Clean windows are the sign of a well-cared-for home and can make any room seem bigger, brighter, and just plain old more comfortable. But if you’re dealing with perpetually dirty windows (inside and outside), you probably avoid looking at them for fear you’ll once again need to add ‘clean windows’ to your to-do list. Instead of avoiding one of the best parts of your home, we’ve found a method that can help keep your windows clean for months (yes, months!). Plus, it’s cheap, easy, and totally a DIY that you can cross off your list almost as soon as you add it.
Other than the occasional handprint or outdoor debris, windows mostly get dirty from what could be called ‘wear and tear’ - they’ll collect dirt, dust, and pollen, just from being on the side of your house and withstanding rain, wind, and thunderstorms. For this particular method of window cleaning, all you’ll need is blue dawn dishsoap,Rain-X and Rain-X 2-in-1 water repellent (usually used for car windshields and available from any local hardware store). Optional materials include newspaper or a squeegee for wiping without streaking. And if you’re lucky enough to have a window cleaner already, ask them to use this method too!
3 Steps for 6 Months of Clean Windows
Step 1: Blue Dawn
It might not seem like the first choice for cleaning windows, but blue Dawn dishwashing liquid is one of the best products to remove dirt and grime from your windows, inside and out. To be most effective, squeeze one drop of the dawn soap into a spray bottle and fill it the rest of the way with warm water. Shake the solution to incorporate the Dawn and spray window; use a paper towel, newspaper, or a squeegee to wipe off the solution.
Why newspaper? Well, no one’s sure exactly why it works, but newspaper leaves fewer streaks than normal paper towels. Maybe it’s the material newspaper is made of (the fibers are potentially more rigid, leaving less lint) or the texture (some think it’s more gritty and can cut through dirt, while being super absorbent to soak up the cleaner); either way, professionals agree it works!
Step 2: Rain-X
Rain-X is a product originally created for car windshields. Not only does it help keep the windshield clean, it ‘repels’ water, which helps rain run down the windshield in droplets instead of collecting on the glass and blurring the vision of the driver. Well, it works just as well on outdoor house windows, keeping rain rolling off (instead of drying, leaving water spots) and also keeps dirt from sticking to the glass. After you’ve cleaned the windows with the Dawn, make sure they’re completely dry and spray the Rain-X on the window (only the exterior side!). Once the glass is covered by a fine mist, wipe off with a paper towel or newspaper in a circular motion, or use a squeegee for maximum effectiveness.
Step 3: Rain-X 2-in-1
For the internal side of the windows, Rain-X isn’t your best option - instead, another product made by the same company, Rain X 2-in-1, will do the trick. Similar to Rain-X Original, the 2-in-1 is a glass cleaner and water repellent all in one solution and will give you the streak-free shine you want (especially once the outside of the windows are sparkling clean!). Make sure the windows have completely dried from the blue dawn solution and spray a fine mist of the solution on the window; then, again, wipe with a paper towel or newspaper, or go ahead with a squeegee. Once you’ve wiped the solution from the windows, you’ll be able to enjoy the bright summer sun outdoors or indoors with clean, streak-free windows!