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Restore Dull and Cloudy Windows with This Fix

March 4, 2024
Restore Dull and Cloudy Windows with This Fix

Cleaning windows is an important part of home maintenance. Over time, windows accumulate dirt, dust, and grime that can leave them looking dull, cloudy, and streaky. With the right supplies and techniques, you can restore your windows to their original sparkling clarity.

Why Windows Get Dirty and Cloudy

There are several reasons why windows may become dirty, dull, and cloudy over time:

Dust and Dirt Buildup

Dust, pollen, pollution, and other airborne particles cling to windows. These particles build up over time, creating a dull, dirty film on the glass.

Mineral Deposits

As rainwater evaporates from your windows, it leaves behind mineral deposits from your local water supply. These mineral deposits lead to cloudy, streaky windows.


Prolonged exposure to sun and moisture can cause the glass itself to become oxidized and etched. This oxidation creates a cloudy, foggy appearance.

Hard Water Stains

Water droplets that dry and evaporate on the glass leave behind spotty hard water stains from minerals in the water. These stains make windows appear spotted and dirty.

How to Restore Dull, Cloudy Windows

Restoring your windows requires a little elbow grease and the right cleaning solutions. Here are the steps:

1. Remove Screens and Open Windows

Remove any screens or storm windows so you can access the entire exterior window pane. Open the windows fully so you can reach the top and sides.

2. Use a Soft Scrub Brush and Mild Dish Soap

Mix a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid like Dawn with warm water. Use a soft scrub brush to gently scrub the exterior window surfaces. The dish soap helps cut through grease and grime.

3. Rinse Thoroughly

Rinse the windows thoroughly with clean water to remove all soapy residue. Wipe with a squeegee or lint-free cloth.

4. Clean with Vinegar

For cloudiness caused by hard water stains and mineral deposits, use undiluted white vinegar. Pour vinegar directly onto a lint-free cloth and wipe the window glass.

5. Polish with Newspaper

Use crumpled newspaper or coffee filters to give the glass a final polish. The newsprint helps eliminate streaks and make the glass extra sparkling.

6. Use Rubbing Alcohol for Tough Stains

For tougher stains, dip your cloth in rubbing alcohol. Rub gently onto stained areas and rinse thoroughly. The alcohol cuts through stubborn hard water stains.

7. Consider Replacing Damaged Glass

If the glass has become irreparably oxidized or etched, replacement of the glass pane might be needed to fully restore clarity. A local glass company can replace the pane.

Prevent Dirty Windows with Regular Cleaning

To keep your windows looking their best:

  • Clean windows at least twice a year – spring and fall are ideal.
  • Use high quality microfiber cloths and avoid paper towels.
  • Squeegee windows after washing to prevent spotting.
  • Apply rain-repellent treatments to exterior glass.
  • Consider window awnings or screens to limit direct sun exposure.

With the proper cleaning techniques and regular maintenance, you can keep your windows looking crystal clear! Let the light shine in with clean and sparkling glass.

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