Using vinegar to clean windows is still the best way to streak-free glass

Your grandparents’ technique of using vinegar to clean windows is still a winner. Here’s why it brings them up brilliantly

person cleaning windows with vinegar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Using vinegar to clean windows like back in the olden days? Yup, the old ways really can be the best, and it’s definitely the case when it comes to cleaning windows. What’s more, you can probably get cracking whenever you want, as you’ve likely got what you need in the store cupboard already.

And, of course, if you’re a fan of non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning solutions, this method of getting clean and streak-free windows will float your boat. Vinegar’s anti-bacterial, too.

Why’s vinegar effective as a window cleaner? It’ll break down the accumulated film on the window. So, if you’re convinced, here’s what you need to do.

You can find our best window cleaning products in our buyer's guide, too.

How to clean your windows with vinegar

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water, and add two tablespoons of white vinegar.
  2. Wearing rubber gloves, use a sponge to wipe the solution on to the window. Make sure you only apply it to the glass and avoid the frames.
  3. Rinse with clean water.
  4. Using a squeegee is key for good results. Work from the top of the window downwards, and wipe the edge of the squeegee with a lint-free cloth after each pass down the window.
  5. Buff glass with a microfibre cloth to ensure the window is completely streak-free.

The window-cleaning rules for a streak-free finish with vinegar

  • Remember that you shouldn’t clean your windows when the sun is shining directly on them, as the heat can cause the water to dry into spots or streaks.
  • Make sure the frames and sills are clean before you start.
  • Did your grandparents buff the windows with newspaper? It does work if you haven’t got a microfibre cloth handy.
  • Air the room when you’re done – the smell of vinegar probably isn’t what you want hanging around.

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