Cleaning Tips for Crystal-Clear Windows

Get glass shining and revitalize windowframes with these cleaning tips.

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Ammonia

Dirty, grimy windows can make any house look dingy. But it’s easy to wipe away the dirt, fingerprints, soot, and dust covering your windows. Just wipe them down with a soft cloth dampened with a solution of 1 cup clear ammonia in 3 cups water. Your windows will not only be crystal-clear, but streak-free to boot.

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Borax

Want to get windows and mirrors spotless and streakless? Wash them with a clean sponge dipped in 2 tablespoons borax dissolved in 3 cups water.

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Cornstarch

Create your own streak-free window cleaning solution by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 cup white vinegar in a bucket containing 3-4 quarts (3-4 liters) warm water. Don’t be put off by the milky concoction you create. Mix well and put the solution in a trigger spray bottle. Spray on the windows, then wipe with a warm-water rinse. Now rub with a dry paper towel or lint-free cloth.

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Fabric Softener

Clean glass tables, shower doors, and other hard surfaces, and repel dust with liquid fabric softener. Mix 1 part softener into 4 parts water and store in a squirt bottle, such as an empty dishwashing liquid bottle. Apply a little solution to a clean cloth, wipe the surface, and then polish with a dry cloth.

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Nail Polish Remover

Scraping price stickers from glass objects can be messy, and it often leaves behind a gummy adhesive that attracts dirt and is sticky to the touch. Remove the stickers and clean up the residual glue by wiping the area with acetone-based nail polish remover. The same method can be used for removing stickers and sticky residue from metal surfaces.

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Newspaper

If you’re like most folks, you probably use a lot of absorbent paper towels for drying off your just-washed windows. Did you know that crumpled-up newspaper dries and polishes windows even better than paper towels? And it’s a lot cheaper too.

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Rubbing Alcohol

Do your windows frost up in the wintertime? Wash them with a solution of 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol to 1 quart (1 liter) water to prevent the frost. Polish the windows with newspaper after you wash them to make them shine.

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