How To Clean Windows

A simple guide to cleaning windows, blinds, and window sills in your home using budget-friendly, non-toxic and natural homemade cleaners.

I must admit that cleaning windows is one of the cleaning tasks that I regularly neglected in my home when the kids were younger. It was a hopeless cause to want to have sparkling clean windows when there were curious little fingers around. Purely for my own sanity I stopped worrying about having perfectly clean windows inside, but when they were clean they looked so good! I recently installed new plantation shutters in my bedroom (you can see my DIY project here) and it was a great excuse to get in and give my windows a good clean. Here’s my tips for how to get gorgeously streak-free windows without using chemicals or nasty toxins.

DIY Homemade window glass cleaner

How Often To Clean The Windows

I don’t spend too much time cleaning my windows. Instead of adding window clean to my weekly cleaning routine I do it while talking on the phone as I find it hard to sit still, or when I’m waiting for dinner to finish cooking (if it’s still daylight, so I can see the marks on the windows). This is how often I clean particular windows:

  • high traffic areas ie. living room sliding doors – regularly when I have time – 1-2 weeks
  • kitchen – 2-4 weeks
  • living areas – 3-4 months (seasonally)
  • bedrooms – 3-4 months (seasonally)
  • all other areas – 6-12 months


Koala Eco Glass Cleaner

This Australian Peppermint Oil Glass Cleaner by Koala Eco cuts through film and polishes windows, glass doors and mirrors to smear-free perfection while discouraging dust from re-settling.

This 100 % biodegradable and eco-friendly plant derived formula effortlessly cleans, removes bacteria and deodorises, without the need for toxic chemicals.

AVAILABLE IN MY SHOP HERE


Homemade Window Cleaning Spray

I don’t use anything fancy to clean my windows, just a simple homemade window cleaning spray I make using an ingredient you’ll probably already have in your pantry – plus it’s budget-friendly and chemical-free too! All you’ll need is…

SPRAY BOTTLE – these can be found at chemists, hairdresser supply shops, Kmart or most grocery stores.

VINEGAR –  with non-toxic and anti-bacterial properties, vinegar is beneficial for safely killing germs on surfaces. The acidic composition of vinegar acts quickly to break down the kind of film that frequently accumulates on glass surfaces too.

LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL – lemon is a powerful cleansing agent that purifies the air and surfaces and can be used as a non-toxic cleaner throughout the home. This ingredient is optional, I have just started putting it in my water/vinegar solution for my windows to also deter creepy crawly insects. You can purchase lemon essential oil direct from The Organised Housewife shop here.

I also like to use this Kitchen Cleaner to remove built-in grime that’s built up around the window sills.

Chemical free cleaning spray

Print

How To Clean Windows

Natural, chemical free, inexpensive window cleaner.

  • Author: Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Pour water,  vinegar and lemon essential oil into spray bottle.
  2. Shake bottle to combine.
  3. Spray window cleaner onto window and wipe over using a dry microfiber cloth to remove all fingerprints and pick up dust and dirt.

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How To Clean Window Tracks

If you have more time available you could clean your window tracks too. You could use an old toothbrush to loosen the dirt in the tracks, however I like to use this Track Cleaning Brush because it gets right in there and picks up a lot of the dust as it goes.

Grout cleaner for window sills blinds and shutters

Then using the crevice tool nozzle attachment on the vacuum pick up all the loose dirt and dust.

How To Clean Blinds And Shutters

I recently installed shutters in my bedroom (you can see my DIY plantation shutter project here) and am loving how easy they are to dust and clean with this trendy Mini Blind Duster (which is now available in my shop here).

White magic mini blind duster

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49 comments

Lauren @ Create Bake Make February 24, 2015 - 6:26 AM

With a newly turned three year old and an almost two year old I’m certainly in that ‘hopeless caus’ phase! It doesn’t help that our living area is made up of two walls of bifold doors and they are ALWAYS covered in little finger and hand prints! I do try and give them a good clean down at least once a month, just so I can enjoy clean windows for a good 10 minutes or so! I will certainly be giving this homemade glass cleaner a try – thanks!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 24, 2015 - 7:43 AM

LOL, that’s it Lauren, 10 minutes of clean before fingers are on them again 🙂

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lexi February 24, 2015 - 9:55 PM

Can u give them a spray bottle and cloth to help?
I used to when my son was about 2.5yrs
I ended up with lovely clean floorboards 🙂

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 26, 2015 - 8:55 AM

Fantastic idea, Lexi.:) ~ Kate

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Neil August 14, 2015 - 8:14 PM

I run a professional window cleaning business http://www.stayclear.com.au and yes we use mainly dish washing liquid. Getting the proportion of liquid to water can be tricky for some. If your squeegee judders along the glass, this is usually a sign there’s not enough dish washing liquid in the mix which acts as the slipping agent. Put too much in and you can sometimes get a haze effect when properly dry. We remove stubborn bugs and marks on the glass by using 0000 grade wire wool. Its amazing, use it wet or dry and even the most stubborn of marks will be removed. Happy cleaning!

