Knowing how to clean windows may seem like a simple task at first. But the fact is, all kinds of stains, whether they’re watermarks, fingerprints, or general grime, can get on the glass and can be tricky to remove. Even if you manage to remove these stains, grease can leave stains on your window that just won’t come off. Towards the end, the whole job can seem counterproductive, and you can make things look worse than when you started, kind of like when you try clean a glass stove†
But don’t worry: with the right products and methods, your windows can look like new again. The good news is that windows are actually one of the easier things to clean, and you can get crystal clear results in minutes. Here we’ll show you exactly what to do and answer any questions you may have along the way.
How to clean windows?
What you need
White Distilled Vinegar or
T-bar and wiper (optional)
1. When cleaning windows from the inside, the first thing you want to do is: remove dust and cobwebs† Wipe the windows with a dry microfiber cloth and around the frame and sill. Don’t forget to open the window to give any hidden crevices a try as well. For extreme cases, you can also use one of the best vacuum cleaners with the soft brush head.
2. Close your window when you are done. There are a number of methods that you can choose from now, depending on the degree of contamination:
- For daily cleaning, wipe the windows with a damp microfibre cloth and apply warm soapy water if necessary. Rinse away the foam with a damp cloth.
- For more stubborn stains, stick to the suds, but apply with the rough side of a sponge instead. Don’t be too aggressive when scrubbing; you don’t want to scratch the glass, but be persistent and keep applying soap until the mark is gone. Rinse with a damp microfibre cloth.
- If you want to use a home remedy, then white distilled vinegar is another option. You can dilute it in a spray bottle with a cup of vinegar to a cup of water. Then apply to the glass and wipe with a microfibre cloth. For stubborn stains, you can also leave it on for a minute or two before wiping it off. Then rinse with a damp cloth.
- You can also use your own glass cleaner, such as Windex Original Blue Glass and Window Cleaner ($7.78, Amazon† Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.
3. If you want to speed up the drying process and save yourself some microfibre cloths, you can do that too: use a squeegee to wipe off excess water† Just be sure to have a towel on the floor or windowsill to catch any run-off and have one handy to dry the squeegee between swipes.
4. Dry with a buffing motion with microfiber cloths† Be sure to work in different directions to avoid streaks, and continue to adjust the cloth to dry areas to avoid reapplying water. You can also use kitchen paper for this.
5. If streaks are still visible, rinse and repeat from step 3 – this is probably soap scum. Your windows should now look spotless from the inside, now it’s time to tackle the outside.
6. You are probably dealing with a larger surface area here, so you need a bucket and some larger lint-free cloths† It’s also best to do this on a cloudy day, otherwise the sun can dry your results before you’ve had time to remove the streaks.
7. The size of the panes means using a spray bottle would be impractical, so standard glass cleaners are out the window (pun intended). you will want fill the bucket with warm soapy water or distill some white vinegar with water in it.
8. You can apply your solution with a cloth as above, but a much easier method is to: use a T-bar and wiper, like the MR.SIGA Professional Window Cleaning Combo ($16.99, Amazon† With this you can easily apply your cleaner to the glass, and then quickly rinse it off.
9. When wiping with a squeegee, try to work in an S-shaped pattern from top to bottom, make sure you continue where you started and finish against the edge. That way you don’t have annoying water spots.
10. Dry if necessary. Your windows should now look immaculate. Remember to clean them regularly to make this chore less of a hassle.
What is the best way to clean windows?
There is no correct answer to this. Dish soap and water are generally sufficient for most stains, but white distilled vinegar is another popular and sustainable method. Vinegar is also great for removing limescale, so it’s ideal for watermarks. Here’s why it’s recommended in our guide to how do you clean a glass shower door?†
For more cleaning tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out our guides on how to clean a washing machine, remove mold and wash a pillow.