Cleaning showcase glass

OK, here’s kind of a weird question:

Do any of you clean the glass on your showcases with windex and old
newspaper? In several different countries in Asia I have watched
people cleaning showcases and/or store windows with old newspapers. I
always assummed they were using newsprint because it was cheaper than
buying paper towels, but I asked one person about it, and they said
that for some reason the newspaper actually cleaned better than a new
paper towel!


I used to do the huge picture windows in my house with just white
vinegar and newspaper and yes, I thought it worked much better, less
streaky, and certainly cheaper than paper towels and windex.

-Barb Baur

Newspaper does not leave as many streaks, and it is also lint free.
I have been using newspaper for cleaning all types of glass from
display cases, to the windows on my truck, glass tables, to the
windows on the house. it works great. Avoid the glossy color pages
though, just plain b&w works the best.


Newspaper does clean better than paper towels. It leaves no LINT

David Geller

JewelerProfit, Inc.
510 Sutters Point
Atlanta, GA. 30328
(404) 255-9565 Voice
(404) 252-9835 Fax


My husbands grandmother, who by now would be at least 115 years old
swore by white viniger (I’m guessing diluted with water) and
newspaper to clean windows. There is something in the newsprint maybe
and it is lint free.

Bertty Belmonte

In the 50’s, my mother did the same to avoid streaking. I don’t
know what it was that worked but if it were the ink, perhaps the
newer soy-based inks some newspapers use now would not perform the

Pam Chott

Hi Doug,

Yes, I’ve been using newspapers and Windex for years to clean glass
cases and windows. I suspect that there’s something in the chemistry
of the paper and/or the ink in newsprint that does a better job of
cleaning glass - but that’s just a guess. It’s much easier to get a
streak free shine with newsprint and it doesn’t leave lint as paper
towels do. The down side is that you get newsprint all over your
hands and if you are cleaning glass that is framed in a light color -
or light paint you need to keep the newspaper away from the frame or
it will leave a black residue on the paint from the newsprint.


    Do any of you clean the glass on your showcases with windex
and old newspaper? 

Yes. As long ago as the 1970s, all the high school kids used
newspaper and Windex to clean windshields and automobile glass.
Works great on chrome, too. I have no idea why, but it works.

James in SoFl

Actually, my mother taught me to clean windows with windex and
newspapers. It does indeed clean better than paper towels.

Janet Kofoed

I have watched people cleaning showcases and/or store windows with
old newspapers. I always assummed they were using newsprint because
it was cheaper than buying paper towels, but I asked one person
about it, and they said that for some reason the newspaper
actually cleaned better than a new paper towel!

Doug - don’t know how old you are, but guessing not very. I am
almost 74 and I grew up cleaning windows with vinegar and water and
drying them off with newspapers. The reason: We didn’t have paper
towels or Windex then. The vinegar and water mixture washed off any
dirt and etched off any crusty deposits on the windows - but
remember people used to wash their windows very frequently as dirty
windows were a sign of a lazy and slovenly housekeeper, so the
windows were seldom very very dirty. The newspapers were absorbent
enough and the ink in the newspapers added a bit of sheen to the
windows (at least that’s what my Dad said). Perhaps it was the
combination of the vinegar and the ink - but I’m not a chemist.
Today I use Windex and my trusty squeegee - if you use it right it
leaves no marks.


Okay… I’m reaching waaay down to tap into my “Inner Martha” here,
but, in fact, newspaper is recommended by those "Household Hints"
gurus because it doesn’t leave a linty residue as paper towels do.
It’s also a useful recycling thing…

I used newspaper to do my many-paned windows, but I have to say, I
found something at an auto supply store that works better than
anything. It’s a soft, “cushy”, synthetic version of a chamois
called “The Absorber”. It comes rolled up in a plastic tube “keeper”,
comes in perky colors like lilac and aqua, and it’s the best thing
I’ve found to clean and/or dry off anything - windows, glass table
tops, showcases, mirrors, car, fur-bearing critters, etc. You can
store it damp (which means it’s always ready for use), use it dirty,
hand-rinse it or throw it in the washing machine along with your
laundry, etc… It’s far more absorbent and extremely efficient
without the environmental waste of paper towels or the litter of
soggy, disintegrating newsprint.

