Growing up, my family would stay on my grandparents’ boat for the better part of a month. After a fun few weeks on the water, it was time for a deep clean. My grandparents love their windows, and they love their windows to be crystal clear. They taught us how to use a simple mixture of water and vinegar—wiped on with a microfiber cloth and squeegeed off—to get the job done. I still use that mixture to this day. It never streaks (unless you have too much vinegar), and every time I wash my windows, it brings back happy memories of those days aboard my grandparents’ boat.
Now that the days are longer and the warm sun is finally (hopefully) here to stay, it’s time for open-window season. Here are some tips for washing off the dirt and the grime.
Option 1: Windex®
Windex Outdoor Glass & Patio Concentrated Cleaner, attached to a garden hose
I’m a huge fan of this option, which is obviously for outdoor window washing. It’s super easy—you simply screw your garden hose into the Windex bottle, then turn a knob on and off to either spray out only water, or to spray a mix of water and soap. It’s the easiest way to go if you want to clean your windows without spending hours doing it, which is totally me.
This option is really convenient (and actually motivates me to clean), but I tend to think any time you’re not using a squeegee, you’re probably going to end up with some streaks or marking on the windows. This option takes the least amount of effort, but may leave some spots behind.
Option 2: Concentrated Solution
Dunn Lumber's pre-mixed concentrated wash solution, made specifically for windows
This is a fairly simple product. It’s a highly concentrated window wash that’s pre-mixed—all you have to do is add water. Then, apply it to the window with something soft (like a microfiber cloth or a window washing scrubber) and squeegee it off.
Option 3: Vinegar and Water
My grandma swears by vinegar and water—she says it’s better than any cleaner on the market. This is the magic mixture we used to wash the windows on my grandparents’ boat each year. The key is making sure you have the right ratio of vinegar to water. Aim for a quarter cup of vinegar for every gallon of water, and adjust as necessary. If you end up with streaks, you probably have too much vinegar—so just add water. Like Dunn Lumber’s solution, apply it with something soft (like a microfiber cloth, sponge, or a window washing scrubber) then squeegee it off.
Happy open-window season!