Window Cleaning Hacks: Unexpected Household Items for Brilliant Results

Windows are often deemed the “eyes” of a home, offering glimpses into the world outside and flooding interiors with refreshing natural light. However, these windows can accumulate smudges, dirt, and streaks over time, diminishing their beauty and obstructing their primary function. While most of us are accustomed to the conventional sprays and wipes available in stores, these can sometimes fall short, be laden with chemicals, or strain the wallet.

So, what if the secret to sparkling windows is already hiding in your pantry or tucked away in a drawer? In this blog post, we’ll delve into the innovative world of window cleaning, uncovering some unexpected household items that can yield brilliant results. Ready to transform the way you view window cleaning? Let’s dive in!

Window Cleaning Hacks

Why Household Items?

We’ve all heard the age-old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of cleaning. With the heightened awareness of environmental issues and the quest for sustainable living, many are gazing at the everyday items in their pantries and cupboards. But why are household items gaining traction as cleaning alternatives?

  1. Environmentally Friendly: Household items offer a green alternative: Unlike commercial window cleaners that often contain chemicals and additives that can harm the environment and aquatic life. Their use reduces chemical runoff, promotes safer home environments, and decreases the carbon footprint of manufacturing and transporting store-bought products.
  2. Economically Beneficial: Let’s face it; cleaning supplies can add up. Utilizing household items can provide significant cost savings. Most of these items are multi-functional, meaning you get more bang for your buck. For instance, white vinegar can be used for cooking, disinfecting, and now, as we’ll see, for window cleaning.
  3. Readily Available: There’s unmatched convenience in using household items. No need to rush to the store when you run out of your window cleaner. Just reach into your kitchen cabinet or pantry, and you’ll likely find a suitable alternative.

List of Unexpected Household Items for Window Cleaning:


– Properties & Effectiveness: Cornstarch, a common thickening agent, has fine, abrasive properties, which make it ideal for scrubbing away dirt without scratching the glass. When combined with other cleaning agents, it leaves your windows streak-free. – Simple Recipe: Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 quart of warm water. Stir until dissolved. Use a cloth or sponge to apply, and then wipe clean for a shiny finish.

White Vinegar:

– Natural Cleaning Power: White vinegar is a powerhouse cleaner. Its acetic acid content cuts through grime and grease. Plus, it boasts antibacterial properties, ensuring your windows are clean and germ-free. – Effective Mixing Ratios: A 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water proves effective for window cleaning. If your windows are particularly grimy, consider using undiluted vinegar. Always remember to rinse and buff for a gleaming finish.


– Surprising Effectiveness: It might sound old-school, but newspapers don’t leave lint behind like paper towels. Their dense fibres and printing ink act as a gentle abrasive, giving windows an extra sparkle. – Techniques for Best Results: Crumple a page into a ball, dab in your preferred cleaning solution (like the vinegar mix), and use circular motions. Finish with vertical and horizontal swipes for streak-free windows.


– Targeting Stubborn Marks: Got sticky residues or stubborn bird droppings? Toothpaste can come to the rescue. Its gentle abrasive properties can scrub away these challenging spots without harming the glass. – Usage Technique: Dab a small amount onto the stain, gently scrub with a soft cloth, and rinse. Be sure to remove all residues to prevent cloudiness.


– Picking Up Dirt & Grime: Bread, particularly the spongy white variety, is excellent for picking up loose dirt or soot, especially in corners or window sills. – Best Bread Types: Soft, fresh white bread works wonders. Just press a slice against the dirty area, and watch it absorb the dirt. Follow up with a regular cleaning solution to remove any leftover residues.


– Abrasive Cleaning Solution: Rice grains, especially uncooked ones, are great for cleaning vases and decanters but can be used for windows with stubborn spots. – Usage Steps: Add a handful of rice to a water mix and a dash of white vinegar in a bottle. Shake well. The rice acts as a scrubbing agent, dislodging tough dirt. Pour out the solution, dab onto the window, and scrub gently.

Combining Household Items for Maximum Effectiveness

Household items could be better independently; their power can be compounded when mixed. Here’s how:

  • White Vinegar & Cornstarch Combo: A mix of white vinegar and cornstarch creates a potent solution that tackles grease and stubborn dirt. The vinegar is a degreaser, while the cornstarch ensures a streak-free shine. To make this, combine one tablespoon of cornstarch with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. Apply with a soft cloth, scrub, and wipe clean.
  • Shining with Newspaper: After using any cleaning solution, a final buff with a crumpled newspaper can add shine. Its ink and dense fibres help give the glass that extra polish, leaving your windows with a professional gleam.
Window Cleaning Hacks

Precautionary Tips

Every window and frame is unique, and while household items are generally safe, a few precautions are in order:

  • Safety First: Always ensure that the mixtures you prepare are safe for your type of windows. For instance, tinted windows may react differently to certain acidic solutions.
  • Spot-Test: Before cleaning the entire window, try your homemade solution on a small, inconspicuous spot. This will help you determine its effectiveness and ensure it doesn’t damage or discolour the glass.
  • Protect Frames and Sills: While focusing on the glass, be cautious around frames and sills, especially if they are wooden. Prolonged exposure to moisture or certain solutions can damage them. Wipe them down immediately if they come into contact with your cleaning solution.

Maintaining Clean Windows

A proactive approach can save you both time and effort:

  • Daily Tips: A simple wipe-down with a microfiber cloth can help combat daily dirt and dust.
  • Weekly Routine: Depending on your location (near a busy road or construction site), a weekly wash using just water can keep the grime at bay.
  • Monthly Maintenance: This is where your household solutions come in handy. A monthly deep clean can ensure the longevity and clarity of your windows.
  • Professional Cleaning: If your windows are in hard-to-reach places or you notice they’re damaged, it might be time to call the professionals. They have the tools and expertise to handle tricky situations.

Our homes are filled with unexpected treasures that can transform mundane tasks into eco-friendly, cost-effective ventures. Window cleaning, often seen as a tedious chore, becomes much more interesting when you experiment with these household items. Whether it’s the glistening shine from a vinegar-cleaned pane or the satisfaction of wiping away grime with a piece of bread, these hacks offer both results and a sense of accomplishment. We encourage you to delve into your pantry, mix and match, and discover what works best for your home’s windows. The perfect, streak-free shine might be a cupboard away!