Your 17 Frugal Window Cleaning Tips
There are several ways to rate window cleaning tips: there are the non-frugal tips, the frugal tips and the really frugal tips.
No matter the method you pick for cleaning your windows in order to let that spring sunshine into the house, try this to make the job a little easier: pick an overcast day for the washing. The sun causes the window to dry too fast and that causes streaking. Also, dry the inside of the windows in the opposite direction (horizontal or vertical) from the outside. That way, you will know which side of the window a streak is on.
Your Non-Frugal Window Cleaning Tips
The non-frugal method of cleaning glass and windows is to hire someone else to do it for you. Of course, there might be some drawbacks to this method, especially if you're a congressman and the person you hire is an illegal immigrant.
When hiring someone to work for you, keep in mind things like insurance and taxes. Does the person you hire have their own insurance in case they break a window or do you have to foot the bill? Do they have insurance in case they're hurt when they break your window, or do you have to pay? Do they report their income for tax purposes or are they working under the table?
If you hire someone and pay them regular wages, such as a housekeeper, remember that you have to pay your share of their social security and medicare on top of their wages.
If you check with the IRS, you'll find that you might need to file a Schedule H, form 1040: Household Employment Taxes. You can find the instructions here.
Your Frugal Window Cleaning Tips
SPRAY BOTTLE REFILLS
The frugal way consists of smart shopping. Look for your favorite glass cleaner in large quantity containers, such as the gallon size and then refill your own spray bottle as needed.
Before you spend your money do a little math...divide the price by the number of ounces in the container to get a price per ounce. If this is a better price than a smaller container, go for it. Keep in mind that the larger containers are not always the best buy on a per ounce basis, so check before spending your hard earned money.
You can also check for the windshield washer solution in the automotive section of your store. It might be even cheaper and will work in your spray bottle just fine.
Your Really Frugal Window Cleaning Tips
Now for the really frugal window cleaning tips. Here are several recipes for glass cleaners.
Glass cleaner: 1 part rubbing alcohol, 2 parts vinegar, 6 parts water. Use old newspaper to dry.
Non-Streaking Window Cleaner. 2 tbsp corn starch, 1/2 c. water. Apply with cotton cloth, dry with another
Window Cleaner: 1 pint water, 2 tbsp. liquid dish washing detergent, 1 pint rubbing alcohol.
By now, everybody is starting to become aware of vinegar as a fine cleaning product. You can even buy concentrated cleaning vinegar (8%) at about 4 times the price of regular vinegar (4-5%). You can also concentrate your own vinegar at home with a little patience. Put some regular vinegar in a glass or stainless steel container and then apply a low heat, such as a wood burning stove top, and allow the liquid level to evaporate by about 50%. What you now have is double strength cleaning vinegar.
If you have ever been faced with the task of cleaning out some bottles to hold the latest batch of root beer, or maybe just an old colored bottle that will look good in your window, then you know that at times it can be a difficult job. Next time, put some BB's and soap powder in with some warm water and just swirl them around. Works wonders.
Another trick is I can remember watching the ladies who worked in the local cafe cleaning out glass coffee jugs by putting in some crushed ice and a liberal helping of table salt and then swirling the pot. It seems that the same idea would work on any narrow mouth jar or vase that you need to scour out.
Fancy Window Cleaner: Fill a clean spray bottle with club soda. Spray on the windows and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth.
Another mix is to use 50% vinegar with water.
An irritating problem is removing labels from glass. I find that a little creamy peanut butter does the trick. Spread a layer on the label, let it set for awhile and then wash it off. You can also try wd-40 on sticky residue, such as old masking tape.
Speaking of tape, be sure to use painters masking tape (the blue stuff) when you paint your windows. It doesn't leave any residue and is easy to remove.
If you have any hard water buildup on your windows, try straight vinegar and old newspaper.
If you have scratched plastic lenses in your glasses, they can be renewed by using a little Pledge furniture polish. Apply and remove with a soft cotton cloth.
If you would like to know when I update this site or add some more content, email me
and I'll add you to my notification list.
One of my recommendations for maintaining a frugal household is that you subscribe
to my free, weekly newsletter, which always contains a dozen or so of my various tips. (I do put in one ad at the bottom for you to ignore.)
There are several volumes of Non-Consumer tips and how to articles available here.
And some recommended reading is available here.
Return from Window Cleaning Tips to House Cleaning Tips
Return from Window Cleaning Tips to The Frugal Non-Consumer