With the approaching holidays, we're all looking for a shortcut or two, and when it involves cleaning, well, you've come to the right place! Don't get me wrong, my house is usually somewhere between needs a really good vacuuming and filthy squalor. It is never really and truly clean, and if it ever would be, it wouldn't last 30 minutes. But that doesn't stop me from trying. And those "trying" times usually occur right before Christmas, and sometime in the Spring if I'm really motivated. Everything else is just maintenance cleaning.
So right about now, I'm trying to get the house whipped into shape, and once again, I'm faced with 108 panes of Andersen window glass. Yes, you read right. 27 casement windows, front and back and the front and back of the storm panes as well. Not enough for you? Okay, add in a triple-sliding glass door, front and back, and 6 floor-to-ceiling panes, each one 4 feet across. I think they call them picture windows? I call them torture. Anyway, lots of glass. And with a southern exposure on most of it, that streak-free shine is tough to come by.
So here's my cleaning tip. Ditch the Windex. Nothing but crap. Forget wadded up newspaper, forget water mixed with vinegar. You want sparkly windows with no streaks, go to your local gas station and pick up a gallon of windshield washer fluid for $1.00. Voila! Get a clean rag or some paper towels and go to town! And the best thing, it takes like half the time because the washer fluid isn't greasy-feeling like Windex is, so it wipes away quicker. And it works well in all weather - and in bright sunshine.
How did I find this out? Sheer desperation. Those huge picture windows were just too much. We finally got a squeegee like the pros use, and I didn't have much Windex left in my bottle, so I spied the washer fluid sitting there in the garage, and dumped it into a bucket. Necessity truly is the mother of invention!
Oh, and one more tip. As a first step, get an old dish towel, wet it with plain water, wring it out well and wipe down the windows with that first. It removes the worst of the gunk that causes streaks in the first place, and loosens up stuff like bug poop and squashed bugs and the residue from the random bird vs. window crashes. Let that dry, and then just use the fluid to shine and sparkle.
Happy Cleaning! May all your windows be streak-free. This has been a public service announcement from the Society to Destroy Substances that Claim to Clean Windows But Really Don't. Have fun!