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3 Ways to Clean Your Windows with Vinegar

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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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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12:51AM PST on Dec 25, 2014


12:51AM PST on Dec 25, 2014


12:50AM PST on Dec 25, 2014


10:09AM PST on Nov 17, 2014

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

9:28AM PDT on Oct 18, 2014


3:29AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

thanks, I always use the vinegar for cleaning

4:29AM PDT on Jun 1, 2014


12:16PM PST on Feb 25, 2014


5:08PM PST on Feb 21, 2014


10:15PM PST on Feb 20, 2014

Summerannie M, a very good tip as I also always use the regular vinegar for cleaning.

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