How do I get streak free windows?

psfwDecember 9, 2010

Does anyone out there know of a good streak and smear free window cleaner? We have a lot of glass windows, that I would love to sparkle! Windex does not do the trick. I have tried vinegar solutions, etc. Someone recommended Invisible glass...any other ideas? What do you use to dry them? Thanks for any and all replies!

Happy Holidays!


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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I do not recommend any window cleaners in the market as it seems that all of them must contain a certain amount of soap or detergent, which is what I 'think' causes the streaking. If you shake a store bought window cleaner, you will likely see a fair amount of 'suds'.

What I use is straight isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, the cheapest I can find at WM, CVS, Walgreens, etc. I then use an old (well rinsed) window cleaner spray bottle.

To dry, I use 'window rags' which are rags cut from an old 100% cotton sheet. The only thing I use those rags for are windows, mirrors, and the glass TV screens.

You can probably find an old 100% cotton sheet at a yard sale or a thrift store for very little. If it is not 100% cotton, it won't dry them right, and 'could' result in less than sparkling, perfectly clean looking windows.

I'm sure others will have suggestions as to what works well for them.

Sue...a 'window' person.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 2:10PM
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I find using microfiber cloths (from the auto department at Walmart) with Invisible Glass does a great job. The Invisible Glass does have alcohol in it and I agree to only use those rags for windows and do not use fabric softener and air dry them.

One important note is to never clean a window that has direct sunlight on it as it will definitely streak. Time it that they are cool, and in the shade.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 4:27PM
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I also use the microfiber cloths and really like them. Ammonia is used as a base for many cleaning supplies. The reason for this is that there are very few surfaces that cannot be efficiently cleaned with ammonia. While ammonia can be used full strength, it is also possible to use the product when diluted with water. For example, cleaning windows with ammonia is a great way to get a clear and streak-free look for your home. By mixing roughly two parts ammonia to one part water, you have a window cleaner that will cut through just about any type of surface dirt you can imagine. The mixture can be placed in a spray bottle and used in the same manner as any window cleaner product that costs a great deal more. Use the microfiber cloth to dry. I also use this on my glass-top stove etc.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 10:20PM
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Back in the day I cleaned windows with soap, water, window brush, and squeegee. Any little touch-ups were done with a paper towel. Never had any problems with streaking.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 11:38PM
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Thanks for all the great remedies! I will try them all! I hope to have nice, sparkling windows for Christmas, Yeah!

Happy Holidays once more:))

    Bookmark   December 11, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Vinegar water or just plain water and a squeegee. The squeegee is the secret! You don't see professional window washers using newspapers or rags to dry windows.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 9:46AM
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Windex's active ingredient is ammonia. You don't need detergents,blue coloring, perfumes,etc. Tho ammonia has a most unpleasant odor. It brings tears to my eyes and I avoid inhaling it. My Mom taught me to put cheap ammonia (from the dollar store or any grocery) in a spray bottle. Put in one third ammonia plus two-thirds water. She used white tissue paper to clean windows, but I like microfibre. Works on all glass: windows, mirrors,TV and computer screens, and auto glass.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 11:14AM
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on my last house - it had Pella window with the Low E rating. I remember reading Not To Use Window Cleaners With Ammonia as it can harm the Low E. So I always used vinegar and water and a squeege.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 3:32PM
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I am putting home in the market early next spring. So Window cleaning in one major fixes in my to do list.

This has worked very good for my wife and myself--my wife is allergic to every other commercial cleaning products so she uses vinegar and water solution spray and wipes the glasses and mirrors with "News Papers" or other papers--believe me it does wonderful job.

I spray Windex and wipe with papers/news paper --and it does work fine and gives extremely clean and fresh looking windows.

Hope this helps.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 1:09PM
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Dora Vann Snider

I vote for the vinegar water and crumpled up newspapers. Did this about a month ago and was so pleased how they sparkled. Have tried other methods over the years but always go back to the newspapers.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2010 at 12:27AM
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I just use dishwashing soap in a bucket of water and scotchbrite sideed sponge pads on outside mirror tint window wall... hose it down,,, dry with microfiber. Wow's you.

Coffee filters is what they recommend to clean the inside windows before you apply windows film as its lint free.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 1:55AM
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Modern Method:
Sprayway Glass Cleaner works really well. It seems though that no matter what cleaner you use there is always some residue or streaking left behind. After cleaning and when glass is dry use a very clean cotton cloth with some coarseness to it, or a white color scotchbrite style pad, or a med-coarse microfibre cloth.
Old sKool method is to use vinegar and water for cleaning solution followed with newspaper crumpled up, handball-size, for buffing the glass to a brilliant shine.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2010 at 6:03PM
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Very very cheap way to get streak free windows mirrors any kind of glass is about a teaspoon of cornstarch in about 8 ozs of water in a spray bottle shake well.

I been using this method for yrs if windows are very dirty I do usually clean with something else then follow up with the cornstarch solution sometimes dry with paper towel sometimes old washrag sometimes microfiber can't tell any dif in what I dry with.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 8:57AM
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