How to Clean Cloudy Windows (Easy and Quick)

Cloudy windows can be a real downer, especially on days that are already overcast enough. When the weather is nice, you want to be able to peer through your windows and enjoy it.

In this guide, we’ll be going over how to clean cloudy windows using a homemade glass cleaner that uses ingredients you probably already have in your home.

It’ll be quick and easy, so let’s get started.

How to Clean Cloudy Windows

window cleaning
Image via Canva.com

This will be very simple. We’ll be using things you already have! You don’t have to go to the store to get any special cleaners or anything.

Homemade Cleaning Spray:

  • 1 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cups of distilled water
  • 2-3 drops of mild dish soap

Vinegar is great for homemade cleaning sprays because it’s acidic. It’ll get into the nasty mineral films, dirt, and grease that attach to your window panes. Regular vinegar that’s 5% will do. You don’t need to buy the ultra-strong “cleaning vinegar.”

We recommend using distilled water because it doesn’t have any minerals in it such as calcium and sodium, which may cause streaks after you wipe. If you don’t have distilled water, that’s okay too.

Dish soap is good for getting rid of oils and grease, and it adds a nice scent to your homemade cleaning spray. If you choose not to use dish soap, adding a couple drops of essential oils such as lemon or lavender to your cleaning mix will make it smell less vinegary.

Here are a few more homemade cleaning spray recipes to try if you don’t have the ingredients to make this one. They’re all quick, easy, and use stuff you already have in your own home.

There are all kinds of recipes for homemade cleaning sprays that may include ingredients such as rubbing alcohol, just dish soap and water, or just vinegar and water too.

WARNING: There are certain chemicals that should not be combined together because the result can be harmful and hazardous for you. When in doubt, always read the specifications on your chemical if you’re unsure. Here are some combinations that should NOT be mixed.

  • Vinegar and bleach
  • Bleach and ammonia
  • Bleach and rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar

Store-Bought Cleaner Options:

  • Windex Glass Cleaner
  • Safely Glass Cleaner
  • Invisible Glass Cleaner

It’s not recommend that you use any cleaners with ammonia in it. Ammonia doesn’t damage your window glass, but it can cause damage to your trim, especially if it’s vinyl, plastic, or paint. Ammonia could also cause tinted glass to bubble up and warp.

dish soap

Windex has been used throughout the decades by homeowners all over the place. That’s because it works. However, it has a chemical smell. Windex also sells a formula with vinegar for some extra strong cleaning potential. You also could add vinegar to the bottle before using it.

Safely Glass Cleaner is a more natural alternative to Windex that smells wonderful. It’s made of coconut oil, mineral salt, and alcohol that cleans windows perfectly.

Invisible Glass Cleaner is another good option that’s ammonia free as well. Some people prefer it instead of Windex. All of these options are great if you want to use a store-bought window cleaner instead of making your own.

Tools Needed:

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Squeegee
  • Clean spray bottle (if you’re making your own spray)
  • Cleaning spray
  • Cleaning gloves

We don’t recommend paper towels because it can leave behind lint or other residual materials after you’re done. However, if paper towels is all that you have, feel free to use it. Clean non-cloudy windows with some lint is better than dirty cloudy windows, after all.

Make sure that your spray bottle is clean from any previous mixes you have have made in there. If there are residual chemicals from other cleaning formulas, it may have adverse reactions with the ingredients we’ll be using today.

Time Needed: 10-30 minutes

Step 1: Prep Your Windows

Before spraying anything on your windows, make sure that you wipe them off first.

This way, you’re not just pushing around dirt, dust, and grime as you’re cleaning them. There could be many things on your window frames or in the edges and gaps, such as dust, pet hair, and other goodies that have been accumulating slowly.

This is a great time to get your duster to get rid of those cobwebs and small bugs that may be hanging out on your window sill. Good bye, little critters!

Step 2: Spray Your Windows

Now with your homemade cleaning spray or your store-bought spray, it’s time to get to the good stuff.

Start at the top of your window and work your way down. It’s best to spray your microfiber cloth instead of directly onto the glass. When you spray the glass, the cleaning solution could bounce off and hit your windowsills and walls.

Also, make sure you use horizontal or vertical motions instead of circles. Many people say wipe in the shape of a Z or an M to avoid streaks.

A good tip is to place a towel or cloth on your window sill to collect any excess cleaning solution that drips down or bounces off when you spray.

If you’re doing the outside of your windows, then it’s best to do it on an overcast day. On sunny days, your cleaning solution might evaporate before you’re ready, causing unwanted streaks on your windows.

Now that the inside of your windows is clean, the next step is to go to the other side.

Step 3: Clean The Outside of Your Windows

Image via Canva.com

Depending on how many windows you have and their location, this part may be quite difficult.

First, use a hose to get rid of dirt or dust that may have built up on your window panes and window frames. It’s probably been a while since you last cleaned your windows. I know it has been for me.

If you want to go the extra mile, take out your window screens too and wash them separately.

Using your cleaning spray, use the same steps in Step 2 to clean your windows.

If you have many windows on the second story, it might be best to call a professional to do the work for you. If you have double-hung windows that tilt in, you can do it yourself without even going outside. How convenient.

What Makes Your Windows Cloudy?

Cloudy windows sure are annoying, especially when you’re trying to look through them and just enjoy the view.

Cloudy films on your windows can be caused by various things. The most common cause is that your windows are constantly being bombarded by rain, dust, dirt, bugs, and winds. These can really build up over time on your glass panes, which can make your windows look cloudy.

If you wait too long between window cleanings, these layers of grime can cause permanent damage. This damage is called etching, and it’s a permanent problem that cleaning won’t fix.

In this case, you’ll most likely need a window replacement rather than a window cleaning.

Another cause of cloudy windows is condensation. When water builds up on a piece of window glass, it can leave behind mineral deposits as it evaporates. Here’s a guide on how to prevent condensation.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Windows?

Window cleaning can be a lot of work, so you probably don’t want to do it too often.

How often you need to clean your windows depends on your home. You might have lots of children and pets in your home, which means you have to clean more often.

On average, it’s best to clean your windows at least once a month, twice a month if you can get to it.

When to Get Professional Help

If you find that your windows are still cloudy even after cleaning, it could be that the cloudiness is caused by buildup in between your window panes.

In this case, you’ll need to hire a professional to come and take a look. It’s not recommend that you try to clean this yourself. It involves drilling through glass, which is definitely not a good idea. You can ruin your windows forever.

Get a couple of local contractors to come by and give you your options on how to move forward. Getting a couple of quotes lets you get the best price and quality of work.

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