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suzana macolino July 13, 2021 - 7:33 AM

Hi Neil
How do you clean black mouldy windows …? On the glass on on the wood around the glass…. This buildup happens quick in my home ….
Thanks

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Joyful February 24, 2015 - 9:56 AM

From when my children were about 18 months old I taught them to “look with their eyes”, not their hands, thus clean windows! One does not need their hands to see through a window! This also applied in shops, so they never touched anything on display and I’ve never had to panic about paying for breakages.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 2, 2015 - 10:30 AM

Great tip i do like it.:)

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Jennifer B. February 24, 2015 - 4:15 PM

Here’s the Lazy Window Cleaner’s recipe – obviously just for the outside of windows as you’ll see…

2 litres of warm water
2 tablespoons laundry detergent (1 tbsp Morning Fresh)
1 tablespoon of rinse aid

Wash the windows with a sponge with this solution, HOSE THEM DOWN working from across the top and down and then walk away!
The water ‘sheets’ down to give a streak free finish just as it does on glasses in your dishwasher.

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Molly February 24, 2015 - 7:16 PM

i think i have used morning fresh and rinse aid and washed windows just like this!!! today at our old rental my mum cleaned my windows with a dustpan brush and hot soapy water (dish liquid) and the hosed off….worked a treat…lots of finger prints from little 21month old!!!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 26, 2015 - 8:56 AM

Great ideas, Molly!

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Neil April 11, 2021 - 2:16 PM

That’s brilliant! …and you have saved yourself a fortune!
Ive been running a professional window cleaning company for the past 6 years http://www.stayclear.com.au
Its proved very profitable and with a little research and a willingness to have a go anyone can achieve brilliant sparkling windows.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 26, 2015 - 8:59 AM

Ooh i like the sound of this! I am going to try adding the rinse aid, thanks for sharing a great tip, Jennifer! ~ Kate

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Leanne - Lime & Mortar February 27, 2015 - 12:54 PM

We have avoided cleaning our windows since we moved in as we still have so much dusty sand to cover. They are so bad now im paying a pro to come clean them tomorrow. I still have to keep these tips to keep them clean

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Kelly February 27, 2015 - 2:35 PM

Just wondering about the vinegar, i used to clean my floors with it but my husband didn’t like the house smelling like vinegar, is there a particular vinegar to use maybe i used too much? Can you smell the vinegar?
Thanks

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 2, 2015 - 9:15 AM

Hi Kelly, I only ever clean with vinegar. Maybe try again, to give you an idea i use 2 litres of water to a very small dash of vinegar ( about 1/3 cup) i just use the coles homebrand vinegar. I hope it works better for you.:)

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Neil March 1, 2016 - 1:51 PM

No, there is an initial vinegar smell, but Vinegar itself is a natural deodorizer, so will help remove unwanted smells.

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Neil March 1, 2016 - 1:55 PM

I use about a baby cup full in a 5 litre bucket. Standard white vinegar from supermarket is all that is needed.

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Sheena July 29, 2016 - 1:18 PM

I also add fragrant oil

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Lilian Dolan March 2, 2015 - 9:13 AM

You can add either fabric conditioner or essential oil of your choice to mask smell + to feel like uve had a treat too x

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 2, 2015 - 10:31 AM

Ooh i like your idea, Lilian! Some of the fabric softeners smell so good.:)

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Precise Window Cleaning March 30, 2015 - 10:47 PM

My guess is that most people forget or seriously neglect their window cleaning chores. Almost everyone I know does it. The natural cleaning solution you picked is great and simple. I use a similar one, but I also add some lemon juice and a few drops of liquid soap, if the surface is very dirty and stained. It works like a charm, and there even aren’t any visible streaks after you’re done.

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Nikki Adams May 18, 2015 - 12:01 PM

Hi Kat! You have some cool tips here. I like how you use natural ingredients like vinegar to clean your window. Very eco-friendly. Cleaning windows is not really my forte. I usually hire Cleaning service Melbourne based professionals to do it for me. So, far I am satisfied with their service but will definitely give this a go to.

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Rachel Keyte July 1, 2015 - 10:36 AM

I’m a bit of a slacker (OK, huge slacker) with windows, but when I really want to have a go at them, one thing I find good for loosening all that nasty in the tracks is one of those cans of compressed air that you use to clean computer keyboards. A good spray shakes everything up and makes it easier to vacuum out.

(Confession – shhhh – I sometimes also use this for dusting small spaces like under the wine rack, when I couldn’t be bothered moving lots of things).

