The Grandma-Approved Trick to Make Your Kitchen Windows Crystal Clear

published Sep 7, 2022
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Kitchen window
Credit: Sarah Crowley

If there’s one window to keep sparkling clean in your home, it’s your kitchen window — the one you look out when you’re doing dishes, stirring your dinner on the stove, or enjoying breakfast. 

If I’m honest, I haven’t thoroughly scrubbed my kitchen window since we moved into our house a year ago. So it’s no surprise that I’m long overdue to figure out the best (read: most efficient and effective) method for keeping my kitchen view picturesque.

Earlier this year, Kitchn covered a window cleaning showdown, in which we tested and compared various window-washing methods. Of course, one well-known product surpassed the other methods we tried, but our readers were generous enough to share their own go-to techniques for kitchen-window cleaning (yes, we certainly do take the time to read your comments!).

One reader posted her grandmother’s favorite cleaning method — a solution of warm water and cornstarch. “I stir the mixture up real well then just use a couple rags,” the reader tells us. Apparently, the cornstarch is slightly abrasive, which they found makes it great at scrubbing grime off windows without scratching the glass.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
A reader told us warm water and cornstarch work great to clean windows.

For the most part, I usually reach for Windex or Sprayway to clean my windows, but given that I’ve been searching for a solid, deep-cleaning method, I was eager to follow the commenter’s steps and give this technique a try.

First, I grabbed a bucket and filled it with a quart of water and 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch. (The reader suggests a gallon of warm water and a tablespoon of cornstarch, but I used a fourth of the suggested ratio because I was only cleaning one window.) Then, I stirred the mixture up in the bucket and soaked a clean rag.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
We gave the simple method a try. This is the cornstarch bath.

I started at the top, scrubbing my window in circular motions until I got to the bottom. The commenter explains you don’t have to rinse, so once the window looked clean, I simply used a dry microfiber cloth to wipe any residue off. The whole process of mixing the solution and cleaning one window took fewer than five minutes, which, to be honest, is longer than I’d normally spend — but so worth it! You can see the results for yourself.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Washing my window.

The steps are a tiny bit more laborious than spritzing Windex and wiping it down, but I saw better results. The windows looked sparkly, with zero streaks when I wiped them dry. And this method, compared to Windex, is so inexpensive (and less wasteful than buying a plastic bottle). Plus, it allows you to easily use something you probably already have stocked in your pantry.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Look at those results!

Another benefit? While I don’t mind the scent of Windex, others may prefer more neutral odors. The corn starch solution might be a smart option, as it is odorless.

Credit: Ashley Abramson
Crystal clear! Cornstarch really does work.

A few tips, though: If you’re trying this method for the first time, be sure to gently wring out the cloth before you wipe down the window, or you’ll end up with drips all over the place (and more of a mess to clean).

I found a microfiber cloth stayed just wet enough to actually clean the window with the solution, and that the dry microfiber cloth was perfect for drying without leaving behind streaks.

All I can say is, this simple hack is worth trying. If you have a better DIY method for window-cleaning, we’re all ears!

How do you keep your kitchen windows looking good? Tell us your tips and product suggestions in the comments below.