How to Regularly Clean Your Windows & Mirrors

Cows are more likely to fly and chicken grow teeth than the likelihood of me being being asked to contribute to a how-to, DIY blog.  Sadly, this is all I would have to contribute:

How To Organize Your Closet – Get rid of more clothes.

How To Not Offend People In Conversations – Leave the room. Better yet? Leave the property. I sometimes need to leave the city.

How To Eat A Nutritional Breakfast – Two squares of 72% dark chocolate and a 16 ounce jar of hot coffee. I’ll take hazelnut cream, thank you.

How To Declutter Your Home – Stop shopping.

How To Host A Dinner – Make a pot of soup and buy a loaf of bread. Drink wine or water.  Are Martha Stewart bouquets and Sandra Lee table landscapes really necessary?

How To Get A Snowman To Stay Upright – Don’t build it the day before a heatwave.

But cleaning windows and mirrors on a regular basis without loosing your mind? This ONE I’ve got covered.  In fact, I would say it’s the one household arena I feel completely qualified to comment on, make suggestions about and stick my nose into.

Because I Jake clean my windows all.the.the.time.



The summer after I graduated from undergrad I loaded up my lovely death-trap of a car to began my grown-up life just outside of Washington D.C. With a few nickles to my name I found myself renting a basement room from a Unification Family (Yes, a bouquet of fresh flowers in my room each week was part of my rental contract).

On the opposite side of my north facing wall was an additional rental room.  Two months after I settled in, Ada signed the very same fresh flower rental contract and moved in.

Beautiful Ada.

Ada, a new teacher to the Fairfax public school system and committed Mormon, was the source of introduction to many of the finer things in life during our two years of living together. NPR, dark chocolate, reading classics and Harry Potter movies to name a few. Best of all though, she introduced me to this:

Using dry erase markers on windows and mirrors.

My mind moves. It doesn’t stop. And in my mind, I’m a genius.

I must also confess – in my mind, I’m also the most fluent poet East of Lake Michigan.

My translation from mental MENSA to verbal communication? It’s… let’s just say it’s often quite discombobulated. My words don’t often flow. My speech patterns are awkward and searching. Often it takes a good 42 minutes to actually get to the point I initially was intending to make.

Mostly when I’m talking the little connectors in my mind behave as though they’re on meth and make links to other ideas and thoughts as I speakanditjustdoesn’tstop. It’s I’m a mess.

I’m also quite negligent at remembering. I have a dear friend who is convinced she has early-onset Alzheimers.  Even she remembers to take out the trash every Monday. I still struggle to remember the last time our upstairs trash went out. It could be close to two months at this point.

These slight set-backs of messy verbal communication and remembering, or lack-there-of, was almost completely remedied with Ada’s one eye opening invitation to use dry-erase markers on windows and mirrors.

With her initial notes of encouragement and support on our shared bathroom mirror she opened up my eyes to the many ways in which I can utilize this one simple tool in remembering.

Following are a few scenarios in which writing on our windows and mirrors has saved me:

I think my best thoughts in the shower where there is no pen or paper to speak of and only putting a paper and pen outside of your shower produces wet paper and illegible chicken scrawl. 

Stick my arm out of the shower, pop the top of our dry-erase marker and note away on our window as the hot water continues to stream down my back. Yes, I know I’m wasting water during this time.  I feel guilty.  Some things just got to give in order to let the Muse make her way.

My daughter(s) say and do the funniest things that I want to remember.

I will never be as awesome as my neighbor (who brought us over freshly baked vegan chocolate chip cookies last night!) and keep a journal of these hilarious moments. She is a hardcore scrapbooker and way more on top of life than I ever will be, although I can see her laundry pile resting in her living room from my West facing window sometimes.

What I can do though is, post ensued laughter after Little Tomato just asked me to make her coffee using pressure-cooked black beans or after I just spent 17 minutes traces Sweet Basil’s washboard arms with my fingertips, run over to the closest window and quickly write down what I want to remember.

Later that day three months later, my journal and I take a tour of our home’s windows and mirrors, writing down and remembering all those beautiful moments that may have been missed if not for the trusty dry-erase documentation trick.

It’s really important for me to let others know how much we enjoy having them in our home.

I really stink at thank-you cards though (No mom, I still haven’t written thank you’s for gifts received for Sweet Basil’s birth – 10 months ago).


Quick solution?  Write a note to them on the mirror of the bathroom, which, due to the amount of wine & water consumed at any given day in our home, guests are sure to use before they leave. There, while sitting on the toilet they will often find a note of gratitude for coming over, a thank you for the food they brought to share or a simple note of celebration for their friendship. It works AND (major plus here) they often leave a note back for US! I cannot get enough of reply notes. I thrive off of them.

As a side note – It was also on a bathroom mirror that a friend, so delicately, shared with me that I should really keep a towel in my bathroom to dry his hands off on. Oops. So much for telling Little Tomato that all you need to dry your hands in your pants. Not everyone thinks this way.  Noted.  Thanks Jonathan.

Welcoming Birds.

Little Tomato received the best bird feeder for Christmas. At this time, it presents as though our neighborhood hawk is keeping them at bay from enjoying the presented feast.  We thought that maybe writing them a welcoming note would help them see that they would be safe eating here.


The same bird food has been in there since December.

Guess our dry-erase welcoming sign hasn’t worked all that well.

Back to the” How To Regularly Clean Your Windows & Mirrors” part though…

When all is said and done, thoughts are recorded, memories noted, welcomes made, gratitude offered, constructive criticism given and birds invited – Simply wipe down the littered windows and mirrors clean to begin a new fresh notepad!

And that is how you clean windows and mirrors on a regular basis!

You’re welcome.

Wait… what is that? How often do I clean the outside of my windows that I never write on?


I never clean those. I just wait for Jake to do them.


It should be noted that if you have small kids in your home it may be extremely important to specify to your possible two-year old that the same application of write-and-wipe does not apply when the writing is done on the walls.  And the baseboards.  Or the windowsills.  Or the doll & cloth chair.


If this does happen, be assured that rubbing alcohol removes the marker from the hard surfaces.  We’re still working on the doll and seat cushion.

And yes, that is my sister and I whom she so efficiently defaced.


2 thoughts on “How to Regularly Clean Your Windows & Mirrors

  1. Pingback: For a Clear Vision (household tips) | familyrecipebooks

  2. Pingback: Wildflower Seed Bombs {A Reluctant How-To} | Suburban Compost

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