There’s no shortage of cleaning tips to leave windows gleaming and streak-free. You’ll hear of all types of techniques, from cleaning windows with alcohol to promising superb results with fabric softener.
We’re not trying to find the next cleaning fad. We’ll show you what works, without any nonsense.
How often you should clean your windows depends on different factors. Weather, pollen, pollution and much more play a role. Of course, when windows who signs of being dirty, it’s time to get cleaning.
We put some of the most popular window cleaning methods to the test – new and old.
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How We Tested Window Cleaning Methods
A used the classic window squeegee and a window vacuum from Karcher during testing, with surprising results.
We ran our tests on a patio door window in a city apartment, where the windows often remain uncleaned for months and then show significant soiling and stubborn traces of dried drops.
Environmental aspects also play a role in what households use to clean, so natural home solutions for cleaning windows are becoming increasingly popular. This includes alcohol and vinegar. But also washing the windows with detergent and rubbing them with newspaper can be found under the tips for cleaning windows.
While washing-up liquid often leads to streaks, likely because some contain moisturising and sometimes oily hand care additives, newsprint is not recommended as it can scratch the windows and pages with thick, dark ink can leave marks on white window frames.
We provide other methods that are highly effective, although, we must confess that we did not test these: Cleaning the window with steam cleaners is easy, with some multi-purpose steam cleaners having glass cleaning attachments for ceramic hob and window cleaning.
However, this test is about the various cleaning agents, so we won’t get too much into using a steam cleaner, but if you have one, give it a try for very dirty windows and frames.
Why do Windows Often Get Streaks After Cleaning?
Windows get streaky after the water containing the cleaning agents is dried on the pane. The water may be already dirty, and it starts drying up. So, replace the clean water immediately, then take the windows away quickly and then dry them. This is why windows shouldn’t be cleaned during a hot sunny day or in direct sunlight. The cleaning water must be only slightly warm and not boiling.
Proper cleaning of windows means cleaning the frames, too. Clean the frame first with soft brushes or a vacuum, then wash the frame around. This can be done using moderate detergent (detergent is typically enough). Make sure to thoroughly clean the joints to ensure that no dirt builds up.
Clean Windows with Glass Cleaner
A windowpane in the window test is sprayed with glass cleaner, and then rubbed dry using kitchen paper. This is a simple procedure, but it’s not as effective as the heavily stained window. A few of the drops that have dried up remain visible.
For this type of cleaning, you just add a teaspoon of spirit into the clean water. Put one shot of alcohol into a bucket that holds 5 l along with warm water. After you’ve cleaned the window using the alcohol, any remaining water is removed using a squeeze bag. The lip of the rubber is then dried out at the end of every peeling.
The sides and edges are then dried using kitchen paper. The results of ” cleaning windows using alcohol” is substantially less than that of cleaning using glass cleaner.
The drops’ traces can be seen. It doesn’t matter when a small amount of washing-up liquid is also utilized.
There is some vinegar in a small bucket of water.
Cleaner windows using Vinegar (and alcohol)
Add a bit of Vinegar to a 5L bucket that is filled with warm water. The window is cleaned and then vacuumed using an air-based window vacuum. The lip of the rubber is cleaned every time you pull. It’s nice that there’s no water dripping down.
Edges are dried using kitchen paper. However, the outcome of cleaning the Vinegar isn’t what we expected. The window is now less clear than when using alcohol.
Make use of Fabric Softener.
A half-cap of softener for fabric is enough to clean windows.
Half a capful of softener for fabric is added in 5 Liters of water that is warm. Another window is washed and then shaved away using this solution.
The remaining remnants of water along their edges have been dried using kitchen paper.
The results are superior to glass cleaners for cleaning windows by a couple of nuances. It’s less expensive; however, it is also more damaging to the earth.
Streak-Free Shine with Glass Ceramic Cleaner
Cleaning windows using cleaning glass with ceramic is more like a pre-treatment followed by regular window cleaning. The result is impressive with extremely dirty windows.
The dried-up drops are gone. Only in rare instances, but it is a great idea to wash the window when it isn’t possible to clean it with standard methods.
Modern Window Vacs for Glass
Strong detergents can damage the seals made of plastic on windows and will get brittle. Therefore, you should employ gentle cleaners for the seals and frames. To ensure that the seals are flexible for as long as possible, you could use a deer tallow stick or similar item to maintain the seals of your car.
It is recommended to clean windows more often. This way, there are rarely stubborn deposits on the windows.
If there are sand accumulations on your panes, it is crucial to clean them off before cleaning. Otherwise, scratches may result due to cleaning.
Examine the windows every year and have them adjusted by the window maker. Large windows, especially the sashes, are cumbersome and can begin to warp very quickly. If you keep them maintained frequently, you will extend the life of your service significantly.
Based on the material and style, wooden frames should be glazed at least once per year. Be careful in making glaze (masking off) to avoid glaze splashes after it has dried – it can be challenging to get rid of out of the frame.
The window that we tested in our apartment didn’t receive the same attention and must get replaced as fast as possible.
FAQ’s about Streak-less Window Cleaning
Q What is the best way to get a window clean without using a Squeegee?
A: A squeegee can be helpful when cleaning windows, but it’s not required. Newsprint is a proper old-fashioned among all the secrets. It is easy to crumple the paper and then use the paper to wipe off the windows.
Attention Note: Only newsprint is appropriate for this. Journals and magazines are typically coated in such a way that they only hold just a tiny amount of water.
Q How often do you need to clean your windows?
It is recommended to clean at least the frame of your windows, including seals, every two months to ensure they do not get brittle. If you already have windows, then the windows can be cleaned at the same time. Of course, whether or not this is necessary depends on the weather conditions.
Q How do you remove streaks from your windows?
To prevent streaks during cleaning, make sure that you clean your windows promptly so that the cleaning agent and water cannot get dry, causing streaks if you are using a puller and want to clean it clean after every pull to eliminate any dirt.
If you are cleaning all of your windows in one go, It is important to check whether the water you use to clean the windows is still clean enough.