Window cleaning has to be one of the least popular DIY things around.  At least at our house it is.  Sure, it looks great when you’re finished.  But it’s a lot of work.  And we’re talking inside and outside windows.  Who wants to spend their day doing that?  However thankfully, to really clean them good, some places recommend only doing this twice annually.  Yeah!  So we’ve compiled a quasi list of the best way to get streak free windows.

Some sites suggest using a squeegee and a bucket of soapy water.  And that might be the way the pros do it.  However they’ve been doing it for a while, so they’re quick and efficient with it.  Although that’s not necessarily the best way for the rest of us, because it just ends up creating more of a mess.  Then you have twice the work.  And no one wants that.

Woman cleaning windows with sponge

Photo by Radomir Tarasov on

Best Way to Get Streak Free Windows

The absolute best way to get streak free windows is with products you most likely already have at home.  Though you’re still going to have to do some manual labor to get them looking spotless again.  But at least you don’t have to buy anything fancy.

Supplies Needed for Getting Streak Free Windows

  • Vacuum or duster
  • Homemade glass cleaner
  • Several microfiber cloths
  • Outdoor hose
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Squeegee (outside)

Instructions for Getting Streak Free Windows Inside

  • First, pick a day when it’s not too hot or sunny.

The sun and heat can cause windows to dry too quickly, resulting in streaks.

  • Then, you want to either vacuum or dust off your inside windows and window frames.  Dust your blinds with a wet cloth, before drying with a microfiber cloth.  If you want to, this would be a great time to freshen the curtains.  Put them in the dryer on ‘air only’ for ~ 15 minutes, hanging them up as soon they’re finished to avoid any wrinkles.
  • Next, make your homemade glass cleaner.  You could use a brand of glass cleaner that you trust, but this is one that I’ve personally used on windows; I also use it on our mirrors, and it’s touted on several other websites.  So it’s definitely worth you trying out.

Mix 1 cup of distilled or white vinegar with 1 cup of water and pour into a spray bottle.  You don’t need to add soap, and you don’t need to add alcohol. ***If you have children and pets, with a Sharpie, write down the ingredients on the bottle.***

Bottle of distilled vinegar and spray bottle for streak free windows

Pella Windows uses a recipe with vinegar, however they use a lot less vinegar.  I’ve tried doing that before, and I find that diluting the vinegar that much doesn’t help reduce the streaks.  In fact, the mixture resembles water more than cleaner.  So don’t skimp on the vinegar, and use a dry microfiber cloth, wiping quickly.

  • To continue, put a towel on the windowsill in case the solution drips.  And after making the cleaner, spray the window liberally, one section at a time.  Also, use the microfiber cloth and dry quickly.  You could also use paper towels.  But don’t use dish towels.  It will initially appear as if the window or glass will streak, but then it will evaporate clearly.

Martha Stewart suggests using hot water with your vinegar, however that’s not necessary.  Also, if you have really grimy windows, you could spray them with straight distilled vinegar.  Then let them sit for a minute before rinsing and drying.  Never use a razor blade on your windows or glass, because you could scratch and ruin the surface.

Best Way to Get Streak Free Windows Outside

  • You definitely want a cloudy and cool day to clean your outside windows.  The temperature and weather are probably more important when working on the windows outside than inside.
  • Rather than dusting or vacuuming your outside windows, just rinse them off thoroughly with the hose.  This is to get off the accumulation of dirt and debris before you actually clean them, because you don’t want to make a slurry of mud.
  • Next, mix up some soapy water as a pre-cleaning solution.  This will make cleaning the outside windows with vinegar that much easier.  When you’re finished, rinse with the hose again.
  • Then, instead of using a spray bottle, mix your homemade glass cleaner in the bucket.  Remember it’s a 1:1 solution.  And then dip your sponge in the bucket’s solution.  Again, work one section at a time.  And work quickly.
  • Rinse with the hose before using a squeegee.  The squeegee is suggested, because it can get the majority of the water off the windows.  Thus it saves towels and paper towels.
  • When most of the water is gone, dry section thoroughly with a new, dry microfiber cloth.

In conclusion, the best way to get streak free windows is working on a cool, shady day, with a 1:1 vinegar and water solution, one section at a time.  Then before moving onto the next section of the window, you dry thoroughly with a dry microfiber cloth.

On the outside you rinse the windows with the hose first.  Next, you follow with a soapy sponge before rinsing again with the hose.  Then you mix up the vinegar solution in a bucket, and using a sponge, you work one section at a time.  Dry with the squeegee before using dry microfiber cloth or paper towels.  You should have pristine, streak free windows when you’re finished.

Thanks for stopping by.  And if you’d like help getting streak free windows, don’t hesitate to give us a call!