clean windows with newspaper

Should You Use Newspaper to Clean Windows?

You’ve no doubt heard, maybe from a parent or grandparent, that the best way to clean your windows is with newspaper, but does it really work?

Won’t the ink stain your windows? Won’t the scrunched-up edges scratch the glass?

In this article we’ll explore whether you can and should use newspaper to clean windows, how to do it, and whether there are better alternatives.


Should You Use Newspaper to Clean Windows?

There is some debate about whether it’s good to use newspaper or not. Newspaper isn’t reusable, so once it’s been used to clean your glass surfaces, you dispose of it.

Whilst it’s unclear whether you can recycle newspaper with cleaning products on it, you can compost it and it will biodegrade.

Cloths and sponges are not recyclable and will take longer to biodegrade. However, cloths can be washed and used again.

On the other hand, newspapers have a more limited use than a cloth, for example. Whilst the paper won’t disintegrate right away, one sheet probably won’t hold up if you plan to do your windows, mirrors, glass tables and car windshield.

It’s also only a cost-effective tool if you regularly buy a newspaper and have some old newspapers lying around. It doesn’t make sense to buy a newspaper just to use it for cleaning!

Newspaper ink can bleed onto the window frame, and papers are not the most efficient tool for cleaning.

Squeegees are generally considered the best window cleaning tools because they cover a larger area, require less effort, can be reused and, like newspapers, leave a streak-free finish.


Why Is Newspaper Good for Cleaning Windows?

buffing windows with newspaper

Newspaper was often used for window cleaning in the past because it gives a smudge-free finish. The paper itself doesn’t leave behind any streaks or lint, like a cloth would.

This is because newspaper is made from absorbent materials and picks up the cleaning products you use, rather than just moving it around.

It’s also thought that the composition of the ink helps cut through dust and grime, making for a better clean.

One downside is that the ink could possibly transfer to the window frame or even your hands, but it won’t leave any marks on the glass.

Newspaper is sturdy. We all know that getting paper wet results in a messy mush. But newspapers are made from more solid materials and therefore stand up to being used with cleaning products.


How to Use Newspaper to Clean Windows

using newspaper on windows

It’s easy to use newspaper to clean your windows, just follow these steps:

  1. Apply your cleaner of choice to the glass. It could be window cleaner or vinegar.
  2. Wipe the windows in a circular motion using the newspaper.
  3. Wipe the window in horizontal and vertical lines until all the cleaning product has been removed.

Take care when cleaning close to the frame as the wet ink could potentially run off onto the wood. In addition, it can get onto your hands so wash them after using newspaper to clean.