3 Ways to Clean Your Windows with Vinegar

Finally the days are becoming clear and sparkling, although I’d be hard-pressed to tell if I were to rely upon the blurry view from my winter-grimed windows. How do windows become so speckled and what can one do about it?

One of the earliest DIY housecleaning formulas that the media latched on to way back when was to clean your windows with vinegar. Remember that? It was a good idea, the only problem was, according to Annie B. Bond, that years of using commercial products left a residue on windows that wasn’t adequately handled by the vinegar. The result? Streaky windows and a lackluster reputation for homemade housecleaning formulas.

So if you are looking at the world through dirty windows and want an inexpensive and natural way to clean them, you might need a tweak on the simple vinegar formula. Try one of these methods depending on your situation.

First time with vinegar
If you are going to clean your windows with vinegar for the first time, you need to add an extra ingredient to help combat the residue left over from commercial products. Here is Annie’s formula:
2 cups of water
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap or detergent
Combine in a labeled spray bottle, spray and wipe.

Normal dirt
Once you have removed any waxy residue with the liquid soap formula, you can begin using a diluted white vinegar solution for normal dirt.
1 cup white distilled vinegar
1 cup water
Combine in a labeled spray bottle, spray and wipe.

Very dirty
If you have extra dirty windows, or windows with dried paint or hard-water mineral spots, try warming up full-strength white distilled vinegar and applying it directly to the windows.

What to wipe with?
As for what to wipe with, what’s best? To avoid streaks it’s important to dry the window as quickly as possible once you have cleaned it. Many normal cleaning cloths can leave a small flurry of lint, not ideal. Paper towels are lint-free, but are too wasteful. Some people swear by newspaper–it is lint-free, and the texture of the crumpled paper can work well on grime. But if you don’t like the feeling of newspaper ink on your hands, or if the ink smudges your white window frames or sills, you’ll need something else. Squeegees are good because you only need one towel to wipe and they really do conquer streaks once you have the technique mastered. I find that microfiber cleaning cloths work well on just about everything, including windows. What do you use? We’d like to hear, leave a comment.

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Sara Sezun
Sara S.about a year ago

I've also used rubbing alcohol.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawnabout a year ago

thank you windex makes me dizzy

Toni W.
Toni W.about a year ago

Good old Vinegar - so many great uses in the household as well as being great to eat! Thanks for the information here!

Annabelle Y.
Annabelle Y.about a year ago

Great blog!! I absolutely love vinegar. It's cheap, versatile, eco friendly and incredibly effective. I use it to clean virtually everything including windows. I even wrote a blog about cleaning windows with vinegar. You can check it out here:

Nino U.
Nino U.about a year ago

...because recycling also spends energy

Nino U.
Nino U.about a year ago

A nice way to get vinegar (at least in my country), is in the local pharmacies, in the concentrated form (70 %) where you dissolve 1L in the 7 L of water. That way there's less plastic containers to recycle (one 1 L plasic container instead od 7 1L containers if ordinary vinegar bought). Also you save money.

Roberto Meritoni
Roberto Meritoniabout a year ago


Roberto Meritoni
Roberto Meritoniabout a year ago


Roberto Meritoni
Roberto Meritoniabout a year ago


Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants1 years ago

What do windows have in common with gherkins? Both go well with vinegar. :-)