Cleaning glass is something that everyone has to do eventually. It can be serious pain or it can be fairly simple. The way to make it quick and painless is to find the right cleaning solution. The right cleaning solution does three things well. It cleans whatever is on the window, it leaves the window shiny, and it protects against future dirt. There are a few elements that you should look for in a cleaning solution to make it worth your while.

Cleans the Window

The first task of a cleaning solution is to clean the window. To do this, the solution needs to have a chemical that can cut through most dirt and grease. Ammonia is a good choice for a cleaner that can cut through dirt and grease. Oils from hair or fingers can get on the window leaving smudges; just any cleaner won’t get through it. You should be aware though that the FDA does not consider ammonia to be a disinfectant. So, if you want the cleaner to actually disinfect the window, you need one that has an actual disinfectant in it. Vinegar actually works pretty well as a disinfectant, though many people dislike the smell.

Protects Against Future Dirt

The window cleaner needs to also protect against future dirt. To do that, it will need to be made with something that will stay on the window without leaving behind a residue. A window cleaner with isopropyl alcohol is a good choice. While alcohol evaporates, it does fill in the microscopic crevices in the glass. Those crevices are where water and dirt collect; if you have a cleaner that fills them in, you’ll know that because water will bead up on the surface instead of streaking.

Streak-Free Shine

Finally, the window cleaner needs to leave behind a shine without streaks. Alcohol is crucial in this as well. Since it dries clean, it doesn’t leave behind residue. The streaks are either the residue of the cleaner or dirt that didn’t get removed. If the cleaner does not clean effectively and dry quickly, it will leave behind streaks.

When you are using a cleaner that meets all of these criteria, you need to also make sure you’re using the right paper. Paper towels leave behind tiny fibers that will mar the window’s finish. Many people use newspaper but it has very little absorption. So, you’ll go through lots of it. Your best bet is to invest in some microfiber towels.