Use Newspaper to Wash Windows

By Finn Clark

Have you ever tried washing windows with a rag? What happens? You get lots of smudges and lint all over your window. And if you’re using paper towels for window washing, the same problem will occur because paper towels have lots of loose material that gets stuck on your nice glass window. I’ve found a simple solution to the problem: Use newspaper! (My mom has also banned paper towels from our house, so we can’t use those.)

Use Newspaper For Window Washing. Photo © Liesl Clark

If I were to be really scientific about it, here’s the method I’d use for best results:

Spray a solution of mostly water and just a little vinegar onto the window. I don’t know why anyone would go out and buy “window cleaning solution” since this simple solution is easy to make, is less expensive, and is great for the environment.

Kids Love to Wash Windows. Give Them Some Newsprint and Let 'Em Go! Photo © Liesl Clark

Don’t use too much spray or it’ll be harder work for you rubbing all the wet stuff off your window. Next, rub in any direction you want. Some might say circular motions work well on caked-on bird poop. (Yup, I said bird poop in this post and I think it’s funny. Don’t worry, there’s no bird poop on our windows.) Your final strokes should be long up and down or back and forth motions to take off any residue. That’s it.

No-Smudge Newspaper Method. Photo © Liesl Clark

Does newspaper leave an inky smudge on your windows? No! I’ve never noticed any smudging, even with colored newsprint. We bring the crumpled wet newspaper inside and let it dry so we can use it as starter for our wood fires, or in summer we put it in our compost or worm bin. The worms love worn newspaper for laying eggs in.

Happy window cleaning!

Be Sure to Reuse Your Used Newspaper in the Compost or Worm Bin. Photo © Liesl Clark

10 thoughts on “Use Newspaper to Wash Windows

  1. Great post! It’s quite common to use newspaper as a window-cleaning cloth here in the UK, but it’s not common to find willing young window cleaners. Any time you’re passing, Finn, the job’s yours if you want it 😉 ………

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Finn, Well done 👏🏻
    Margaret beat me to it – I was going to say exaclty the same! This has long been a traditional method especially in the north of England, I don’t know why people don’t use it as much now except that perhaps it’s a bit messy. And the smell of vinegar might be a bit off-putting – though that shouldn’t be a problem outside and it certainly does work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Liesl:

    Just wanted you to know that your photos are so large that my printer would only print the first page before stopping all printing and getting tied into knots. While beautiful, please repost with photos that are less than about 8 inches tall so they will either wrap or not trip out as being too large for the paper. Dad

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dad. Well, we just roll with what’s easiest and maybe looking at the pix online, without printing onto paper, is a good way to see the images? Not to discourage any sharing of this info, but if you can read it on your rectangular device or your laptop, maybe the images will still look strong enough for sharing? Love you Dad/Papa!!! Liesl & Finn


  4. Hi great post! I use this method for my windows and it doesn’t smell at ALL. Also I found that going up and down on one side, then across from side to side on the other, really stops any smearing or marks. Who would even use bottles of window cleaning stuff? Its disgusting – although some people do use it to cloud up their windows on purpose if they are decorating a room. It stops nosy folk from staring in. They do that in the UK sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so funny! Yes, we agree, that silly window-washing stuff for sale is just a waste of money, and thank you for your much better explanation of the best method for removing all smudges from the window, by first going up and down and then side to side. That’s definitely the way to go, to remove all residue!


  5. Pingback: 50 Things To Never Buy | Pioneering The Simple Life

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