3 Window-Cleaning Tips My Polish Grandmother Taught Me

published Aug 30, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

My grandmother is from the northeastern side of Poland and lives in a small village on the edge of the Białowieża Forest. We’ve always been country folks and farmers, and because of that, my grandmother has an impressive list of home remedies and cleaning hacks that revolve around things that she grew or readily had on hand. After all, there’s no Walgreens down the block or Walmart up the street to buy cleaning products from. 

Sometimes these remedies are questionable, and other times they’re genius and cut your cleaning time in half. Some of my favorite solutions from her revolve around washing windows — my most dreaded task. 

Washing windows always takes up the most time for me and requires a lot of elbow grease, making me put off the job over and over again. But according to my grandma, that doesn’t need to be the case because it doesn’t need to be that difficult.

Here are three cleaning tips she recommends.

Clean windows with onions.

Listen, Polish people love to use vegetables for random remedies. Are joints swelling or in pain? Wrap them in cabbage for the night. Have a burn on your hand from the skillet? Put cold slices of pickle on it. Have stubborn grime on your window after winter? Slice through it with a yellow onion. That’s right. Rather than scrubbing away the dirt with Windex and your sheer will, you can cut an onion in half and use that to take off the first couple layers of dirt. It cuts through it much faster than a rag or paper towel and then allows you to finish the job with a cleaning solution.

Throw your blinds in the tub.

I used to avoid cleaning my plastic blinds because going over every slat with a damp rag was so time-consuming. My grandma was thoroughly confused about why I did that and not just throw them into a tub with some grease-busting soap. The soap will lift grime, and then all you have to do is rinse them with fresh water or blast them with a hose. This, of course, only works on plastic and not paper or cloth blinds, but it’s a time-saver. 

Make glass cleaner with alcohol and ammonia.

Want to save money making your own glass cleaner, but vinegar still leaves streaks on your mirrors and windows? Try making a solution with alcohol and ammonia. Mix 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 2 tablespoons ammonia, and a few drops of dish soap. Pour it into a spray bottle and dilute it with water until the bottle is full. Use this solution to clean dirty windows, which will help cut through dirt and leave it streak-free.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 3 Window Cleaning Tips I Learned From My Polish Grandmother