Renovation & Design

The secret to streak-free windows

Question: I am wondering what the secret is to really clean, shiny windows without any streaks. My home has a lot of windows and I have used vinegar and water to clean them, wet newspapers and commercial glass cleaner. They all do a great job of getting rid of dirt and bug marks, but no matter what kind of cloth or paper towel I use for the final wipe, the windows are quite streaky. Any advice you can provide for getting streak-free windows would be very much appreciated.

— Val


Answer: Purchase a good quality squeegee, a wet mop and a window scraper. You can also try this amazing window cleaner recipe: in a gallon-size spray bottle, mix one cup of rubbing alcohol and one teaspoon of cheap shampoo and fill the bottle to the top with water. Spray windows and scrub with a wet, window mop. Use a scraper to remove any dried-on bugs and leaves. Avoid cleaning windows when the sun shines directly on them. The sun will dry the windows too fast, which will result in streaks. Clean the water off the glass with a squeegee. Wipe the edges of the squeegee after removing water. Dry windows with either a good quality microfibre cloth or dry newspaper. Crumple it up and rub the windows until dry. For extra shine, put cornstarch in a bucket with water. Wipe windows and dry with a microfibre cloth or newspaper.

Question: I have asthma and am trying to make household cleaners out of products that do not have perfume. I recently made laundry detergent that seems to be very successful. I used washing soda, borax and soap granules but left out essential oils. I also made dish detergent (not dishwasher detergent) with much less success. I found the ingredients were highly perfumed, causing pulmonary problems. These ingredients were shredded Sunlight bar soap, Castile baby soap (not perfume free), Arm and Hammer washing soda and vinegar. I am looking for non-perfumed products to make dish detergent, but I’m not having any luck finding them in the retail stores. Can you help me with this problem? I also found the recipe I used did not make suds, and looking at a dishpan full of murky water is not pleasant. I did find Kirk’s bar soap online, but the cost is prohibitive.

— Donna

Answer: There’s no need to ever purchase dish soap again. This solution is not only easy, it is also very economical. Take slivers left over from your favourite scented, or in your case, unscented soap bars (Sunlight laundry bar soap will not work) and let them sit overnight in a jar of water. Shake the contents and add a few tablespoons to your sink water. As the jar sits over the next few days, the contents will thicken; add enough water once again to make the solution easy to pour. Lots of bubbles and great cleaning power.

Question: A friend has a new dryer and it has a sticky substance inside the drum of the dryer. How should she proceed to remove this sticky substance?

— Sandy

Answer: A very simple remedy is to dampen a dryer sheet and use it to wipe the inside of the drum. If you are opposed to dryer sheets, clean the drum with rubbing alcohol. If the mess is extremely gooey, wipe with peanut butter, then clean with soapy water.

Question: Help! I am making homemade perogies and as I boil them, they open. What am I doing wrong?

— Anthony

Answer: One of the most common culprits for perogy explosions is because the dough is stretched excessively after filling them. If the dough is forced to stretch beyond its limits, it will pop open when heated. Be careful not to overfill perogies as they will burst open when boiling. Only fill them as much as possible while still being able to seal edges easily, and take the time to seal edges well. Boil water and remove perogies as soon as they float to the surface or at about seven minutes.

Note: Every user assumes all risks of injury or damage resulting from the implementation of any suggestions in this column. Test all products on an inconspicuous area first.

Reena Nerbas is a popular motivational presenter for large and small groups; check out her website:



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