year.

Streak-free Windows with Your DIY Window Cleaner

Cleaning windows with vinegar is a cost-effective and eco-friendly cleaning solution that can leave your windows streak-free and sparkling. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily make your cleaning solution, gather your supplies, and clean the windows in the most effective way. 

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Last Updated:

October 27, 2023