It’s that time of year to throw open the curtains and blinds, and let the sunshine flow in. That’s when you make the frightening discovery. Your windows are filthy, both inside on out. Before you can truly enjoy the springtime sun, you need to wash the grime, dirt and dust that has accumulated over the winter. You may be surprised to find out that the best window cleaners available are already in your home. Forget the expensive solutions and reach for these 6 natural window cleaners to make your windows shine inside and out.
1. Newspaper & Elbowgrease
Take a good look at your windows—they may not actually be dirty, just dusty. If this is the case, dust them off with a lint-free cloth (we like old cotton t-shirt rags). Then, you can polish with a newspaper. The newspaper provides an excellent abrasive action that doesn’t damage. Just be sure to avoid contact with white window frames and sills as the ink might stain.
2. Vinegar and Water
Our favorite, multi-purpose cleaner makes another appearance. For a streak-free shine, combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle, and wipe with a cotton cloth or squeegee for best results. If your windows are especially dirty, pre-clean them with soapy water and use undiluted white vinegar on tough water-spots. Should your windows still streak, don’t throw out your vinegar just yet. Most commercial cleaners leave a wax residue that vinegar alone can’t cut through. To make the switch to this more natural solution, use two cups water, ¼ cup of white vinegar and a ½ teaspoon of dish soap.
For more heavy duty jobs, try mixing 2 tablespoons of borax in 3 cups of water. Apply with a sponge and wipe clean, then rinse with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. After, polish with a cloth or newspaper. Wear rubber gloves if you have several windows to wash.
If you’re sensitive to borax or vinegar, try this cornstarch solution. In a 5 gallon bucket, mix water with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and ½ cup of vinegar. Rinse with water and polish.
5. Lemon, Lime or Oranges
Citrus can cut through grease which is useful if you’ve been using those wax-residue commercial cleaners. It has an added bonus of polishing glass as you clean. For a citrus natural window cleaner, mix 1 tablespoon of juice with 1 quart of warm water in a spray bottle. Simply wipe dry.
6. Steel Wool
If your windows suffer from a drip or have hard water deposits, you can gently clean them off with a piece of 000 steel wool. Wet the glass and softly rub away the stains so you don’t scratch the glass or paint. Rinse with the vinegar and soap solution mentioned above and squeegee or wipe away with a cotton cloth.