Is Newspaper Good for Cleaning Windows?

If you’ve been researching window cleaning, you’ve probably read that newspapers are a powerful cleaning tool. Newspaper has a strong reputation for its ability to hold together when wiping down windows, which is why so many people recommend it, but are the rumors true? Should you be washing your windows with newspaper?

Does Cleaning Windows with Newspaper Work?

If you’ve ever held a newspaper, it seems unlikely that it’s as effective for cleaning windows as something like a microfiber towel. Newspaper doesn’t feel as absorbent, and all that ink has to leave behind stains and smudges, right?

Not necessarily. We’ve tested newspaper on many different types of glass, and it’s a reliable way to wipe down windows, mirrors, and just about every type of glass you can think of. When using newspaper to clean mirrors, you can achieve streak-free results, and newspaper is often easier to use than a towel or rag that may leave behind lint. It’s also disposable, and a lot of people have newspapers lying around already.

Newspaper Is a Durable and Streak-Free
Cleaning Tool

If you’ve ever watched videos about cleaning windows with newspaper on YouTube, you’ve seen the miraculous results people can achieve with paper. These results aren’t fake, and if you try the method, you aren’t likely to seek an alternative to newspaper for cleaning windows.

Newspaper is made from tightly packed fibers that don’t fall apart easily like other types of paper. It also effectively absorbs cleaning solution and scrubs away grime. Finally, newspaper can wipe away solutions similarly to how a squeegee would. That means if you use the proper cleaning pattern, you can get streak-free results when cleaning with newspaper.

The Proper Newspaper Cleaning Technique
Is Important

Just as cleaning with a scrubber and squeegee requires proper technique, so does cleaning with newspaper. Start by spraying a fine mist of your cleaning solution on the window. A mixture of distilled water and vinegar works particularly well with newspaper.

Now, swirl the solution in a circle to loosen any dirt. Finish the process by moving in horizontal and vertical patterns snaking down the glass to squeegee away any remaining water for a streak-free finish.

Not All Newspaper Works the Same

Questions like “does newspaper scratch glass?” or “does newspaper stain glass?” are valid concerns. The trick to avoiding these problems is to use the right type of newspaper, and you’ll have to do some tests to determine whether you have the right stuff or not.

What Is the Best Paper to Clean Windows With?

Not all newspapers are good for cleaning windows. You must use paper that has soy-based ink on it. This ink won’t run, stain or streak. Petroleum-based ink leaves stains and can even scratch your glass.

Test Your Paper for Soy-Based Ink

Do this quick test to determine if your newspaper relies on soy-based ink. Hold the paper between two of your fingers for one minute. Be sure to pinch a section that’s coated heavily with ink. Consider dampening your fingers with water before performing the test.

If your fingers are smudged when you remove them, don’t use the newspaper. If not, the paper uses soy-based ink and is good for window washing.

What Are the Best Ways to Clean Outside Windows?

Now that you know newspaper is a useful tool for cleaning windows, you may be tempted to use it everywhere. Although it works well and can be used to clean every glass surface, we think of newspaper as a tool for quick touchups and not a professional-quality cleaning solution. Newspaper shouldn’t be your tool of choice for cleaning exterior windows.

How to Clean Outside Windows with a Squeegee

The best way to clean windows outside for the average homeowner is with a squeegee and a mildly soapy cleaning solution. Once you master the cleaning technique, you can use a scrub brush to free grime and a squeegee and rag to remove any remaining water and solution from your windows.

This cleaning method is fast and effective, and it’s how many professionals clean exterior and interior windows today. In fact, the squeegee method is the best way to clean windows inside, period.

How to Clean Outside Windows from Inside

Some windows can be opened in a way that gives you access to them from within your home. If you can open your window partially and reach the exterior glass, you can clean unreachable windows from within your home.
This method is often only good for reaching some of the exterior glass, and isn’t a suitable replacement for a professional with an extension pole on the outside of your home.

What Is the Best Window Cleaning Solution?

The best window cleaning solution for home use depends on the cleaning tools you’re using. When using a pro-grade squeegee and scrub brush, a solution of distilled or filtered water and dish soap is best. It creates the perfect amount of glide while lifting dirt and grime away from windows to create a streak-free finish. This solution isn’t the best option when using rags or newspaper to clean, though.

What Is the Best Solution for Cleaning with Newspaper, Paper Towels, or Microfiber?

A soapy window cleaning solution isn’t optimal when cleaning with most rags and newspaper. Instead, you should use a cleaner that evaporates readily. A solution such as distilled water and vinegar in equal parts works well. You could also use a product like Windex for quick cleaning.

What Is the Best Rag Option for Quick Window Cleaning?

If you don’t want to break out a squeegee and scrub brush, which is always our number one recommendation, you can use paper towels, newspaper, or microfiber cloths to clean with.

The best paper for cleaning windows is newspaper with soy-based ink. This won’t streak, smudge or stain, and it scrubs effectively.

The best microfiber cloth for cleaning windows is any clean and undamaged microfiber, but you must be careful to wash microfiber separately from other cloth types to avoid issues with lint. You should also rely on a cleaning solution like Windex that will evaporate on its own when using Microfiber, because you’ll be left with a very light amount of moisture when finished.

The best paper towels for cleaning are untreated options that are thin and slightly scratchy. Options like SCOTT Glass Towels work best, and you shouldn’t rely on any towels that boast of their absorbency because they are likely to leave behind lint and residue.

S&K Building Services Can Give Your Windows a Deep Clean

Cleaning with newspapers and microfiber rags works fine for light-duty quick cleaning. It’s not optimal for a full deep clean, though, or for cleaning all the windows on your home or business. Instead, you want professionals with large tools and years of experience. The cleaners at S&K Building Services have years of experience and pro-grade tools for a blemish-free finish. Contact our efficient and reliable team today for a window cleaning quote.

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How do you clean outside windows
you can’t reach?

You can clean outside windows you can’t reach in several ways. Professionals rely on a ladder, a telescopic pole or a lift to clean high windows. Some homeowners have tilt-lock windows that tilt inward for easy cleaning. If not, many use u-shaped poles, and some attempt to use magnetic cleaning tools. The best method is always to clean exterior windows from the outside when possible.

How do you open double-pane windows
for cleaning?

Double pane windows come in many different types and styles, and the double pane designation means they have two panes of glass for increased insulation. Often, double pane windows have a space between the panes of glass, and they sometimes have a special gas blend added between the panes for improved insulation.

What do you call windows that tilt
in for cleaning?

Windows that tilt in for cleaning are known as tilt-lock windows. Many varieties of windows are tilt-lock, but double-hung and single-hung windows are the most common.

How to open windows with latches?

To open windows with latches, spin the latch to the unlocked position. Now, slide the window pane sideways or vertically to create an opening. Double and single-hung windows slide vertically, and sliding windows slide horizontally.

Ready to Get Started?

S&K is ready to get to work for you! A member of our team is available to discuss your needs and deliver a timely estimate of services.

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