Shiny streak-free windows don't have to be a distant, unattainable dream only achieved by professional window cleaners. You too can get the perfect finish on your windows, both inside and outside, with a few expert tricks.


Dirty windows accumulate dust, mould, smudges, liquid marks and – if you have children – sticky fingerprints. All of this dirt reduces the amount of sunlight that is able to come through your windows and into a room.

For professional-looking streak-free windows, follow our step-by-step guide compiled with the help of cleaning experts.

How often should I clean my windows?

Two times a year for outside windows is the rule of thumb. For inside windows, this could vary from once a month to every 3 months.

"I always notice when mine need doing as you can visibly see the dust, pollen and dirt as the sun shines through. It is not very forgiving when it comes to sunnier months so, ideally, windows should be cleaned monthly," shares online cleaning expert, Laura Mountford.

If you live in a place where your outside windows are exposed to lots of dust, dirt and rain then you'll most likely need to clean your windows more frequently. You might choose to do them more often if you have the time, and a preference for super sparkly windows all of the time.

If you suffer from hayfever, you may want to consider cleaning your outside windows often to remove any pollen that may enter your home when the windows are open.

How to clean windows without streaking

You'll need:

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Squeegee
  • Chamois cloth
  • Sponge
  • Window cleaning solution
  • Homemade cleaning solution (optional)
  • Duster, window vacuum or both

How to make your own window cleaning solution

You can make your own cleaning solution for your windows by mixing 2 parts distilled water with 1 part white wine vinegar. Add all of the contents into an empty, clean spray bottle for easy dispensing and shake to ensure everything has combined together.

Additionally, if you'd like to scent your homemade spray, you can add 10 drops of your favourite essential oil into the bottle.

The acid found in vinegar acts to break down grime on glass surfaces.

WARNING: Do not use a vinegar cleaning solution on windows that have matte paint or undercoated-only frames as it may lead to staining.

An alternative simple solution is mixing a few drops of washing-up liquid with warm water.


The best time to clean windows is on a cloudy, dry day – many people choose to tackle the outside of their windows in spring and autumn for this reason.

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In hot, sunny weather the cleaning solution will dry very quickly upon contact with the windows, leaving you with the dreaded streaks. On a milder, cloudier day you have a bit more time to work the product around the windows before it dries.

"Avoid the hottest part of the day; overcast weather is ideal as the hot sunshine will make it difficult to get a streak-free shine on the glass" shares online cleaning expert and author of "Live, Laugh, Laundry", Laura Mountford.

Step 1. Remove window dressings

Once you've chosen the best day to clean, begin by removing your blinds or curtains so they can also be dusted and washed.

Step 2. Dust and wipe

Now, dust and wipe down your glass surfaces, window ledges, frames and window sill using the duster or a vacuum cleaner.

Step 3. Spray and scrub

Spray your window generously with your cleaning solution and then use the sponge to scrub and clean any stains.

Step 4. Wipe

Use your chamois or microfiber cloth to wipe your windows starting from top to bottom. Go over places you see any streaks until the glass is clean and clear.

Step 5. Squeegee

Grab your wet squeegee and use it going from top to bottom along the window, wiping down in one straight line. Use your cloth to wipe away excess water around your windows. Now let your windows dry.

Step 6. (for outside windows)

After completing steps 1-5, you may have to do some extra spraying and wiping to clean any grime from the outside window. Depending on the type of windows you have, you may be able to clean both sides of the windows from inside the house.

Is newspaper good for shining windows?

Newspaper is often recommended for shining / polishing windows, 

Due to the way newspapers are fabricated, they make for a good shining tool. Newspapers are made from multiple dense fibres and this makes them durable, sturdy and less likely to break apart when cleaning. 

Another appealing thing about using newspapers to shine windows is that they won't scratch the glass surface and won't leave any lint behind after use.

However, they're not as good as they used to be due to advancements in materials such as ink. Some newspapers that have petroleum-based ink can leave smudges and stains behind on your windows when wet, so that's something to bear in mind.

How to get mould out of corners

If you have mould gathering in the corners of your window or window sill, you can spray some cleaning solution on it and let it work itself in for a minute before wiping it away. Alternatively, for tougher mould patches you can add some household bleach to your warm soapy water mix (1 part bleach with 4 parts warm water) and spray onto the mould. After a minute or so, try and wipe the mould away.

How to clean windows outside

Cleaning windows outside is not too different from inside but you may want to use warm water and washing up liquid. If your windows are hard to reach then a mop with its extended pole might help to reach windows that are higher up.

WARNING: Do not use a vinegar cleaning solution on windows that have matte paint or undercoated-only frames as it may lead to staining.

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Pic: Getty Images


Janet MtimaDigital Journalist

Janet is a Digital Journalist for MadeForMums and mother to a boy and girl both under 4. With a keen eye and passion for creating online media content, she enjoys sharing her own journey of motherhood, and providing encouragement for new mums.