Anyone who’s ever washed a window has probably had one goal in mind: finishing the job with a streak-free shine. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Too many times, we finish cleaning a mirror or window only to find it riddled with streaks. The good news is that with the proper products and techniques, you can say goodbye to streaks.

Streaks occur when lingering dirt, cleansers or minerals dry on your freshly-cleaned surface. The type of cleanser and type of towel both contribute to streaky windows. It is important to use the correct tools and to make sure to remove all the cleaning products while cleaning windows or mirrors.

Similar to new doors and cabinets, Clean windows not only make your house more appealing to guests but they can also improve your view and the entire ambiance of your home. Proper cleaning and maintenance of windows will retain the value of your home and avoid unwanted window damage.

Here are five tips to clean any mirror or window without leaving streaks:

Prep the area for cleaning:

Start the job by removing any stubborn stains or grime from your window or mirror. Spray the stains directly and let it sit for a few minutes. Then wipe the area with a sponge or cleaning cloth.

Use distilled water:

If you’re diluting your window cleaner with water, try switching to distilled. Since distilled water typically has less dissolved minerals (like magnesium and calcium) than tap water, there are fewer impurities that can be left on your cleaned surface that can cause streaks.

Invest in a microfiber cloth or squeegee:

Although paper towels are a common tool for most household chores, they should not be used to dry windows or mirrors. They can just move dirt and moisture around the surface and leave lint behind in the process. The best way to dry your windows and mirrors is with a squeegee, but a clean microfiber cloth can also do the trick.

Learn how to use a squeegee:

It is important to learn how to use a squeegee correctly to avoid leaving behind any water. It is best to dry a window in horizontal swipes, making sure that the blade stays in contact with the glass the entire time. Dry the squeegee blade between swipes.

Use vinegar:

Vinegar is non-toxic and anti-bacterial, which makes it a great cost-effective cleaning agent. The acidic nature of vinegar works to break down dirt and grime that can accumulate on glass surfaces. To use vinegar as a window or mirror cleaner, simply fill a reusable spray bottle with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and warm water.