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Logically Spotless October 12, 2015 - 5:00 PM

This is a great post.
SUCH an easy DIY that works wonders.
All natural too so when the little ones start pressing their faces against the windows you don’t have to worry about chemicals!
Thanks, I’ll be sharing this with my followers too! 🙂

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Neil October 14, 2015 - 6:00 PM

Great article though a little time learning how to use a squeegee will make the job even quicker and easier. Use 0000 grade wire wool to scrub away stubborn marks.

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Louise De Luca March 1, 2016 - 11:16 AM

Can you use the vinegar and water on tinted window, or will this lift the tint off.

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Neil March 1, 2016 - 1:53 PM

Yes, you can use vinegar on tinted windows. there are basically two types of tint. One is a smoked glass, the other is a Mylar vinyl thin sheet that is usually fitted on the inside. Vinegar will harm neither.

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Jasmine April 3, 2016 - 10:26 AM

Hi Katrina,

Thank you so much for this. Used them on my windows and it worked like a charm! My windows have never been cleaner.

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Paula November 17, 2016 - 9:00 PM

I actually use a cleaning company to clean the inside of my windows once a fortnight, and then a professional service to give the outsides a good going over once every few months. My cleaner does use a vacuum cleaner to get the inside of the tracks, but I feel a bit bad asking them to scrub with a toothbrush!

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Rachael June 20, 2018 - 1:02 PM

Hi Katrina, thanks for this tip. I have heard you need to use PET 1 or 2 plastic bottles when using essential oils. Do you use them or are other plastic bottles ok when cleaning? Do you know where I can buy PET 1 or 2 plastic bottles that are not sold in bulk please? Thank you!

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Bobby Singh September 25, 2018 - 1:00 AM

I tried a lot of cleaning tips but this helped me the most.

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Prern July 28, 2019 - 4:53 PM

As usual, you have great tips. I am curious to ask if there is any after smell, when you clean with vinegar. I have read various cleaning use of vinegar, however, personally I have not yet able to work that magic as I read. But I will get there.

I normally add Essential oils and it works wonder at least leaving that long lasting fragrance after many hours of cleaning.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 30, 2019 - 9:39 AM

Hi Prern, surprisingly no! You might smell the vinegar for 5 seconds, but then nothing 🙂

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Rajesh Kumar October 31, 2019 - 10:29 PM

Great blog and so informative on how to clean windows!

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife November 7, 2019 - 3:05 PM

Thanks Rajesh, glad you found it useful. Kat x

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Michael November 14, 2019 - 8:55 PM

Theres some good tips in there, my #1 biggest window cleaning pet peeve is streaks, so i always take the time to make sure my windows are nice and shiny (with no streaks).

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife November 15, 2019 - 12:24 PM

I love a streak-free window too! 🙂

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Marty Makki February 25, 2020 - 5:25 PM

Great post for window cleaning tips

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 26, 2020 - 1:52 PM

Glad you found it useful Marty 🙂 Kat

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Farah Dyer-Steel June 21, 2020 - 9:16 PM

I’m interested to try this but wonder that the essential ‘oil’ will leave a smear like film on the glass if I don’t keep shaking it up or use hot water with the vinegar

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife June 24, 2020 - 9:39 AM

Hi Farah, great question! I do give the bottle a quick shake before spraying as this avoids any smears or oil marks on the glass. Hope this helps 🙂 Kat x

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CBC July 4, 2020 - 10:30 PM

Big fan of vinegar and essential oils. Used both of these in general cleaning like floors, cooktop grills etc. Would definitely try windows as well. I have been using Windex so far, wondering if it is made using vinegar 🙂

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife July 6, 2020 - 2:18 PM

Give it a go! I use it on all my windows now and am very happy with the results 🙂

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Neil April 11, 2021 - 2:10 PM

Would just like to point out please use any steel wool for stubborn marks with caution. Although it is brilliant for removing hard water stains, it can and will scratch Mylar tinting. Tinting if used, is usually fitted to the inside of windows. If your unsure carefully test a tiny area first. If you see any scratching do not proceed any further. Only ever use the finest of steel wool (0000 grade).

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Neil April 11, 2021 - 2:22 PM

Hard water staining removal
As an owner of a professional window cleaning business ( http://www.stayclear.com.au ), I’d like to share with you a little know secret. Hard water staining occurs when the minerals from your bore water or tap water set on your glass. It looks like a dirty, milky shower screen. There are two ways of removing this.
1. Citric Acid (Lemon Juice)
2. Bark Keepers Friend
I use bar keepers friend. Its applied to the glass wet with a little product, water and applied with 0000 steel wool, allowed to soak for 20 minutes and the hard mineral deposits come off the glass. Brilliant for shower screens or windows that have been hosed over the years.

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Jannifer D'Costa May 5, 2022 - 4:25 PM

Great blog for window cleaning tips. I really enjoyed it and apply on our window. Thank you for sharing with us.

Reply
Jannifer D'Costa May 5, 2022 - 4:26 PM

Great blog for window cleaning tips. I really enjoyed it and apply on our window.

Reply

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