How To Make Your Cloudy Windows Shine

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Cloudy windows can be a sour site for the eyes. They don’t only block out the sunlight, but they can also make your home or office appear dirty, dull, and uninviting. Fortunately, there are several ways to make your cloudy windows crystal clear.

To clean cloudy windows, use a mixture of water and white vinegar, which is non-toxic and naturally sourced. Spray your window with the cleaning solution and let it sit for a bit. Then, grab a microfiber cloth and wipe until dry. Commercial products like Windex can also be used in a similar manner.

Cleaning your windows is an essential part of home maintenance. Clean windows can improve the overall look of your home and provide a clear view of the outdoors. Let’s take a closer look at why windows become cloudy and how to solve the issue.

What Causes Windows to Become Cloudy?

Windows may become cloudy if there are significant temperature and humidity differences between the interior and exterior. 

The heated interior air won’t retain its moisture when it comes into contact with the cold window surface, and condensation will form if the air outside is significantly colder than the air inside.

Cloudy windows may also result from a hidden flaw in the window seal or the glass panes, especially in older systems. Frequently, a window upgrade is required to resolve the problem.

Additionally, cloudiness can appear on windows with double-paned glass. Moisture, dirt, and even mold can enter the space between the panes of glass and cause the window to appear cloudy if the seal between the two layers of glass is broken by damage to the window.

Old age may also cause your windows to be cloudy. As your window ages, it endures more extreme temperatures and weakened seals, leading to stubborn cloudiness.

The good news is that you can clean cloudy windows with just a few products that you probably have in the pantry and some elbow grease.

What’s the Best Cleaning Solution for Cloudy Windows? 

Hands with napkin cleaning window.

The best cleaning solution for cloudy windows is distilled water and vinegar.

Most DIY glass cleaners use water as a base. In this case, it’s best to use distilled water rather than tap water as it’s purer and less likely to leave unsightly stains or marks.

You can easily make this homemade cleaner and customize it with your favorite essential oil. All you need is two cups of distilled water, half a cup of white vinegar (on Amazon), and a few drops of lemon juice or an essential oil of your choice.

Commercial Cleaners

Alternatively, you can use commercial cleaners. Like the vinegar solution, these commercial cleaners should get rid of the cloudy haze in a flash, leaving your windows good as new.

The best overall glass cleaner is Windex (on Amazon), which can take on anything from streaks to cloudiness. This ammonia-based cleaner breaks up tough compounds and consistently removes dirty, sticky and greasy blemishes on windows and other glass surfaces.

Spray Windex on the window, let it sit for a while, and use a squeegee or microfiber cloth to wipe it off gently.

While the smell of ammonia is strong and unpleasant, it doesn’t dawdle in the air or on the windows. You won’t be able to smell it a few minutes after use.

The ammonia also disappears as quickly as the smell, so there’s very little health risk shortly after cleaning with Windex. Only huge amounts of high-concentrate ammonia can be deadly if inhaled. 

Windex is also incredibly versatile and you can use it to clean other surfaces apart from your hazy windows. It’s great for bathroom shower glass because it tackles soap scum.

Can You Clean Cloudy Windows Naturally?

Yes, there is a natural, eco-friendly cleaner for almost everything under the sun, including your cloudy windows.

As we mentioned above, you can clean windows with vinegar for a streak-free shine using natural ingredients. All you need is vinegar, warm water, your favorite liquid dish soap, and the essential oil you prefer for scent.

Here are some window cleaning tips that can help you save some time and effort:

  • Use a new, clean spray bottle. Old bottles may contain residual chemicals that could make your cloudy windows worse.
  • Never wash your windows under direct sunlight. It may seem counterintuitive, but cleaning your windows on a cloudy day is preferable. The cleaning solution may evaporate too quickly in the sun, leaving streaks behind.
  • Whatever cleaner you use, only use a little bit at a time! Otherwise, you run the risk of creating more of the streaks that you were trying to remove in the first place.
  • Don’t use cleaning rags that have been washed with fabric softener, as these will also leave streaks.
  • The faster you polish and dry the windowpane, the less likely you’ll leave streaks behind.

How to Prevent Your Windows From Becoming Cloudy

Woman cleaning window

The following tips can help prevent your windows from becoming cloudy in the first place:

Keep Them Dry and Moisture-Free

Moisture plays a huge role in the cloudiness of the windows in your home. If possible, use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.

Purchase Energy-Efficient Windows

Heat loss and gain through your windows can account for up to 30% of your total energy consumption. A high-efficiency window can help you save money on energy bills while reducing the risk of foggy glass.

Exercise Proper Ventilation 

Proper ventilation helps in the circulation of clean air and removal of excess moisture. Keeping your fan running prevents warm air from sticking to your windows — even in the winter, when temperature differences between indoors and outdoors can cause cloudy glass.

Ensure Your Windows Are Installed Appropriately

Check the seals and glass to ensure you have properly installed windows. Your contractor should show you the final installation results and provide a warranty to cover their work. 

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