Newspaper: Do you use it to clean windows?

I find the keeping of dry, clean towels on hand to be tedious and take up a lot of space, let alone that I have to wash them every day. So rather than wipe off the occasional streak or edge with a towel, do you guys ever use newspaper?

Umm, there is NO way I’d carry a crate full of newspapers on route work. I certainly would never take them into a house.

  1. If you find that towels take up a lot of room… how will a stack of newspapers not take up more room?

  2. If you have to wash your towels every day: buy more towels or refine your technique where you only use 1 or 2 per job. I wash one load of towels at the end of the week.

  3. Buy a scrim. Cut it in half if you want (which some people see as heresy), but I use one half, then drape it in the back of the truck to dry out and use the other half for the next job. Or you might find you can use one scrim for several jobs before switching out.

  4. Towels are reuseable. Buy them once and reuse them until you can see daylight through them. Newspapers not so much.

  5. I’m sorry but newspapers would just be seriously ghetto. We can argue and laugh over little giants vs sectional ladders, we can slap each other in the face and laugh over soap… but newspapers might get you a kickin.

My grandma used newspapers…

Back in my early days, circa 1986, I took every suggestion I heard from onlookers seriously- from vinegar to newspaper. I tried newspaper for part of a day. Yes it did seem to make the windows really shine. Yes, they deteriorated quickly in my hands. Yes, they got black ink all over my hands.
No, I don’t recommend newspaper.

Oh my God!

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Is there a new joke forum that I’m unaware of on here now?

Mike Radzik
Pro Window Cleaning
Central Massachusetts

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I’ve probably heard, “My father/grandfather used to use vinegar and newspaper to clean windows, have you tried that?” a million times from customers. I always say, “I’m sure that works, but dish soap and water with a squeegee works great and smells great too”.

On another thread this was cleared up I think. Apparently they used inks (or paper) back in the day with some kind of oil or something that actually did help clean windows, but we’re talking several decades ago. Now the ink and paper are totally different animals and only people who think cell phones, tablets, and internal combustion engines are “uppity” use newspaper. (PS, I think those same people also believe that drinking turpentine is good for you)

Atlas Services - Exterior Cleaning Specialists
North Carolina

You mean granny’s rumatiz medicine? That’s not turpentine, but it will peel paint.

I want to smack people who think I want to actually carry a stack of papers around all day.

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Plus think of it this way. Maybe someone hired you and you show up with news papers to wipe up with. They’ll ask. And you tell then it works. So they keep you. But how many people walking by and see you are going to ask for a card or you to do their windows. They are going to think you are a ghetto window cleaner. You have to think how it looks as well.

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… Buy more towels…And only take what you need for the day.
Newspaper works but it’s slower than cold molasses going up hill in the winter time.

I understand your new and exploring every possible method, thats understandable. Newspapers are not the way to go. Everyone before me gave you reasons exactly why.

I have something like 70 scrims and 1,500 hucks. Only take whats needed in each truck for the day plus a few extra. Most of the time I only wash towels on the weekend.


i would never use news papers on glass but one time when i could not get in a house to use the bathroom i took the paper from the driveway and used it for something else.

Leaves of 3 makes for good TP!

Well I think that about sums it up for this thread.
Consensus is: newspaper is better suited as TP than for Window Cleaning.

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Robinson Solutions posted here from his blog that newspaper used to work fine on glass. Now, they’re printed with a different ink that smears on glass.

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Fresh newspapers and molasses works great. Anything that combination doesn’t remove just use a little sand paper.

Does the molasses have to be fresh? I only have Karo syrup here.

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Karo Syrup is fine if that’s all you can find. I suggest Black Strap molasses, it’s extra thick and provides an extra shine to the glass. We have gotten many referrals from pet owners who rave about their dogs licking the glass after we leave.