As some of you may already know, vinegar is often used in combination with other products to form an all-purpose cleaning solution in any household. This cheap home staple can help us have sparkling windows without buying a bag of expensive window cleaning products. Some describe it as a miraculous cleaning product. It has anti-bacterial properties and it’s completely non-toxic.
It is effective to different types of dirt and stains and it can be applied effectively at different surfaces. It destroys all the germs and leaves the windows with an excellent shine. If we don’t want streaks to appear, vinegar is our powerful partner against dirty windows. We should focus especially on the most visible grimy spots.
It’s called distilled vinegar or simply white vinegar. Vinegar is a unique multi-purpose cleaning solution. Since it has an acidic composition, vinegar has a quick action in breaking down the thin film that collects on glass surfaces. It’s most often combined with baking soda for different cleaning purposes.
When we add vinegar to our window cleaning solution we will get a perfectly clean and streak-free result. Remember that glass streaks are caused by residue left by common chemical cleaning products.
Vinegar is very effective for cleaning streaks. It can be used for different types of windows. It’s most commonly used for cleaning glass. Vinegar can be used for cleaning smaller windows on the inside and bigger windows on the outside. We can use a combination of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning window tracks and this can help us avoid smearing the accumulated dirt or dust.
Benefits of cleaning windows with vinegar
One of the benefits of vinegar is that it’s completely natural and it brings no risk for allergies when used for cleaning compared to the mass market window cleaning detergents . It’s completely unharmful which is a real advantage for those of you who has kids. When accidentally ingested or inhaled it won’t cause health problems. It’s economic when compared to the other mass market chemical cleaning solutions.
Cleaning solution recipes with vinegar
For those of you who are using vinegar for window cleaning for the first time or haven’t washed your windows in a while, it’s recommended to mix a slightly stronger vinegar solution for your first try. For slight dirt amount of dirt on our windows we can use the following solution: mix two cups of 480 ml water, ¼ cup (around 60 ml) white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and ½ teaspoon (around 2.5 ml) of dishwashing detergent.
Basic vinegar solution
If you often use vinegar for cleaning your windows, then you can opt for a more basic solution for your cleaning needs. Mix 1 cup (around 240 ml) of water with approximately 1 cup (240 ml) of vinegar.
You should use straight vinegar. If your windows are really dirty, it’s good to use an extra strength solution to wash them. Just warm 1 cup (240 mL) of white vinegar. It can be applied directly to the glass and it’s best to use a spray bottle for this specific solution. In case our windows are covered with much dirt, we should leave this solution to soak just for a minute before rinsing it.
How to clean large and small windows with vinegar?
How to clean small windows?
Before starting the clean up process we should prepare the area for cleaning. We should remove any dust on the window by using a towel or a paper cloth. By removing this layer of dust we won’t start uselessly moving dust around the window afterwards.
Depending on how dirty your windows are, select the strength of your solution. It’s really effective to use spray bottle for small windows because it enables us to spray a small area which you can easily dry before continuing on with the next window.
If there are tiny objects left on the window, we should remove them beforehand and avoid getting them wet with the vinegar which will make them more difficult for cleaning. It’s convenient to put a bath towel on the windowsill or the floor under our windows so that any solution that drips will fall on it. Use a solution of vinegar and water and put it in a spray bottle.
Spray a mist on the window’s entire surface that we want to clean. If we are cleaning more than one window, we should spray the vinegar only the first window. Use a cloth to rub the solution on the entire glass surface. A lint-free towel is preferable but a paper towel will do the job too if we don’t own lint-free towel. We should try to work quickly with the cloth to avoid getting streaks.
Use a microfiber cloth to dry the window’s entire surface. Do this after drying the entire surface with lint-free towel. The more vigorously and quickly we work with the drying towel, the less streaks will appear. Avoid using towels that contain lint such as standard dish or hand towels because they cause the appearance of streaks. We can use paper towel or newspaper instead.
How to clean large or outdoor windows with vinegar?
Pour a mixture of vinegar and water in a bucket. If our windows are large in size we will need more cleaning solution with vinegar of course. The needed cleaning solution is too much to fit in a spray bottle so we need a middle-size bucket. You can use the solution recipes we have mentioned above depending on how dirty your windows are.
If you are planning to clean outside windows use a hose first to rinse them to remove any excess dirt. We may need to spray some areas if there is visible caked on dirt. Prepare a soapy solution and use it to quickly clean your windows before starting to work with the vinegar solution. This should be done especially if there is a lot of accumulated grime on the outside of our windows. This will make the cleaning with vinegar solution much easier afterwards.
If we find out some pretty stubborn dirt spots, we can try scrubbing them. For this job we should better use a sponge or a mop head. Avoid using steel wool or other abrasive cleaning tool as this can scratch your windows. After washing the windows, use the hose to rinse them again.
Use the vinegar and water solution by using a sponge on the window’s surface. We should use a sponge to apply the vinegar solution on one of the windows’ surface. You can scrub on certain left dirty spots if you want to.
Dip the sponge in the bucket and rub with it the entire glass of the window. Similarly to larger windows, working quickly with the sponge will not lead to any streaks. In this case we can use a scrub brush that is connected to a multi-purpose extension pole. It is fitted with a threaded end on which brushes can be screwn. This allows us to clean hard to reach upper story windows or the top side of tall first story windows.
If we want to clean large inside windows we should use a spray bottle or a hose to finish the rinsing quickly.
Use a squeegee to dry the moist surface of the windows quickly. Squeegee is perfect for cleaning large windows as we don’t need to use a lot of towels. The quicker we work, the less streaks will appear. Use the squeegee to dry the entire surface of the window as quickly as you can.
After we finish drying with the squeegee we should now get a microfiber cloth to wipe the moisture left on the corners of the windows and rub the vinegar solution. Use the microfiber cloth to rub at those places where we see they start being covered with streaks before continuing with the next window.
Using vinegar to clean window tracks
If we want to clean window tracks, the first step is to sprinkle just a small amount of baking soda. For one window track we should use just one or two tablespoon of baking soda. When we add vinegar this will enhance the easy removal of any dirt off the window tracks avoiding the need to try to wipe the dirt and smear it around.
The next step is to use the vinegar. We should use just a small amount of it. The result will be a fizz when the vinegar comes into contact with the baking soda. Remember that you shouldn’t let it fizz for too long and go over the top of the window track. We can even open the window screen to let the excess run outside.
For removing stubborn dirt on the window’s tracks we can use a q-tip to rub the dirt in order to loosen it. This will make it mix with the vinegar and baking soda mixture and help it become more easy for removing.
The final step is to put paper towels in the track to soak the baking soda and the vinegar. This step should be repeated twice depending on the level of dirtiness of our windows. We may need to wipe the window tracks with paper towel too.