Homemade window cleaning solution

Funny story, but first a disclaimer: do not judge me for this.

I have now lived in my house for two years. My backyard is finally done, and that used to be my excuse as to why my windows were filthy. Why would I spend my time and effort to clean my windows when the backyard was dirt, ya know? Well, for Mother’s day, my hubby asked me what I wanted, and I told him that I wanted the windows professionally cleaned. He thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.

Man, isn’t it funny how I can be totally thrifty in one area and then be sooooo lazy about washing my own windows for almost two years? My neighbor’s window guy came over and gave me a quote and it would have only been about $90.00 for the whole house (inside and out). My husband would not let me do it. Granted, I was just being lazy, and I totally knew it.

So, he tried to clean them for me. I even tried to clean them and both of us made them look TERRIBLE. There were just way too much dirt to make a difference. So, I bought the Windex outdoor cleaner that you hook to your hose for like $10.00. It was terrible too. It didn’t work.

Well, the other day I decided to attack the windows. Basically I got off my high horse and did it. I was surprised how great they turned out.

I used a recipe for a homemade cleaning solution that I found here and it worked fabulously. The entire back of my house only took me about 20 minutes. Why did I think it was going to be so hard?

Here is the recipe that I used:
1 gallon of hot water (in a bucket)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 t. of liquid dish soap

The windows were bad enough that they needed to be scrubbed with a scrub brush first with the solution. I used my husband’s car washing brush since it had a long pole attached to it. It came in handy to reach the top of the windows.

 I then used a squeegee to finish the job. Londyn (my three year old daughter) helped me. :) To prevent streaking, I wiped down the squeegee in between uses with paper towels.

It looked a million times better than it did before, and it literally took me 20 minutes.

Lesson learned. DON’T BE LAZY, Brooke!!!!  (yes, that is me yelling at myself).

Comments

  1. 1

    Wow! Those look great! My outside windows seriously need some TLC, so I'll have to try this. I have a tip for you for the inside! For interior windows and mirrors, us club soda! I put mine in a squirt bottle, spray it on, and wipe off just like any other glass cleaner. Seriously works, without streaks! Crazy, huh?

  2. 2

    Christina,
    Thanks for the tip about club soda! I will definitely try that. :)

  3. 3

    darn… now I don't have an excuse anymore… I hate doing windows! :) Great post!!

  4. 4

    My husband used to wash people's windows as a side job as a teenager and all he used was a little liquid dawn with water, a soft scrubber brush (like what you used), and a squeegee. He would use vinegar for hard water stains. That's what the professionals often use too.

    Now since he knows how to do this and even has a nice ladder, you'd wonder why my windows haven't been washed in 2 years either.

  5. 5

    This makes me actually WANT to go out and wash my windows!

  6. 6

    Thanks for the tip Brooke. I just washed half of my outside windows and the hard water from the sprinklers didn't come off so I quit. I'll try your recipe and maybe it will work. I love, love, love shiny clean windows.

  7. 7

    A great reminder – I have a pristine squeegee in the garage I bought when I moved in…3 years ago. :/ After these summer dust storms/haboobs, my windows are grotty!

    I've used this formula before for indoors, but added a spoon of cornstarch.

  8. 8

    Thank you for the homemade solution. I have been thinking about cleaning my windows the last couple of days. So I guess this is a sign that I need to do it today. I'm not even sure when my windows have been washed on the outside. 3 years perhaps or more. Yuck. Thank you so much.

  9. 9
    Susan Sutherlin says:

    Wow, what great timing. This is also on my to-do list following a back yard minor remodel. Thanks for the recipe, I'm going to try it out!

    Susan
    http://www.susansutherlin.blogspot.com

  10. 10

    Hey Brooke, It was good to see you the other day. (at jen's) :) Your little guy is adorable! This is so on my to do list! I'm the same way, thrifty in most ways but I meant it when I said I would pay someone to recover a chair. (SCARY) haha But I would never pay to have windows cleaned or other such things. So thanks for the tip!

  11. 11
    banclothing says:

    This is something I definitely need to do. Thanks for the recipe I will have to give it a try!

  12. 12

    I just washed the exterior of my french doors that our dog likes to jump on when she tries to get our attention. My husband told me a great trick to use that works great with windex. Instead of going through a roll of paper towels to clean the windows or mirrors… use newspaper! It doesn't leave streaks and you're using a recyclable product! Your hands do get stained from the ink afterwards if you don't wear gloves, but it's easy to just wash off with dawn dish soap. It's the only thing I'll ever use.

  13. 13

    Thanks for the tip about club soda! Thanks for the recipe I will have to give it a try!

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  14. 14

    Thanks for the recipe, I will make sure to try it! I have a tip for you too: I use old dish towels to wipe down my squeegee and put them in with my laundry afterwards.
    Enjoy your clean windows,
    Sue

  15. 15

    Good job, I've lived in my house for over 4 years and still have never cleaned my windows. The neighbor cleans the windows she can see from her house. Should have embarrassed me to get it done, but no, still dirty windows.

  16. 16

    Brooke you kill me. your windows look amazing. Keep that solution for your indoor cleaning too. I also pour a bit of vinegar into my dishwasher and the glasses turn out awesome!!!

  17. 17

    I'm going to try this myself! Thanks for sharing :)

  18. 18

    The day I read this post, I got off the chair and immediately went outside to clean the windows that I had been procrastinating all summer long. Thank you for your little bit of inspiration! :)

  19. 19

    Ugh, our windows are so dirty. I haven't washed them because I'd have to remove all the screens….maybe I need to add that to my honey-do list.

  20. 20

    Inspiring! I use car gallon window solution. But dilute it 4 times. Talk about a cost comparison. I use my winded sprayer, fill it 1/4 full and water to the top.

  21. 21

    Super lovely blog!

    xoxo,

    colormenana.blogspot.com

  22. 22

    With windows on my mind I put Wash Windows on our saturday to do list.. and guess what… Hubby actually did it! Then he decided to use the same solution to clean our glass on our shower.. beautiful. Then he took straight vinegar and used the same window washing brush thingy and rubbed down the walls of the shower then washed and squeegeed them… Soap scum, gone! I'll never buy that expensive spray stuff and sit there and scrub the shower walls again.

  23. 23

    Can you come do mine for me? :)

  24. 24
    Linda Brandis says:

    And if you really want your windows to shine, with no streaks, add a couple of tablespoons of corn starch to the mix. I’ve used this trick for years! Beautiful.

  25. 25

    Thank you so much for sharing this. We just had our house power washed & repainted and it really did a number on the windows. To say they were filthy is an understatement. Since the frames were repainted we were told not to use cleaner with alcohol in it and I had a disastrous result with a spray cleaner and window rags. I was ready to cry after spending hours on them. Then I found your recipe and added the little cornstarch another commenter mentioned, got a good squeegee and it was amazing. So fast and such a great result. Pinning this to refer back to and making this my new to-go window cleaner!

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