Glass windows and mirrors easily collect dirt, even if you clean them too often. Moreover, in spite of all the meticulous cleaning and elbow grease, the glass does not seem sparkling clean because of the streaks and lint.

Thus, apart from the elbow grease, you also need to use the right tools. For instance, it is best to clean mirrors, glass windows, shower stalls, and glass furniture with a microfiber cloth, chamois, or a squeegee rather than a paper towel because the latter is likely to leave behind streaks.

Interestingly, even a crumpled-up newspaper sheet can work as a great alternative to a paper towel. Rest assured, the print ink shall not stain the glass as glass does not absorb ink. Avoid rubbing newspaper on the window frames, though.

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How to Clean Glass and Mirrors

Steps for Cleaning

  1. Gather all the cleaning supplies such as white vinegar, water (preferably distilled water), spray bottle or a large bowl, microfiber cloth/soft lint-free cloth/newspaper, and cotton swabs/soft toothbrush.
    Step1
  2. In case you are cleaning a glass window, lay towels on the window sills. This is particularly important when cleaning a window with wooden windowsills.
    step2
  3. Create a cleaning solution by mixing one part white vinegar and four parts water.
    Step3
  4. Spray it on your cleaning cloth, or dip the cleaning tool in this solution and wring out the excess fluid.
    Step4
    In case the size of the glass is too large or if you are using a newspaper for cleaning, then it would be better to spray the solution on the glass itself.
  5. Rub the glass surface in a circular motion to remove all the spots. Next, wipe with vertical strokes, followed by horizontal swipes to make the glass clean and shiny.
    step5
  6. Clean the corners and edges with a cotton swab or a soft toothbrush.
    step6
  7. Finish off with a quick buff using newspaper, or an old cotton t-shirt/cloth diapers to polish the glass.
    step7

For cleaning extremely dirty glass, begin by wiping it with a microfiber cloth soaked in a cleaning solution, whether it is homemade or store-bought. Finally, polish the glass by rubbing it with a crumpled-up newspaper sheet.

When using a commercial glass gleaner, prefer to use a product that does not contain ammonia. Mirrors and glass can be cleaned using club soda, too. Coffee filters are also considered useful in this regard.

If there is a waxy film on the glass, you can mix two cups of water, a quarter cup of vinegar, and a half cup of liquid dish soap.

Another recipe for the same involves mixing two tablespoons each of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol, one and a half teaspoons of cornstarch in a cup of warm water. Store it in a spray bottle and shake it before every use.

In case the glass is cloudy, you can use a mixture of a half-cup of rubbing alcohol, two tablespoons of ammonia, and a quarter teaspoon of liquid dish detergent. Another easy way to clean cloudy mirrors is to use a little shaving cream (not gel).

For cleaning a glass table, you may use a little lemon juice and then rub it with a newspaper. Do not rub too hard, or else it may cause scratches. Moreover, tiny scratches on glass can be polish using a little white toothpaste.

Additional Tips

  • When using water for cleaning glass, prefer to use distilled water instead of tap water, even for diluting the cleaning solution. The minerals present in regular water can leave behind streaks in spite of the use of the proper tools and all the elbow grease.
  • In case there are stubborn streaks or hard water stains on the glass, you may use pure white vinegar without diluting it.
  • While cleaning, make sure you wipe and dry the cleaner on the glass quickly to avoid streaks. Plus, it is recommended to dry the inside of the window in one direction and the outside in another. For instance, you can dry the inside with vertical strokes and the outside with horizontal strokes to make it easier for you to find the streaks.
  • Windows should be cleaned thoroughly from the inside as well as outside every few months or at least, twice a year.
  • For stained glass, the Stained Glass Association of America recommends minimal cleaning. It just needs light dusting on a regular basis. If there is a buildup of dirt and grime, then rub it with a cloth soaked in distilled water to avoid discoloration.
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