Cleaning windows is one of those tasks I always put off.
The problem is that you think they're clean until the sun catches them at the wrong angle. Then you realize how dirty they actually are.
Over the years, I've tried lots of different methods for getting a clean and streak-free finish.
It's not easy to achieve the perfect finish without buying an expensive glass cleaner. But did you know that there's an affordable and effective solution right under your nose?
Say hello to this unexpected dynamic duo: newspaper and vinegar!
This tried-and-true method has been used for generations to achieve streak-free shine on glass surfaces.
Getting your windows sparkling clean with newspaper and vinegar is actually pretty easy.
What I love most about this method is that it's environmentally friendly.
In this article, I'll show you how to make a cheap and effective cleaning solution, and share tips on using newspaper to get your windows looking their best.
I sometimes use affiliate links. When you click these links and make a purchase, I may get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything but it helps me to run this site.
Why clean windows with newspaper?
The magic of using newspaper for window cleaning lies in its texture.
Newspapers are made of a dense and slightly abrasive paper that can scrub away dirt and residue without scratching the glass.
Plus, newspapers don't leave lint or fibers behind like paper towels or some cloths, ensuring a clearer, streak-free result.
Another benefit is that cleaning windows with newspaper can save money. Instead of purchasing expensive window cleaners and disposable paper products, why not put that old newspaper to use? Most of us have some vinegar around the house too.
Cleaning windows with newspaper is not just cost-effective, but also environmentally friendly. By repurposing old newspapers, you reduce waste and give them a second life.
Newspapers are biodegradable and recyclable, making them a better choice for the environment compared to synthetic cleaning cloths or disposable paper products.
So next time you need to clean your windows, consider grabbing a newspaper. You'll achieve a streak-free shine while saving money and doing your bit for the environment.
Does newspaper really clean windows?
You might be wondering if using newspaper to clean windows is really just a myth.
Well, I'm here to tell you that you can!
Cleaning windows with newspaper is a time-tested technique to ensure your glass has a mirror-like shine and a streak-free finish.
If it was good enough for my grandmother, it is good enough for me too.
So, why does newspaper work so well?
Newspapers are made of a dense, fibrous material that is slightly abrasive. This helps to remove dirt and grime without scratching the glass. Also, newspapers won't leave lint behind like paper towels or cloths.
How to use newspaper to clean windows
Cleaning windows with newspaper is an economical and eco-friendly method that leaves your windows and glass surfaces sparkling clean.
First, make your cleaning solution
Before you begin cleaning, you'll need to prepare a homemade cleaning solution made with natural cleaners.
To make the cleaning solution, mix the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
- 2 cups of distilled water. Distilled water has no minerals or impurities that can leave streaks on your windows. If you don't have that, use regular tap water.
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Vinegar is a natural cleaner. It can remove dirt and grime without leaving any residue behind.
- A few drops of dish soap. Helps cut through grease and stubborn dirt.
For really dirty windows, add more vinegar to the mix.
A quick note about the type of newspaper to use
Ensure that you're using newspaper with soy-based ink.
Petroleum-based ink can smear and leave stains.
If you aren't sure if your newspaper ink is soy-based, rub some between your fingers for about a minute.
If you have ink on your fingers, the newspaper isn't suitable because it will leave behind an inky mess on your windows and hands as you clean.
Now that your cleaning solution is ready, it's time to clean those windows!
Follow these steps to ensure a streak-free shine:
- Remove dust or debris: Before starting, use a dry, lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe any loose dust or debris from the window surface. This will prevent scratches during the cleaning process.
- Spray your cleaning solution: Apply the vinegar cleaning solution directly onto the glass surface. It's best to work in sections to prevent the solution from drying before you wipe it off.
- Grab your newspaper: Crumple a sheet of newspaper into a ball, and get ready to clean.
- Wipe in a circular motion: Using the crumpled newspaper, wipe the window in a circular motion. The newspaper's texture will help scrub off dirt and grime without scratching the glass.
