The Secret To Easy Streak-Free Glass Cleaning Without Toxic Cleaners

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Mirror and window cleaning can be done quickly, easily and streak-free using these simple eco-friendly tips. No need for expensive & toxic commercial glass cleaners to get a beautiful streak-free shine.

The secret to getting clean, streak-free windows & mirrors. So simple! #TexasHomesteader

Cleaning Glass Without Streaks Can Be HARD!

Whether mirrors or windows, glass cleaning has always been one of the most difficult surfaces for me to clean properly. 

Trying to get the glass streak free used to drive me crazy. My cleaning session went something like this:

“There! Looks great. No, wait… is that a streak? OK, THERE Wait… “

It was so frustrating.

Secret To Cleaning Glass Without Streaks

Until I remembered a trick my dad taught me years ago.

Dad said if you polish windows or mirrors in a with crumpled black & white newspaper after they’re cleaned but while they’re still damp, the streaks will disappear.

And by golly he was right!

My window and mirror cleaning routine is pretty simple these days. Very quick & easy. And even cheap, non-toxic and zero waste.

How To Quickly Clean Mirrors & Glass

I have a repurposed spray bottle of a vinegar/water mixture in the cabinet beneath my kitchen sink for cleaning purposes. It’s an inexpensive, non-toxic and effective cleaner for many surfaces. But especially for glass.

So when I clean a mirror I first spray the glass surface with my mixture of vinegar and water. 

First Clean Glass Or Mirrors. The first step is to use a damp rag to scrub the surface. Any splatters, dirt or grime disappears quickly with this step of cleaning.

But as you can imagine, the glass itself is certainly not streak free now.

Polishing Glass To A Streak-Free Shine. So when the glass is clean but still damp I wad up black/white print newspaper. Using a circular motion I’ll polish the mirror with it.

The newspaper will finish drying the surface of the glass and polish it to a streak-free shine at the same time. 

If you polish windows or mirrors with newspaper after they're cleaned but while they're still damp, the streaks will disappear. #TexasHomesteader

Let’s stand back & take a look…

YES! Now that mirror is clean, shining and streak free! (Can I get a hallelujah??!)

It’s fast as well as simple. Plus this cleaning method uses no purchased-just-to-be-thrown-away  paper towels. Heck I haven’t purchased paper towels in over a decade.

Homemade Non-Toxic Glass Cleaner Spray

The glass cleaner in my repurposed spray bottle is super-cheap homemade & non-toxic:

Just vinegar & water!

How many cleaners can you say are so safe they’re actually edible? My homemade glass cleaner is! HA!

And there’s no waste. Now that my glass cleaning chore is complete I’ll take the wadded newspaper and toss it in my composter. 

Natural Light Coming Into Our Home

Our home features an open floorplan design. Light coming through the windows is a huge benefit of an open floorplan, and a large reason we opted for that style in the first place.

Because of our open floorplan, most days we need no electrical lights to be turned on until the sun goes down.

Really! The light from the windows provides all the light we need in the entire house throughout the day.

Natural FREE light vs electricity purchased for that same light makes a huge difference, both from an economy standpoint as well as an environmental one. And y’all already know how crunchy-green I am.

Windows Don’t Always ‘Look’ Dirty

Here’s how to make sure more natural light comes into your home for FREE. I’ve found it’s so true – the cleaner the windows, the more light comes streaming in.

Although that seems like an no-brainer intuitive statement, I’m always surprised at what a difference in amount of light coming in when the windows are actually clean!

Just looking at windows, they don’t necessarily *look* dirty. But believe me, there’s a film of dirt on them. And a quick cleaning will prove that fact right before your very eyes!

So I use basically the same method to clean my windows as I did with the mirrors. 

How To Quickly Clean Glass Windows

Typically for cleaning windows I’ll begin on the outside. So first I’ll remove the window screens.

The screens set aside for me to use the water hose to spray away any dust, spider webs, etc. But for now let’s tackle cleaning those windows.

It's easy to clean my windows to a streak-free shine. First I remove the screens and clean them. #TexasHomesteader

I lightly spray my vinegar/water mixture onto the window glass surface. Each window pane is then scrubbed with a damp cloth.

If the windows are reeeeeeally dirty (which is pretty common living off a country road) I’ll rinse my rag and repeat. Sometimes I even finish this portion of window cleaning with a quick run from a squeegee. It seems to pull even more dirt off the windows.

Then just as with mirror cleaning, to finish up I’ll spray a very light spray with my vinegar/water mixture & do a quick polish using some wadded up black & white newsprint newspaper trick.

Voila! Streak-free, shining clear windows!

I’m always amazed at how much more light comes through the windows after they’re cleaned. And using this method of glass cleaning assures the chore of window cleaning is quick and painless.

Tip To Indicate Which Side Of A Window Has Streaks

You know how it is – you wash the outside of a window, then come inside the house to wash the inside of the glass as well. But looking closely you see a streak. 

Squinting you come closer to the glass and rub your finger on the streak to try to determine. You decide the streak must be on the outside.

So through the house you go, out the door and around the house to get to the other side of the window.

Squinting and moving close to the glass you inspect the glass surface again.  But, you’re not sure – maybe it really was on the inside. Hummmm…

Here’s a time-saving trick I learned years ago to figure out which side of the window glass still has streaks:

    • When you’re cleaning one side of your window, use vertical sweeping motions as you clean the glass.

    • Then use horizontal sweeping motions when you’re cleaning the other side of the window.

The direction of the streak you’re seeing on the glass will help you easily determine if you need to touch up that stubborn streak on the inside or outside.

In no time you’ll have clean, gleaming and streak-free windows and mirrors.


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2 thoughts on “The Secret To Easy Streak-Free Glass Cleaning Without Toxic Cleaners

  1. One of God's

    I applaud your efforts and especially your intent in conserving resources. Window washing has always been a bear for me too until a friend told me of an amazing cloth available through Pulse TV. It requires only water, and wrung out will do all the glass cleaning necessary leaving no streaks even when the sun is shining through the windows. One caveat; it’s ok to launder such a cloth, but don’t put it in the dryer.


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