Is Newspaper Good for Cleaning Windows?

by | Jan 18, 2021 | General Cleaning

It is a well known home remedy – newspaper is good for cleaning windows. But is it though? In this article, we are going to focus our attention on the word “good.” Good can mean a few things in this context, so we will first itemize those, and then see how newspaper stacks up. 

What makes something “Good” for cleaning windows?

  • Quality Results
  • Quick & Easy
  • Cost Effective

Quality Results

Let’s start with the big question, can you get good results from cleaning windows with newspapers? Yes, you can. Though petroleum based inks used in newspapers can cause smears as well as inky hands and surrounding surfaces, most newspapers these days use soy based inks that don’t cause this issue. Also, the composition of newspaper makes it much more durable when used with water than tissue paper or paper towels. So, newspaper gets a big tick on the quality results front.

Quick & Easy

Will cleaning windows with newspaper be quick and easy? No, there are much quicker and easier ways to clean windows than with newspaper. Many people dread cleaning windows, and a big reason for this is that they find it to be slow, hard work. So if you go the newspaper route, you likely won’t enjoy this chore anymore than you do now, and, chances are, you’ll enjoy it even less than you have in the past. By comparison, if you clean windows exactly the same way (either with a spray or a bucket of soapy water) but swap the newspaper for cloths (ideally microfiber) then you will have an easier time. Each cloth will last longer (before becoming too wet or dirty to use) than each sheet of newspaper) so you won’t be swapping for a new one as often. You also won’t have a trail of scrunched up pieces of newspaper following your progress around your living room. So on point number 2, quick & easy, it’s a “no” for newspaper. 

Cost Effective

This is an interesting one. When newspaper was first toted as a window cleaning wonder, it was essentially a free product that everyone already had in their homes since they would just use “yesterday’s” newspaper. Now, less people read newspapers, at least in their physical print form. So, if you do regularly read the newspaper, then it could make sense to give it this second life before recycling it further. But if you were to purchase a newspaper for this purpose, even at just over a dollar it is a pretty inefficient solution since you will only get one use out of each sheet. Contrast that with buying a pack of microfiber cloths that can be washed and used repeatedly, the newspaper solution’s strength in this area is not what it once was. So we won’t assign a tick or cross to this one, that’s for you to decide – but whilst it would be cheaper than paying to have your windows professionally done, it most certainly wouldn’t be quicker, easier and you could not expect professional results.

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