- Buff the surface: After the cleaning solution has been wiped off, use a clean, dry newspaper sheet to buff the glass, removing any streaks or remaining residue.
- Repeat as necessary: If you find any stubborn spots or areas that need a bit more attention, simply repeat the process until the window is sparkling clean.
Remember to recycle the newspaper when you're finished!
Now you have lovely clean windows, don't forget your blinds. Here's how to keep your blinds dust-free.
Other ways to clean windows effectively
Now that many of us read the news online, newspapers are becoming less common.
If you don't have any newspaper to hand, don't worry because there are other effective ways to clean your windows without having to buy an expensive cleaner.
1. Vinegar Solution: In a spray bottle, mix one part distilled white vinegar and one part warm water. This natural and non-toxic glass cleaner is perfect for use in your home and even for car windows. Simply spray the solution onto the window surface and use a microfiber cloth to wipe away the grime.
2. Ammonia Solution: Another alternative for a homemade glass cleaner is to mix one tablespoon of ammonia with two cups of water. Ammonia can be quite pungent, so be sure to use it only in well-ventilated areas.
3. Liquid Dish Soap: For windows with hard water stains and dirt build-up, adding a few drops of liquid dish soap to your vinegar or ammonia solution can help break down the stubborn grime. Just remember to rinse the window well to avoid residue.
4. Microfiber Cloth: For a more eco-friendly cleaning option, swap out the newspaper for a microfiber cloth. It is gentle on surfaces, highly absorbent, and easily washable. Use it alongside your homemade glass cleaner solutions to achieve streak-free windows.
5. Squeegee Technique: For larger windows, invest in a good-quality squeegee. It not only makes cleaning faster but also more efficient. After cleaning with soapy water, wipe the squeegee across the window from top to bottom, overlapping each stroke. Don't forget to wipe the squeegee blade after every stroke to minimize streaking.
Frequently asked questions
What is the most effective technique for using newspaper to clean windows?
To clean windows effectively with newspaper, first mix a solution of four parts water and one part vinegar. Spray the solution on the window, and then use a crumpled newspaper to wipe the window in a circular motion. Wipe again with some dry newspaper.
Can vinegar be used as a solution when cleaning windows with newspaper?
Yes, vinegar can be used as a solution for cleaning windows with newspaper. A mixture of four parts water and one part vinegar is a popular cleaning solution, as it easily cuts through dirt and grime without leaving streaks.
Does cleaning windows with newspaper leave any residue or streaks?
Cleaning windows with newspaper should not leave any residue or streaks when done correctly. Although it might seem like the ink from newsprint would make windows dirtier, that is not the case. The key is to use a crinkled newspaper and the right cleaning solution, which helps ensure a streak-free shine.
Are there any alternatives to using newspaper for window cleaning?
Yes, there are alternatives to using newspaper for window cleaning. Some people prefer using microfiber cloths, squeegees, or even coffee filters. Each method has its own advantages, but newspaper remains popular for its low cost and effectiveness in achieving a streak-free finish.
Is it safe to use newspaper on tinted or car windows without causing scratches?
Newspaper should be safe to use on tinted or car windows, as the ink does not scratch the glass. However, be cautious when using a crumpled newspaper near the edges of tinted windows, as excessive pressure may cause damage to the tint film. It is best to use light, circular motions and avoid excessive rubbing at the edges.
Why does newspaper work well for cleaning windows compared to other paper materials?
Newspaper works well for cleaning windows due to its fiber and ink composition. Newspaper fibers are more absorbent than many other paper materials, allowing it to effectively soak up cleaning solutions and remove dirt from the glass. Additionally, the ink acts as a mild abrasive, helping to remove stubborn stains without scratching the glass.
Can you clean windows with coca-cola?
Yes, you can clean your windows with Coca-Cola! It might sound surprising, but the acidity in Coca-Cola makes it effective at removing grease and dirt from glass surfaces and windows, leaving them sparkling clean.