I think they were better off dirty

Four cleaning formulas for streak-free windows

This view: is it better clouded with dirt or streaks?

After our lake house endured an entire weekend of 14 boys and 7 Dads, an Indian Guide Tribe, the men graciously chipped in to split the cost of a domestic engineer to tidy up the place after they left. Actually, an act of grace that helped me sleep through the night in the period that loomed ahead of the trip. The “boys weekend” was fine; except for the one incident when one boy thought it would make a great show to spray a can of Off in the air and light a match… INSIDE the house. No one or thing was hurt in the process. But wow, what a learning experience for all the rest of the boys present. The two little boys and I were away for that weekend; thank God for tender mercies.

Knowing the angel with cleaning supplies would soon be arriving, I felt that it might be time to bring the windows “up-to-par.” So, at around 3 p.m., I set out with a bucket full of water, vinegar and a dash of vegetable soap. By 9:00 p.m. my shoulders were searing with pain, as I stood and looked out of my now-smeared and streaked windows, among bottles of car wash, rubbing alcohol, Glass Plus and vinegar, with a pile of charcoal gray towels, rags and t-shirts.The windows have been neglected so long that the dirt is actually etched on the windows.The I should have cried; instead I was too harsh with the kids, pushed my oldest to pour cereal for everyone’s supper and sent them all too bed. My 12-year-old was a little too mouthy, so I gave him the job of washing all the dishes from the day. I was so sad.

While he was busy with that, I picked up a household manual I had lying around, which, maybe, perhaps, I should have looked at first, and discovered the following streak-free window cleaning formulas:

Here’s the first one:
1 cup of clear ammonia, to 3 cups of water.

The second one:
Two tablespoons borax dissolved in 3 cups of water.

And the third:

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup ammonia
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 3-4 quarts of warm water.

Mix and put in a trigger spray bottle.
Spray on the windows then wipe with a warm water rinse.
Rub with a dry paper towel or lint-free cloth.

When the cleaning goddess arrived the next morning, I explained my dilemma. The secret, she says, is in the squeegee. Eliminates the need for any rubbing – no streaks.

She offered to give me an estimate for the windows… I’m still thinking about getting my own squeegee. I can’t stand to be outdone by a window.

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5 comments to “I think they were better off dirty”
  1. I got a squeegee from BJ’s for cleaning the windows. It’s one of those on the long poles so I can clean the bay window on the split level of the house and also do the french doors without climbing on boxes, etc. The squeegee is still in it’s box 2 months later because I just haven’t gotten the time/energy to take on the job. sigh.. Props to you for taking them on.

  2. Unbelievably, I have a related cleaning tip. I popped in to a local computer shop to buy a terabyte hard drive and some lap-top cleaning spray. The guy behind the counter happily sold me the hard disk but prevaricated over the spray. “With laptop screens,” he said “Do you know what we use?”
    “OK, look, I didn’t tell you this. Try it at your responsibility…”
    Sure, sure – what’s the secret?
    “Windowlene and a paper towel. Anything else is a waste of money.”

    So I tried it. Cleanest laptop screen I’ve ever seen in my life.

  3. I think I’d love the view either way.

    As for the squeegee, we have one that Craig uses on the garage floor. I think we got it at Menards. It couldn’t have cost much since we bought it!

  4. Pingback: I didn’t do the stairs — Susiej

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