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10 Window Cleaning Tips from a Pro

Save time, money and energy with these tips and pointers from someone who cleans windows for a living. Here's how to get streak-free windows every time.

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Windows cleaning, glass without smudges red squeegee; Shutterstock ID 123204070; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM):

Two scrubbers are better than one

Use two different scrubbers—one for inside and one for outside—so you don’t carry pollutants and bird excrement inside.

More smart cleaning hacks for everyday messes.

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macro shot of dish soap being squeezed onto green sponge in aluminum sink; Shutterstock ID 57254341; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHJim Barber/Shutterstock

Liquid dish detergent rules

Any kitchen dish liquid cleans dirt and leaves the glass slippery so your squeegee glides with ease. A 100-percent biodegradable soap will protect sensitive plants outside. Inside it will protect toddlers and pets who put their mouth on the windows or sills.

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Chemical free home cleaner products concept. Using natural destilled white vinegar in spray bottle to remove stains. Tools on wooden table, green bokeh background, copy space.; Shutterstock ID 1296110344; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHFotoHelin/Shutterstock

Vinegar works, too

If you prefer to use natural cleaning products, vinegar is a viable choice for cleaning windows. Vinegar (acetic acid) cuts grease and doesn’t streak which makes it ideal for cleaning glass. We recommend a solution of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent tap water.

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Taste of Home

Oh, oh, oh it’s magic

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Overhead shot of a paint can lid, opener, color samples and paint brush on a rustic wooden surface. Horizontal format with copy space. ; Shutterstock ID 242845189; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHSteve Cukrov/Shutterstock

Dual-purpose paint can opener

A paint can opener is the perfect tool for popping out window screens.

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Window, Cleaning, Window Washer.; Shutterstock ID 274578671; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHBillion Photos/Shutterstock

New blade = no streaks

A 12- to 14-inch squeegee is a good size for most situations. Put in a new rubber blade after each cleaning to prevent streaks.

You should never mix these common cleaning products.

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Housewife cleaning and polish electric cooker. Black shiny surface of kitchen top, hands with foam, glass scraper, bottle of cleaning agent; Shutterstock ID 675139813; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHbrizmaker/Shutterstock

New blade = no scratches

A razor blade removes paint overspray and gunk. Keep the glass wet and use a new blade each time. Microscopic rust particles on the blade can scratch the glass.

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Hands with spray cleaning the window; Shutterstock ID 169518110; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Details matter

Carry two detailing rags—one for dirty jobs like sills and the other for detailing the edges of the glass.

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Grevenmacher, Luxembourg - May 12, 2018: wire wool; Shutterstock ID 1103122832; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHWeho/Shutterstock

Steel wool for tough stains

If you need to remove tree sap, adhesive residue or other tenacious stains from your windows, try #0000 (4 ought) steel wool. Lubricate the glass with a spritz of window cleaner and buff away the stains with a wad of super-fine steel wool.

Use steel wool to restore a rusted cast-iron skillet.

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Car Glass polishing with power buffer machine. CAR CARE images. closeup Useful as background for design-works.; Shutterstock ID 89574067; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHMy Life Graphic/Shutterstock

Bring out the power tools

Scrub away the toughest stains on glass with a small buffing wheel and a mild abrasive (Soft Scrub, Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami). When you’re working near the window sash, protect it with masking tape.

Now that you’ve tackled the windows, check out how to clean the rest of your living room here.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman