Window cleaning!! Two words that when combined together, can raise blood pressures and cause anxiety! Spraying and reaching and wiping, and more spraying, reaching and wiping and you still end up with streaks! They may be the ones that glare at you, or the even more annoying ones that show up when the catches them just so. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be that way. Cleaning glass, whether it's a window, mirror or a coffee table, is more about the “what” you use than “how” you use it! With the right weapons in your “glass Cleaning” arsenal, you can beat the streak!
Here are five tips that can get you to that sweet moment of victory:
MAKE HARD WATER SOFT
Most of us don't consider what's in the water we use to clean. In truth, it usually doesn't matter. But with glass, you see absolutely everything, so water content can make a difference -- especially if you have hard water. If you're diluting your glass cleaner, consider using distilled water. It doesn't have all the minerals in it that can be present in the water from your tap, so it won't leave behind any streaky deposits on your bathroom mirror. Of course, the cleaner you're diluting matters, too.
SWEET ON SALADS . . . AND GLASS
Vinegar is the all-purpose ingredient that's great on salads, tough on glass and costs practically nothing. Vinegar works wonders for your windows and mirrors. A 50/50 vinegar-water solution will do the trick! Just spray or wipe it on like you would any other cleaner. The smell may linger for a bit, so if you gag at the scent of vinegar, you might save this streak-free cleaner for outdoor glass.
JUST SAY “NO” TO BUBBLES
There's nothing like a bunch of suds to leave your glass full of streaks. This isn't a problem if you're using vinegar or straight glass cleaner -- no soap there. But if your coffee table is truly dirty and you're adding soap to the solution, remember: Go easy. It doesn't take much soap to get rid of that dirt, and using too much will result in an overly dense cleaner that can leave a streaky residue on the glass. And speaking of residue: It's perhaps the biggest glass-cleaning mistake so many of us make.
A “QUICKER PICKER UPPER” CAN BE QUITE THE STREAKER
You know that bucket of glass-cleaning supplies you carry through the house when it's window day? There should NOT be a roll of paper towels in it. Paper towels are NOT your friend when it comes to window cleaning. They not only leave streaks, but linty ones at that! Instead, grab a microfiber cloth, a squeegee, or, best yet, a handful of newspaper. Grab the section that frustrates you the most and see what an amazing job it does on glass. If you decide on newspaper, wear some gloves. After cleaning your windows, the last thing you want to do is battle the ink left behind on your hands!
DOIN THE BUFF
Even if you do exactly the right things, you can still end up with a streak or three. In that case, the simplest solution is to finish the job with a quick buff. A chamois or a microfiber cloth is best, although a regular rag will do. Keep it dry, and just buff over the glass when you finish cleaning it. You'll find those streaks just disappear. Remember; don’t wait too long between window cleanings! The less dirt and grime your windows accumulate, the less time you'll spend cleaning them.