The "Does It Work?" Challenge: Cleaning Windows & Mirrors with Newspaper

The "Does It Work?" Challenge: Cleaning Windows & Mirrors with Newspaper

It's cleaning and organization month on Curbly! This week we're taking a look at those household tips and tricks you've always heard or read about, but wondered if they really worked. I handed our Official Curbly Test Kitchen Tester (moi) a bevy of assignments, all to answer one burning question: Does it work?

First up: Cleaning glass with newspaper. I must confess, my Dad taught me this trick years ago. It's something about the lack of lint on the paper (vs. paper towels or a rag). And, the ink does not interfere because glass cannot absorb ink. 

Cleaning Glass with Newspaper

My experience: Worked like a charm. No lint, no streaks, very absorbent, easy to maneuver around the window.

Next, I thought I'd try coffee filters. I'd heard that these work in the same way.

created at: 03/11/2012

My experience: Effective, however I had to use a small stack at a time to get the level of absorbency I needed. Also, the surface area of the coffee filters are fairly small, so I felt like I was chasing the glass cleaner all around the place. These might be better for smaller areas, like picture frames.

So, does it work?

created at: 03/11/2012

Now if only there were an easy way to reach my second story windows from the outside...

Check back tomorrow for Part 2 of the challenge: Using baking soda to polish silver. Will it work?

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Stephanie on Nov 22, 2014:

I use baking soda dissolved in warm water. Spread the solution on your glass/mirrors and let dry for a minute. You will have a white film on the surface which you wipe off with newspaper. Crystal clear every time.

MollyMC on Mar 16, 2012:

To buy this weekend: Squeegee

Valerie on Mar 16, 2012:

From the house to the ambulance; dishsoap, water, and a squeegie makes windows crystal clear - inside and out. (A 4x4 window in under 1 minute)  Like SueK, I'm never going back to anything else.

SueK. on Mar 16, 2012:

 I once asked the commercial window cleaner that whipped thru all the office windows in an hour how he got them so spotless.  His answer: water. dishsoap and a good squeegie. I bought my first squeegie and have never gone back! It works like a charm.


Katie on Mar 15, 2012:

Newspaper worked because the inks used to be oil-based and polished the window.  (Remember glass polish?)  Now a days the inks are soy-based and don't have the same effect.  

MollyMC on Mar 13, 2012:

I'm so glad y'all are enjoying this! Thanks for your comments. 

@Sarah, great tip about the industrial size coffee filters! I bet the people who work at Starbucks have really clean windows.

Sarah on Mar 13, 2012:

The trick for the coffee filters is to get the really big ones they use in coffeeshops. They're at least twice as big as the kind you get at the grocery store, maybe even three times. And they really do work like a charm.

vanessa on Mar 13, 2012:

Yup, it works. The only problem is that if you have white woodwork the ink rubs off on it.  Clean windows, grey woodwork.  Humph!

Julie on Mar 12, 2012:

I love this series already!

Cristina on Mar 12, 2012:

Yes, it works great! My grandma used this when I was little :)

Brigi on Mar 12, 2012:

My Mom also used to use newspaper. However she did not use color printed pages. There must be something in the black lead....

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