Spring Cleaning 101 – Part 2 – Washing Windows with Vinegar

This glorious weather has certainly put a real spring in my step and given me the energy I need to tackle improving my view into the amazing landscape I am so incredibly lucky to call home. Everything around the house has taken a beating from that harsh Atlantic wind and incessant rain throughout the winter, especially with the number of bad storms we had to endure this year. Whilst the arrival of the sun has made everything look fantastic again, it has only served to highlight how very dirty my windows are. Because there is water involved in this job, it has caught the interest of my six and seven-year-old. So, I’ll happily let them assist until a butterfly or finch in full song steals them away.

I know there is vinegar in the house as we had it on our chips (homemade, these days) a few days ago. Make sure to use white vinegar for this job, or any other cleaning job as it won’t stain the surface. I like to use warm soapy water and add a dash of vinegar to it as the combination of the two will cut through any grime and leave your windows sparkling. A squeegee is fantastic for getting excess water off the surface and a microfibre glass cloth will rid the glass of any remaining smears, although my mother is a firm believer that bundled up newspaper is the best for this final polish. This same method is wonderful for shower doors also and can be repeated where there is heavy soiling.

You can also use this same combination to clean your vases to have them ready to receive all the pretty flowers which are beginning to bloom in the garden. For any odd-shaped vessels, simply add some uncooked rice which will help agitate any hard to reach areas, rinse out and hey presto, sparkling vases.

Some friends have asked if vinegar might be useful in killing germs on their door handles or other surfaces. I wouldn’t consider it to be the best product for this job. Whilst vinegar does have mild antiseptic properties, it would not kill every type of containment and its acidic properties may only serve in damaging any beautiful furniture and/or door handles. Best to leave it for your chips or glass cleaning. Instead use hot soapy water and plenty of elbow grease to get a good foam going, then wipe off with either a microfibre cloth or paper towel.

Top tips:

  1. It’s best to clean windows in the morning or evening when the sun is not at its strongest as sometimes the intense heat will cause watermarks to dry to impossibly stubborn streaks.
  2. Never add softener when washing your microfibre cloths as it will clog the fibres and make them less effective.

NB: Always avoid using vinegar on granite or marble surfaces as it can cause them to lose their shine. It’s best avoided with wood surfaces also, as this could cause watermarks and spoil finishes.


The fabulous view from one of my clean windows. Only 20 more or so to go, which will help burn off those homemade chips. The helpers have also scarpered and are now enthralled with daffodil picking.

Other uses for vinegar are

  • Keeping cut flowers fresh
  • Blinds
  • Microwave
  • Bath
  • Clogged shower head
  • To soften a paintbrush


Take Care, Tús maith leath na hoibre.



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