Interior Design

Using baking soda to clean windows – 4 steps to a spotless clean

Window experts are turning to baking soda for a spotless shine – this is how to achieve a professional result, fast

Sparkling clean windows and French doors in a kitchen
(Image credit: James Balston)

The process of cleaning windows may seem simple – but often – it is harder than expected to achieve a streak-free finish. However, the secret to a spotless result may come in the shape of a domestic essential that may be hiding in your cupboard already: baking soda

If you're wondering how to clean a window effectively, these cleaning tips are entirely expert approved. And it's easy to see what makes them so popular amongst those in the know. Here's what the process involves.  

Using baking soda for streak-free windows – the trick behind a professional finish 

pink bedroom with painted French doors and curtains looking out into garden

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

We are growing increasingly conscious about the avoiding toxic window treatment ideas that may be harming our windows and the planet in the long term. However, baking soda is a natural and convenient solution that offers an expert shine in 4 steps: 

1. Sprinkle baking soda on a cloth

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Alicia Johnson, a cleaning expert from Cleaning Green LLC begins by adding a small amount of baking soda on a a cleaning cloth [such as this microfiber cloth from Amazon]. She urges you to begin cleaning straight away, but you don't need to rub too harshly, thanks to the baking soda's power. 

'[There is] no need to go aggressive because the baking soda alone will act as an effective abrasive that removes any type of dirt, dust, or other debris accumulation with ease,' she says. 'Though, the best part is that it’s soft enough so that it will never scratch the surface of your windows.'

2. Remove the baking soda from the window surface

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Next, you will need to wash the soda from the glass. For this, Alicia suggests filling a small container with lukewarm water and using another cloth to remove the soda from the surface. 'Again, you don’t need to be aggressive with the cleaning. Always use a soft touch and make sure you follow a single cleaning pattern, rather than mixing it up,' she says.

3. Consider adding vinegar

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(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Experts love cleaning with vinegar, and its power stretches to your windows, too. While this step is optional (as your windows may already be clean to your liking), it may be a good idea to repeat the process with added vinegar. 

'To ensure even better results of your cleaning session, you can add vinegar to the mix,' Alicia says. 'Begin by mixing equal parts of vinegar and water inside a spray bottle. Apply some of the mixture on your window before wiping the solution with a dry cloth or paper towels.' She adds that you should use the same cleaning pattern for this step as well. 

4. Buff your window for a streak-free shine

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If you want to ensure a spotless finish, Alicia recommends buffing your window once it has dried, using a dry, soft, chamois cloth or clean chalkboard eraser.'Buffing the windows gives them that fantastic glow, while ensuring that the glass is completely streak-free,' she says. 

What is the secret to streak free windows?

The trick behind a perfect finish is in the baking soda – but it is also in the cloth you use. Microfiber cleaning cloths are loved by experts for their soft but powerful abilities that will cut through dirt but leave your glass untainted. However, it is always a good idea to buff your windows with a chamois cloth or fresh chalkboard eraser to guarantee sparkling results. 

How do I stop smears when washing windows?

If you use the correct ingredients and equipment, it is unlikely that you will come across smears when your windows dry. H&G's Editor in Chief Lucy Searle similarly urges you to ensure that you remove all remaining water when cleaning to ensure it will dry without any marks. 'You should also avoid using harsher cleaning cloths such as paper towels that may leave lint on the glass,' Lucy adds. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.