Washing Windows with Newspaper for a Streak-Free Shine

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By Jaimie Bauer
There is one aisle that I always avoid at the grocery store. The aisle filled with household cleaners.
It has shelf after shelf of stinky chemical “soaps” that promise to help you clean your house better, faster, and with as little effort as possible. As an alternative, natural cleaners have become popular because there are so many who also avoid the stinky chemical stuff. For those who care about being thrifty, lots of recipes are available online for making your own cleaners.
Recently, I have taken it a step further and started to learn more old-fashioned cleaning methods. My cleaning routine usually includes a tub of water, a rag, and a bar of soap. This has worked for generations before the invention of liquid cleaners and it works for me too. My only problem has been washing windows.
A rag leaves behind streaks on windows and mirrors. I’ve tried washing them this way multiple times.

Getting rid of paper towels in my home is important to me. However, cleaning with a rag always has the same result—streaky windows.

I was frustrated and months went by when I didn’t wash my windows at all. I’m kind of compulsive about cleaning so that was huge for me!
Then I heard about using a crumpled up newspaper to wash windows. I couldn’t wait to try it. I love re-purposing things and I already had a free pile of newspaper (easy fire starter) sitting next to our woodstove. I was hopeful that I would soon have clean windows without using any cleaners or paper towels.
The process was very simple. I got a rag wet with water and wiped down the window. My windows desperately needed some attention because they are constantly being touched by little hands.
After I wiped them well with my wet rag, I crumpled up a piece of newspaper and used it to dry the windows, just like you would with a paper towel. The ink actually acts like a cleaner to combat any dirt and grease, while the paper absorbs the water so that the window dries with a streak free shine.
It really worked!

It was simple and absolutely free.

My 8-year-old commented that it looks like we have new windows. Yes, they really needed cleaning! The only downside was that by the time I was done with all my windows, I had black newspaper ink all over my hands. Oh well, that was soon taken care of by a sink full of dirty dishes!
The process was free and easy, perfect for my old-fashioned cleaning routine. I will definitely be using newspaper to clean my windows again, which may be sooner than I thought because windows seem to be a magnet for little fingers.
 
Jaimie is a homesteading and homeschooling mom of two boys. She enjoys cooking, organizing, and reading stories to her family by lantern light. She and her husband write articles for their website http://anamericanhomestead.com/ and make videos for their YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/AnAmericanHomestead, sharing their adventures in homesteading and off-grid living.
 

4 thoughts on “Washing Windows with Newspaper for a Streak-Free Shine

  1. My dad always stood by using newspapers to clean windows and mirrors. Honestly was just as good as paper towels, possibly better since there was always so much more. And it serves the environment well since it is actually reusing the paper other than just reading and throwing away. Great article.

  2. Jaimie,
    I couldn’t help but feel the need to respond to your article and share something absolutely amazing. About a year and a half ago, I discovered a unique microfiber cloth (like no other) that will clean 99% of my house with just water. The best part is, it will clean and shine my windows to a streak free shine, quickly and easily with only water … And it doesn’t leave your hands black! I no longer need to buy paper towels, windex or any other cleaning products with all the harmful chemicals. I would love to share more details with you if you are interested. I would also be willing to send you a sample to try out for yourself. You will be amazed and fall in love with these truly wonderful microfiber cleaning cloths!

    • I’d love to hear about this cloth! I actually read in Clean House, Clean Planet, that when you clean with newspapers “you expose yourself to the smells and residues of those toxic inks.” I suppose a chemically-sensitive person would want to avoid these inks at all costs. (But you could also just wear gloves to avoid getting the ink on your hands!)
      Anyway, please let me know about the cloths you are speaking of.Thanks!

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