The Secret to Shiny, Streak-Free Windows

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I think I’ve always been sort of a nut about natural light. It just has a way of lifting the spirit and making a home more cheery. Even in the winter, I take down most of my screens. After all, we need as much clarity and light as possible during the long dark winter months, right?

When spring does finally roll around I, like so many others, get in the groove of spring cleaning. One of my favorite things to do is to clean my windows. Before you think I’m crazy, let me clarify that I don’t really like cleaning: that’s why I hire someone to do it. But cleaning windows is one of those jobs that isn’t overwhelming, unless you need a crane to lift you to reach them—in which case there are professionals for that, and the results can feel very gratifying!

Last spring I noticed some sort of film on my windows, especially on those on the lower level. I did my usual Windex/paper towel routine and it did little to clean them, no matter how hard I scrubbed. So, what’s a perplexed girl to do? Consult Pinterest, of course! It turns out that there’s a secret ingredient that the professional window cleaners know about: Jet Dry, a rinsing agent for automatic dishwashers. The best part? No squeegeeing or towel drying required!

Ready to make the magic happen? Let’s get started.

Step 1: Mix up the solution.
½ bottle Jet Dry (approx. 3.5 ounces)
4 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
¼ cup ammonia
1 handful of powdered dishwasher soap
2 gallons hot water

Step 2: Spray down your windows with a powerful sprayer.
If you usually use a power washer in the spring, now would be the ideal time. Last year I cleaned all of the windows before the hubs power washed (doh!) and I had to do them all over. You can bet that won’t happen again.

Step 3: Apply the solution.
Using a cloth (I like microfiber), get to work scrubbing the windows thoroughly. For taller, hard-to-reach windows, use a long-handled brush such as those for washing cars.

Step 4: Spray to rinse thoroughly.
This part is especially fun, because you’ll notice the sheeting action!

Step 5: Allow for drying.
You may be tempted to use a drying towel to speed up the results, but it’s truly not necessary. Distract yourself by venturing off to clean the screens or something. A while later, revisit your windows and voilà! You’re sure to find shiny, streak-free windows. Spring cleaning success!


Written by: Jill Carroll, marketing director of West Michigan Woman


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