How to Get Streak-Free Windows

How to Get Streak-Free Windows

On the quest for streak-free windows, you’ve spent hours spraying and scrubbing. You’ve gone through bottles of cleaner and rolls of paper towels.

You’re covered in sweat and grime, but at least you finally have the satisfaction of finishing the job. You sit on the couch with an ice-cold drink and look at your finished product. The sun shines in, and you notice—so many streaks.

Today, we’ve got the comprehensive guide on how to clean your windows without streaks, so you never have to experience that again.

Let’s dive in!

streaky window

Why do streaks happen?

No, it’s not the universe cursing your hard work. Streaks happen because some sort of residue has dried on your window.

In most cases, some of your cleaning solution is left behind by whatever cloth you’re using. But it could also be a lot of other things—minerals in your water, dirt or dust left behind, lint from your towel, etc.

How do we avoid those factors?

Start with Removing Excess Dirt

The easiest place to start is by removing excess dirt and dust that have settled on your window.

You might normally be tempted to dive right in with a bottle of spray cleaner, but that’ll get bogged down by the amount of dirt on and around your window.

On the exterior of your home, spray down your windows with a basic sprayer hose nozzle.

On the interior, grab the upholstery attachment on your vacuum and suck dust off the window hardware and surrounding area.

Problem Spots

If you’re noticing major problem spots, like a build up from minerals in your water or a sticker that seems to have fused to the glass, take care of those first.

Spray some un-diluted vinegar on problem areas and let it sit for a few minutes. The vinegar will break down the stain, so you can wipe it up.

For something stubborn or sticky, use a scraper held at a 45 degree to gently scrape it off. Make sure to be careful and go slow so you don’t scratch the glass.

The Solution

Your solution to streaks depends on a new cleaning solution.

Stop reaching for the spray bottle of basic glass cleaner. That cheap spray bottle doesn’t spray evenly, and the solution dries so fast that you’re almost guaranteed to have streaks.

Instead, make an easy solution at home that’s also a lot cheaper!

water bucket

If you’re a fan of all the ways you can use vinegar, one good solution is 50% water, 50% vinegar. Or if you like something a little sudsier, mix a gallon of water with a little bit (less than a tablespoon) of dish soap.

Some tips on the water:

  • Water from your tap isn’t necessarily pure. It can have minerals in it that dry to form streaks. Use distilled water for the best results.
  • Some homeowners claim to have better luck with warm water, so test to see what you like more.

The Tools

To achieve the dream of streak-free windows, you need tools that won’t leave lint or any solution behind.

To initially scrub the window, grab a sponge or a lint-free cloth (microfiber works well).

But the real magic comes when you get a squeegee. Squeegees (along with being fun to say) are a true game changer at removing all the cleaning solution so you don’t get streaks.

A tip on the tools:

streak free windows

Smiling mid adult worker cleaning soap sud on glass window with squeegee

The Process for Streak-Free Windows

You can save the sunny days for having fun, because this process is best done on a cloudy, overcast day. You don’t want the solution drying on you before you’re ready, so it’s bad to have the sun shining down.

Complete this entire process with one side of one window before moving on to the next:

  1. Saturate your sponge/cloth in your bucket of cleaning solution and squeeze it out so it’s not dripping wet.
  2. Scrub down every inch of the glass, making sure to get the edges.
  3. Before the solution dries on the window, use your squeegee and make horizontal passes to remove the solution. Between each pass, dry off the squeegee with a microfiber cloth. Overlap the passes a little bit to make sure you’re not missing any spots.
  4. Wipe up any excess water that’s dripped on the frame or sill to prevent water damage.
  5. Repeat with both sides of each window.

streaky window

*If you have windows that are high up, either tilt the sashes in to clean the outside of the glass or consider hiring professionals if you’re not comfortable getting up on a ladder.

Twice a Year to Stay Clean

If this sounds like a lot of work to you, know that, after a major initial cleaning to get them up to par, you only need to do it about twice a year.

The spring and the fall are easy times to fit this in to your cleaning schedule.

If you want to make it easier to get streak-free windows by starting off with a new window, contact us. We can schedule a free in-home estimate to go over gorgeous options for your home.


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