Cleaning Windows & Mirrors ( Without Streaks)

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Cleaning the windows in our home is a job that is easy to put off, with any excuse, its raining, or another job takes priority.

It can be time consuming , there are quite a few windows and patio doors. I am pretty short, so it usually involves grabbing a ladder too. We have the added issue of a field next to us, which can often bring over a ton of dust as the farmer rotovates .


My grandmother and mother have always used a mixture of water and vinegar, using newspapers to clean off the windows to make them sparkle. I have seen some articles saying that newspaper hasn’t got the same qualities it once had for buffing up the glass ( there are mixed reviews on this, worth a try though).

I looked at other tips to achieve a clean streak free window and mirror.

Since then along with some other tips below, I have heard of using washing up liquid ( often Dawn Dish liquid is mentioned) to remove stubborn dirt before your window cleaner or your DIY one.

I haven’t seen this brand in France as yet, but maybe a dish soap without a ton of chemicals as Dawn is supposed to be more natural. Also suggest starting with Baking soda, then a rinse followed by vinegar and water mixture. I think this would clean any grime off. I love crystal clear windows.

We have a house with windows in the roof, it is always interesting trying to clean those windows, as we a load of small geckos travelling across our roof and walls. Often when we open a roof window, we can get one falling inside the house, they move so quickly they can be hard to catch!

FAV FAMILY RECIPES – Has yet another mixture for hard to clean windows, using rubbing alcohol, ammonia , liquid dish detergent. Recipe is on the link.

TIPS BULLETIN have” 6 different recipes for a homemade streak free window cleaner.

 Using white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, corn starch, essential oils and water, similar to other recipes below. A great tip from the link is that you can use this mixture on your oven door glass too. ( that has to be the worst job when cleaning your oven! )

Again a mixture of vinegar or lemon juice and water. Often the first thing I grab in our home. One recipe they give is a mixture of ammonia and cornstarch and water (on link) I personally don’t like the the fumes from ammonia . If your windows are really grimy, especially outside it would be worth a go.

A mixture of – Water, cider vinegar , rubbing alcohol and orange essential oil is one recommendation by WINDOW SPARKLE Which they say is great for windows and mirrors, I guess that the essential oil can be changed to a scent that you prefer.

I came across another window cleaning recipe with Castile soap ( like Dr Bonners)  Put one tablespoon of the soap in a quart of water to Clean the worst of the grime then rinse it off with some soda water and buff up with newspaper.


Photo by Maria Orlova on

It is great to have the access inside to clean your windows easily, even if it entails a ladder ( if you are short like me!) But how do you reach those windows that are too high? Or if you are living in an apartment building?

We have problems here due to the Velux type windows in the roof, which are great for light, but are still hard to reach even when you open them, due to the length of the glass.

There seem to be a few ideas for these problems now on the market. One is the Magnetic window cleaner like these There seem to be a whole range of these on the market , from a normal oblong shape double sided cleaner, some with an angle shape to allow it to reach the corners of the glass ( they have a string to stop you losing the outside cleaner), to a robot type that cleans the glass for you.

If you can manage to clean any dust or insects from the window first, it is much easier to clean the glass with one of these tools.

If you are able to reach the outside windows with a squeegee as used by professional cleaners ( they make it look so easy) on a pole or telescopic pole with a mop . Maybe for taller windows this may work well . These can be difficult to use as they are heavy to manipulate. We have tried these plus the ladder! We were able recently to purchase a very long spray cleaner , we have photo volvic panels that are just as hard to reach, dirty panels can impact the amount of energy they can save.


Photo by Pixabay on

Shower Doors are always a bit of a challenge with soap scum and hard water marks . If you would rather not use a toxic window product , here are some other ideas for cleaning the glass shower doors.

A Simple DIY method is cup of water mixed with half white vinegar plus a little dish soap like Dawn. As mentioned below, be careful using vinegar or lemon juice if you have a stone tiles in your shower.

I have seen a mixture of one part dish soap to vinegar for really tough soap scum. For a lighter soap scum a mixture of lemon juice and water. I was watching a program the other day, the lady was using a cut lemon with some bicarbonate on the glass, I haven’t tried this as yet. As always do a test patch first. The last thing you want is to scratch the surface of your glass or chrome fittings.

A quick test on your glass to make sure you don’t use anything that could scratch the surface. A good buff up with a soft cloth.

A little Bicarbonate of soda on a soft damp cloth for hard water or soap areas, rinse and buff ( again check it will not scratch glass the glass.) I have used this method cleaning the toilet too.

Using a couple of drops of essential oil will make the whole bathroom smell amazing.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Finding safe cleaning products to use in your shower is important. If you haven’t managed to rinse off all the product used, you could be inhaling these chemicals when you are standing in the shower! Steam is great, but not with toxic chemicals.

Now we can all use microfiber cloths which really help buff up windows and mirrors.


Aspen Clean Bathroom Cleaner, Lavender & Lime

PURACY – Cleaning Products – more below

BIOKLEEN – These come up as a B rating on EWG for their biokleen Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner, Lavender Lime.

CLEANING MIRRORS ( How to Get a Hazy & Streak Free Finish )

Photo by Nadine Wuchenauer on

Cleaning mirrors with a mixture of water and white vinegar is often all it takes for a streak free finish. I have seen recipes for equal amounts of water and vinegar or one part vinegar to two parts water. Using a  lint-free cloth to buff it up, or back to the newspaper again.


If the mixture of vinegar and water won’t remove the haze, try a little rubbing alcohol to clear the mirror.

Keeping to the mirror, being careful of the frame. Using either newspaper or lint free cloth to buff it up.


I wanted to give some options for products that are safer to use around our homes, some of these are listed below.

NATURAL LIMESCALE REMOVER by ECOGURUS   for windows, PVC  with apple cider vinegar .

Our water here is really hard, to find a safer way of removing the Limescale, would be great, some of the products on the market for removing limescale smell very strong and often have the warning signs for toxic ingredients on the product. Water scale not only looks dirty but must catch bacteria in the rough surface.

BRANCH BASICS – I love the story on how this company came into being. It is a really inspirational journey for three women, two of them with health issues.

By throwing out toxic cleaning products from their homes and eating healthy it has changed their lives and helped many people in their own homes. Their products are plant based and have passed the ‘Made Safe‘ Recommendation .A List of their ingredients from the website

What I love about this website is that they give you a video guideline on how to ‘Toss The Toxins’ and just how to go about this and what to do step by step. They start by removing all synthetic fragranced products in the home.

SEVENTH GENERATION – This company make a number of products, I have seen them advertising fairly heavily on TV in the recent past. They do make a glass and mirror formulation . This has been rated on EWG as a C which has some concerns , found on the link.

PURACY Plant based products – They have a Multi Surface Cleaner which also cleans glass and is rated an A on EWG they seem to have a lot of personal care soaps, some are rated as low in concerns, others with a slight caution ( EWG).

Aspen Clean Glass Cleaner, Lime– This is the only one that is an actual EWG verified product, also voted best glass cleaner by parent magazine. Plant based and can be used in the septic tank, which always a good one for us here. They use organic essential oils to fragrance their products.

ATTITUDE EWG Listings are good they have a whole range of cleaning and personal care products. There is a link here to their website This a company based in Canada, love the ethics of what they use in their products. They also have a commitment to planting trees. They also carry a number of products that have been EWG verified