Best Way to Clean Windows and Mirrors

7 Materials
4 Hours

How to clean windows without streaks has always been a struggle for me. A big struggle! I have looked up a crazy amount of cleaning hacks, tips, and tricks to help me clean my windows.

Under my kitchen sink, I have a cabinet full of window cleaning products that just do not work for me and I have tried a number of home remedy ideas with vinegar, rubbing alcohol...I think one even had bleach. You name it, I tried it! What happens is right after I clean them, they look AMAZING! I check them out from all angles. I look at them from the inside and the outside and I think, I finally got this! BUT...once the afternoon sun hits my sliding glass doors, it's Smearville and my heart sinks all over again!Why do you hate me sun?

What about mirrors?

Usually, Windex works well on mirrors, but we have a cloudy mirror situation in our master bathroom that I have been fighting with for four years! I clean it and again, I think I got this, but it seems the smear just moves to a different location. Very frustrating! I've tried different paper towels, microfiber cloths and don't even get me started on newspapers! I was ready to give up.

Is there a window cleaning solution?

So you might be wondering if there actually is a window and mirror cleaning solution. I'm here to tell you that I have found the answer to make your windows and mirrors streak-free and they will sparkle!Where did I finally find the answer? The answer is my 91-year-old aunt! Aunt Rose had the answer all these years and I didn't even know it!To meet Aunt Rose and see how I FINALLY found out about this, you can go to my blog!

Pre-cleaning Prep

Before you get started, you want to prepare your cleaning solutions! Pull out two buckets.Bucket 1:Add a squirt or two of dish soap and fill with warm to hot water. Don’t go crazy with the dish soap, you don’t want to be fighting soap build up.

Bucket 2:Add a cup of vinegar and fill with warm to hot water. How much vinegar you put in doesn’t really matter. I usually wing it and if I can smell it, it’s good. 

Step 1: Start cleaning those windows!Take a clean rag, put it in the soapy bucket, and wring out the excess water. Run it all over your window and make sure to get into those corners. This step breaks down any dirt, grease, and dust on the window. This is equally important inside and out. 

Step 2:  Break out the vinegar.Soak the second rag in the vinegar bucket. You don’t have to completely wring it out, it can stay a little wetter. Run it over the window you just cleaned with the dish soap. The vinegar breaks down the soap and won’t leave any kind of film. 

Step 3: Squeegee and ZepI like to squeegee the excess vinegar water off the window, but you can just use a clean rag instead. It doesn’t need to be completely dry before you spray the window generously with the Zep and immediately use the microfiber cloth to wipe it down. Make sure to wipe it down until it is dry. Don’t let it air dry. Again, make sure you get into all of the corners.

Windows? What windows? I don’t see any windows.That is it! Not a streak in sight!After I successfully cleaned the windows, I decided to tackle the mirror the same way. 

How do you clean mirrors without streaks?After I successfully cleaned the windows, I decided to tackle the mirror the same way. The only thing you want to be wary of when cleaning a mirror is you don’t want to get it overly wet. If you get water or cleaning solutions accumulating on the edges, it wears at the edges and you get that dreaded black edge. If you ever get the edge of a mirror wet, be sure to dry it immediately, don’t let it sit wet. When I cleaned the mirror, I just made sure that I wrung out both rags really well before applying them to the mirror.I hope that helps! For more tips, how to clean window tracks and screens, and how to clean and vinyl windows, be sure to head over to my blog!

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Mona  ~ Craft Klatch
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 9 questions
  • Jerseysuek Jerseysuek on Feb 10, 2021

    Why use a commercial cleaner, Zep? The vinegar should dry streak free. If you need to use it make it. It's ammonia based and there are recipes on the net like window cleaners are.

  • Nancy K Nancy K on Feb 10, 2021

    Why do you use the dish soap water and vinegar water steps if you are going to use Zep? Isn’t Zep supposed to be good for windows by itself?

  • Lailasultani Lailasultani on Mar 21, 2022

    What’s the use of zep?

Join the conversation
2 of 11 comments
  • MEG MEG on Mar 20, 2021

    I use the window cleaner (auto window cleaner) a gal. is $1.-$2.00 and lasts me a few years. I put it in a spray bottle. Use "crumpled up news paper" (I know a lot of people do not have newsprint any more), to shine the windows and mirrors. Use dry news paper and refresh when gets wet. Be careful tho, if you are up against the frame, as the black may smear onto the frame. Your fingers will get black from the news print. I learned this method 40 years ago when a professional co. came to my work to clean our large building. SHINES up very nicely!~

  • Dina mattas Dina mattas on Jul 30, 2021

    I use 1:1 vinegar and water in a spray bottle and wipe over with a clean cloth. Always dries streak free and spotless. I got this tip from a hairdresser years ago.