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Nothing screams “lazy” like dirty windows and mirrors. Your guests will shake their heads in disgust. Your roommates will mock you. The whole house will feel drab to anyone who steps inside. A clean mirror can make a room look bigger, brighter, and more open. A dirty mirror has almost the exact opposite effect. There’s a reason janitorial services offer specialized glass cleanings as part of their packages, and there’s a reason these services are often so expensive. Even store bought cleaning supplies often come with an unreasonable markup. Clean glass is an investment, one you’ll have to make if you want to give a good impression.
Fortunately there are dozens of home remedies for dirty glass, even if the vast majority of recipes are ineffective at best and damaging to the glass at worst. Luckily, there are a few good tips sprinkled here and there for the homemaker with an eye on the budget.
Your first best friend is vinegar. Mothers have been wiping it across bathroom mirrors and kitchen windows since the dawn of time, and it certainly has some benefits if you don’t want to spring for more ingredients. A quick spritz of vinegar coupled with a few wipes with a soft cloth can take care of most surface stains. Of course, there’s always the question of odor. Vinegar doesn’t exactly leave a pine fresh scent. This is only noticeable if you get really close to your mirror or window or if you’re using too much of the stuff in the first place. Try vinegar as a first resort on the light stains. The heavier stuff will need some more effort.
If straight vinegar isn’t doing it for you, add equal parts water and alcohol to one tablespoon of vinegar. Alcohol gives the mixture a bit more kick to it, dissolving some of the tougher, more caked on stains. Remember, you’re using a clear cleaning alcohol here, not vodka. If you want to experiment with a little scent in your cleaner, a drop of dish detergent will give it a wonderful smell and keep the glass nice and shiny to boot. Essential oils of citrus fruits can also be used. Be warned, alcohol does occasionally leave streaks, so you might have to return to your windows to give them another scrub after they’ve dried.
If you want the best home remedy for dirty glass you’ll need one more secret ingredient, one that’s not always found in your average kitchen. It’s corn starch. Add a tablespoon of the stuff to mix in warm water so that it dissolves. Put the alcohol in with about a quarter cup of white vinegar to top it off. Mix, load up your spray bottle, and go to town. It leaves almost no streaks and rejuvenates the mirror right back to factory fresh. Windows will look as clear as the day they were installed. You might not ever get the store bought stuff again.
So there you have it. A few extremely effective ideas for homemade glass cleaners that are sure to have your mirrors and windows looking fresh and new. Happy cleaning!