You would never know from the snow falling outside that Spring is right around the corner would you? I hear birds chirping, and I can see loads of deer prints through our yard, so the activity has started but what I don’t see are clean windows! I love when the sun intensely blares through the window and the floors are warmed from the light cast onto each tile in the kitchen. Sun brings a smile to my face and makes me stir with creativity and launch into a bunch of new projects. Clean windows that don’t have a fog on them on either side make me happy. I do admit to being OCD in many aspects of life but windows brings a whole new architecture into the discussion when I look through one that is smeared, foggy, hazy or streaked. Is there a one stop cleaning source that can brighten my windows, keep them haze-free and streak-free? There actually is, but it is not the product you might be thinking of.
For years I used cleaners that were incompetent at actually doing more than smudging and no I don’t believe WINDEX is a perfect cleaner. All the knock-offs of that brand are not better they are just cleaners in a bottle that we pay at least $2.79 a bottle. Wipes were the next best thing, as these sheets each offered a new chance to clean up the windows and see things more clearly. Admittedly, I am guilty of purchasing these 24 packs of glass wipes and using them in one cleaning session as they make cleaning an obsession as they are so easy to use. However, the cost of these glass wipe sheets are hardly conducive to a frugal purchase and you don’t get more than about one car window or one small mirror out of any wipe.
There just has to be an easier way to clean up windows and make them sparkle clean without over-spending. My mom had forever used a cleaning solution that was ammonia, water and vinegar. My eyes forever burned, but her windows glistened. Not wanting to introduce that combination into my home I experimented with something my one Aunt had told me about years back when we first got married: “Dana, never throw away your newspaper, always keep it and use it with a window cleaner.” I listened to her, and I used to clean my car windows with newspaper religiously, then I looked at my hands, gloves and the mess that the paper transferred and this obsessiveness compulsive chic dumped those papers right into the recycle bin as that mess on my hands, and everywhere else drove me over the edge. I will say this, the combination of window cleaner and papers worked very well, but the mess of paper print transfer is a bit hard to deal with.
My final try has been the most FRUGAL attempt ever. Now, I will tell you the smell on this is a bit gross, but the look is impeccably clean, sensationally clear and your windows will glisten without streaks. In order to achieve the perfect, clear, haze-free, glistening window or mirror gather the following supplies:
1) 100% cotton cloth – no spandex, no microfiber junk, just good old fashioned 100% cotton, like an old sheet.
2) 1 bottle of vinegar – White – any brand
3) 1 spray bottle – empty, clean and waiting to be filled up with super solution! Fill the bottle with the vinegar, that’s right, straight vinegar.
4) Spray the window, misting lightly, top, middle and bottom, in that order, so that it can drip to the level below. (I told you I am obsessive)
5) Start at the top left or right and work your way across the window, flip your cloth and repeat all the way down.
6) When you have made it to the bottom of the window, then in a clock-wise, square motion, clean the most outer rim or the glass all the way around.
7) Repeat on the outside(if you are doing windows) or just finish if this is a mirror.
8) As an added step, I always have a dust cloth with me and I clean the ledge and the blinds, but again this is just my obsessiveness and a way I feel complete with the project.
Your windows will sparkle, the light will bless your floors, walls, counters and everything else, just be warned, light shows dirt, so you know that means I am off cleaning again, tireless but happy. The use of vinegar as a cleaning solution is the most frugal find I have ever used and the results will astound you. Get ready to put a little sparkle into your life with great, clean windows.