Usual disclaimer: I have nothing to do with the company - I just
found that rare product that actually functions as promised . Now when
does that happen?


Hi Doug,

Oddly enough, yesterday I watched a show where a professional
cleaning person dispelled the myth that newsprint cleans better than
paper towel. It will leave streaks. Apparently it is used because it
does not leave as much lint as a paper towel. Try lint free cloths
with straight old windex.

Hope this helps!
Mary Linford
Blue Star Wax Carving

Normally I would just send this to Doug, but after the discussions
here I will send it to Orchid.

I don’t have a showcase but…Yes I use newsprint for all my window
and mirror cleaning. I don’t use it with windex, I mix water and a
bit of white vinegar in a cheap spray bottle and spray that on, then
rub with the newspaper 'til dry.

It works very, very well.

A tip I read somewhere is to rub vertically on one side and
horizontally on the other, then you can tell on which side you have
missed a spot.

in Melbourne where I’m getting a bit bored with the warm weather

I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this already, but I put a spray
attachment on a bottle of rubbing alchohol and use that for my glass
display cases. Give it a try. It doesn’t streak because it
evaporates so quickly…

Barbra Voltaire, F.G.G., G.G.

Yes, Doug, cleaning glass of any sort with newspaper is not only
inexpensive recycling but does a far superior job of polishing glass.
Just wad it up and rub. Then figure out how to get the ink residue
off your hands before you touch anything else! Happy streakless cases
to you.


if you let the newspaper get too wet, yes it will leave streaks, but
as long as it is in an almost dry condition when you are wiping the
last little bit of cleaner off it dosent leave streaks.

And as someone mentioned before, white vinegar, or white vinegar
split 50/50 with water does work as a good cleaner too as long as
you do not have too much dirt/grease to remove.


In the old days, newsprint was carbon-based. However, carbon-based
printer inks have been outlawed for some time in the U.S., not
because of the carbon, but because of the solvents that had small
amounts of lead. Most commercial print in the U.S. now is soy-based,
which is why it smears if you get water on it. So indeed, newsprint
was an excellent medium in days of yore to clean and polish glass:
with the carbon that picks up residue (carbon is naturally “sticky”),
traces of solvent to dissolve and loosen debris, and highly absorbent
pulp paper high in sulfides, made glass sparkle. Soy-based inks will
streak, but you can still get the absorbent paper at your local
newspaper for free, if you ask for the roll ends. Vinegar is a weak
acid that polishes glass, as it removes light efflourescence that
causes glass to haze.

So I was told.


Yes, I use newspapers to clean glass. It does not streak. Only thing
is, your hands get all dirty…

Mary Barker

Hello Orchidland,

The newspaper and vinegar hint does work, but I prefer to spray on
rubbing alcohol and dry with pieces of an old t-shirt. Very
inexpensive and few streaks.

For even more fool-proof streak-free glass surface, try Glass Wax.
It’s been around for ages and works like auto finish wax - wipe on
with a damp cloth and let dry to a haze. Polish with a clean cloth.
I like it especially for cases that will be used outdoors as dust
blows off better .

I get it at my local hardware store in a pink metal container,
titled appropriately enough “Glass Wax.”

Judy in Kansas

I am crazy about the “Miracle Cloth”. I first found it in Solutions
Magazine. It is really amazing. This is all I use at shows now. You
don’t even have to use any kind of cleaner unless something really
gross is on your glass. You can wet one end with water and wipe the
glass and then use the dry end to dry it. It works wonders on mirrors
and faucets. I could probably do commercials for these things but
they really are wonderful. You can also dust without any kind of
spray too. A great alternative to chemicals to clean with. I have
nothing to do with this company, but I will say that the ones that
I’ve seen at Walgreens are NOT the same thing. The real ones are a
fairly thick micro fiber cloth. The only thing to remember is to not
wash or dry them with fabric softner or they won’t work the same.

God Bless you