Have you ever gotten ready to do some serious spring cleaning, only to discover that you’re out of your favorite window cleaner? Or worse, you’re short on paper towels? Should you rush off to the corner store to stock up, or can you simply make do with a few simple household products our grandmothers used to use?

That’s right, there’s no need to panic if you run out of your favorite glass cleaner, window cleaner, or even paper towels. There are ways you can get the job done with some simple household products. After all, our grandmothers didn’t have access to all of the latest fancy window cleaning products on the supermarket shelves.

What You Will Need

All you need to clean your windows are these simple products, and a 1 quart spray bottle:

  • Plain white vinegar
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Newspapers

Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and one quart of warm water and fill an old spray bottle, if you can find one, with the mixture. If not you can apply it with a sponge. Shake the bottle well to mix it, and then use it just as you would your favorite glass cleaner. Scrub the glass with some crumpled newspaper, which leaves behind no lint or streaks. Dry with more crumpled newspaper for a streak-free shine.

What’s the secret? Most window cleaning products are ammonia-based, anyway, and vinegar works just as well, and for a fraction of the price. You can also use a squeegee, if you have one, in place of the newspaper – actually this works best. Other formulations include adding a bit of lemon juice, or using lemon juice in place of the vinegar completely, for a lemon-fresh aroma.

Clean Glass, Blinds and More

In either case, the acid in the vinegar or lemon juice cuts through the grease and gives you a nice clean, streak-free shine. You can also use the mixture to cut through greasy dust on your window blinds as well. These natural formulations are gentle on your window treatments and won’t discolor them the way some commercial cleaners might.

If these recipes still leave streaks on your windows, it may be that years of using commercial window cleaners have left a waxy build-up on your window glass. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of liquid detergent to the mixture, to cut the residue.

The Olive Oil Solution

Did you know that olive oil is the perfect product to remove sticky, gooey, tar-like substances from your windows or any other glass products? When you bring home new glassware and try to remove the price tags, you may find they leave behind a sticky residue. Don’t sweat it; a little bit of olive oil will remove that sticky stuff pronto.

Simply soak a paper towel with a little bit of olive oil and start rubbing. The olive oil breaks down the glue and leaves behind a smooth, tacky-free surface. Wash and rinse the glassware as usual, and you’re good to go.

Protect Your Window Treatments

These are tried and true remedies that have always worked, but have somehow been forgotten, as commercial products became readily available in convenient, easy-application packaging. While commercial products may be effective, it’s not a bad idea to fall back on the old methods, especially if you have window treatments that you don’t wish to expose to harsh chemicals.

For window treatments, blinds and shades that you’ll want to keep around for a long, long time, look to Advanced Blind & Shade, where you’ll find high quality products and impeccable service at affordable prices. With free, in-home measuring and consultations and top quality products, you won’t want to look anywhere else. Sometimes