Some people say eyes are the windows to the soul. I say windows are the eyes to the soul. A window says a lot about a person. A dirty or streaky window says ... terrible, unspeakable things. And a dirty mirror? What kind of a person would have a dirty mirror? How would you even be able to look at yourself? 


I always say that there's no better way to appreciate Nature's Beauty than to sit inside and look at nature through a nice, clean window. To keep your windows sparkling clean, here's a tip straight from Mother Nature herself:

  • Make your own solution for washing windows by adding vinegar to water in a plant-spray bottle (1 part vinegar to 3 parts water). Vinegar cuts grease, and brings out a good shine in glass. See, Mother Nature wants you to have clean windows. And so do I. I really, really do.


I'm not entirely sure what goes on at recycling centers, but I know they do good work there. Important work. But if you ever need to use up some of your old newspaper, maybe because your stack is getting too big, or you've got an odd number of papers lying around, here's a good way to put that paper to use:

  • Wipe newly washed windows clean with crumpled newspaper. This is a much more economically sound alternative to chamois leather. Or as my assistant Natalie puts it: "It's real cheap." And as a bonus, the ink will actually give the glass an additional shine. Just make sure to wash your hands well afterwards. Or wear gloves. I like to wear gloves.


Is there anything worse than a streaky window? You don't have to answer, I'll do it for you: no.

  • Not everyone cleans using only straight lines and parallel strokes, but they should. Especially when cleaning windows. Not only will straight lines be much more pleasing to the eye, but they'll actually help you clean even more efficiently. Use vertical strokes when washing the outside of windows and horizontal for inside the windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. You'll save some time, which I suggest you might want to spend vacuuming. In a grid pattern, of course.

  • Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak. I'm pretty lucky to live in San Francisco. We get a lot of fog here, so I can clean my windows every day. I wish you could all be so lucky.


I know that fog on a mirror isn't technically dirt, but it sure looks a lot like it. If you like clean mirrors as much as I do (and what sane person wouldn't?) use this technique:

    Apply shaving cream to your mirrors in small amounts in a thin layer, then wipe off with a clean rag. Not only will it keep your mirrors clean, but it will keep them from fogging over, even in the bathroom. And without dirty or foggy mirrors to deal with, you'll have more time to spend having fun scrubbing the bathtub.

      To make Monk's Tips the final say on sanitary living, we need YOU to contribute your best ideas. Email them to us along with a photo of yourself for use in future editions of Monk's Cleaning Tips.

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