Seeing Clearly

Apparently, I am not the only one who has had limited success getting a streak-free shine using Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on mirrors and windows. Thanks to the readers who sent in cost-effective tips to ensure that I got the shine without the streaks.

As one reader rightfully pointed out, the type of cleaning tool you use to wipe glass surfaces is as important as the cleaning solution. For example, using paper towels full of lint is never a wise choice if you want to prevent streaks. Rather, use a microfiber cloth or squeegee to wipe away the cleaning solution. As I mentioned in my previous blog, newspaper is another frugal and effective tool. However, I should note that using the comics is a bad idea. Rather, stick to the black and white newsprint. Finally, one reader suggested I start using unused coffee filters to clean my mirrors and windows. Apparently, the filters have a similar texture to newspaper, but they don’t feature the messy ink.

Other helpful tips that came in include:

Squeegees should be used in one continuous motion from top to bottom and they should be wiped clean after each pass. Also, it’s a good idea to overlap the clean area slightly so you don’t leave a line between each squeegee pass.

When using newspaper or a coffee filter to clean windows use horizontal or vertical strokes for a streak-free shine, not both, or you will end up with a finger paint effect.

Try to clean windows on a cloudy day as the sun can cause streaks if you don’t wipe off the cleaning solution fast enough.

Never use an abrasive cleaner on mirrors or windows, as it might scratch the glass.

Look for commercial window cleaners with an ammonia base, as they are designed to keep streaks to a minimum.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.