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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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4:06PM PDT on Apr 30, 2015

I've also used rubbing alcohol.

9:17PM PDT on Apr 23, 2015

thank you windex makes me dizzy

4:24AM PDT on Mar 11, 2015

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

3:58AM PDT on Mar 11, 2015

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:

11:10PM PST on Feb 12, 2015

...because recycling also spends energy

11:30AM PST on Feb 12, 2015

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.

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. :-)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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