Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Window Washing

I have a good number of windows.  Most of the time I love this fact.  The one time I am anything less than in love with my windows is every spring when I clean all of them inside and out, as I am this week.  No matter how many windows you have, you no doubt enjoy them less when they are dirty.  So, let's get them clean the green way and make it as easy as possible.  

First step, erase the word "Windex" from your vocabulary.  The bright blue color, the obnoxious smell, the annoying commercial with talking birds, all of it is a very bad sign.  This stuff is AWFUL for the earth and not so hot for you either...can you imagine your kid drinking this stuff?  It does look an awful lot like kool-aid.  

Instead we guessed it, vinegar.  A 50/50 mixture vinegar and water will help your windows achieve a streak free shine.  I usually use a microfiber cloth specifically designed for glass cleaning.  But this week, at the suggestion of reader Emilie, I finally tried newspaper.  I have been saving up our weekly free newspaper for a couple of weeks and have finally used it on the windows.  Here is what I learned...
  • While newspaper will work really well to give you a streak free shine, you have to make sure you don't leave any residue on the window or it will show up.
  • This means to spray less and wipe more.
  • Shiny glossy newspaper pages don't work.
  • Packing paper does work just as well.
  • Newspaper is great for big jobs where a cloth would too quickly get dirty/wet.
  • Newspaper does not scratch the glass like I was afraid of.
  • Newspaper works really well on glass, not so well on the rest of the window (frame).  You might want to stick with a cloth on that.
While you have the newspaper and vinegar solution out, don't forget to hit your bathroom mirrors, microwave, refrigerator (especially if you have kids), and oven.  

The very best part about using newspaper is that when you are done you can put it right into your compost!

Are you off to clean your windows?  Any other window tips I missed?

Don't forget today is the last day to register for the Spring Fling giveaway!


MLDB said...

I saw a window washing tip the other day on Divine Design. When you wash windows inside and out, you should wash one side wiping up and down and the other side side to side, that way if there are streaks, you know what side they are on.

annie kelleher said...

yes thats a great tip as the first comment mentions! i have to do my windows this spring... we did a lot of construction last fall and finished as it turned too cold... they are def in need of a serious wash! ty for the great tips :)

heather said...

oh thank you for this - now i am motivated to get to those windows in my home... all 45 of them!!! :)

Karen said...

U.B has been cleaning windows with vinegar and newspapers for years. And you know we have tons of windows to clean. Works just as well on the car windows also.

Willo said...

MLDB-That is genius! I had this problem and thought there has to be another way. Of course there is! Thanks!

Heather-Glad to help!

Gray Matters said...

I clean my windows the same way with vinegar and newspaper - now on to the task of actually cleaning them and not talking about cleaning them.