How to Clean Windows, Mirrors, and Other Glass Surfaces in Your First Apartment

Dirty glass surfaces can quickly make a well-decorated, put-together apartment look sloppy and uncared-for, so cleaning windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces the right way is a crucial skill for any renter. Want to know how to do it well? Read on below for the best tips and tricks to keep your first-apartment glass surfaces sparkling. 

How to clean glass the right way

When cleaning glass, you’ll first need to find a cleaning solution that works for you. To start cleaning, simply use a rag and a bucket of water with several drops of dish soap. This will be a preliminary cleaning process to help keep your “final touch” rag clean.

You’ll then apply a glass cleaner with a clean, soft microfiber rag or paper towels. Wipe the window in a Z-shaped pattern from top to bottom, ensuring that you don’t leave any streaks. If streaks remain after the first pass, simply spray the window with glass cleaner and clean it in the same way again. Some windows will require two to three passes to look clean. 

DIY glass cleaner

While there are many commercial glass cleaners available for purchase, you can save some money and add your favorite smell with a simple DIY cleaner. Simply mix two cups of distilled water, half a cup of vinegar, and 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle.

Outside of windows

The outside of your windows is a different beast to clean than indoor glass surfaces, as it will typically get much dirtier from exposure to the elements. If you live in a large apartment building, odds are your landlord will have a window washer take care of these every so often, but what if you live in a duplex or other small building?

The best way to start washing the outdoor side of windows is to simply hose them off, clearing away any dirt, bugs, and spiderwebs that might be there. If the window is too high to clean with a rag, use a soft mop with a vinegar and water solution. If you have one, use a rubber-bladed squeegee to dry the window off. Alternatively, you can use a clean towel.

Mistakes to avoid

Although cleaning glass seems like the simplest of jobs, there are several common mistakes that can make things more difficult for you. First of all, try not to clean your external windows on hot, sunny days. The sun can make the cleaner dry onto the window before you’ve had a chance to wipe it off, leaving streaks.

If your windows have visible dirt or dust on them, don’t spray cleaner onto them until you get it off. Take a vacuum and gently pull off as much dirt and dust as you can, and use a separate rag to loosen up any dirt that’s hardened on. Proceed with the regular window washing process afterward.

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