Best Chemicals To Clean Windows. Which Is Best For You?

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
28 min read

It took us more than 40 hours of research and testing to discover that Windex is the best window cleaner on the market today. Cleans grease and food stains without leaving behind streaks or residue on a wide range of surfaces. Windex reliably eliminated blemishes and contaminants and produced crystal-clear vistas and reflections, outperforming seven other glass cleaners. Weiman proved to be a star performer when it came to cleaning your microwave’s glass.

Top Pick: Windex – Complete

Windex is the best product for the dirtiest tasks on the greatest range of surfaces.

Highlights:

  • Cleaning with Windex is a breeze, even when dealing with the toughest stains and substances.
  • Ammonia-based cleaners may be used on a wide range of surfaces, not simply glass, making them adaptable and effective cleaners.
  • It consistently removes streaks, resulting in crystal-clear, eye-catching glass.

Best for grease: Weiman – Glass Cleaner

  • Foaming Weiman Glass Cleaner breaks down oil, fats, and other gunk on glass surfaces.
  • Even the most difficult stains and spots can be easily removed with this treatment.

Best natural window cleaner

  • The Best of Your Digs All-natural, biodegradable, digestible and non-toxic glass cleaner can be manufactured at home.
  • Your choice of fragrance lingers in the air for hours after you’ve finished using it.

Ettore Window Cleaning Soap, 16 ounces

Ammonia-free and biodegradable, this 16-ounce concentrated window cleaning soap is ideal for washing windows.

The Best Window Cleaner ever.

Streak-free windows are a guarantee with this mix. A professional cleaning recipe, it is able to remove stubborn oil, dirt, and grime from any surface with ease.

Simple in design, but effective in function.

Only half of a bottle of window cleaner was needed to clean all of our office windows. Squeaky clean windows without streaks thanks to this window washing soap.

Microfiber Glass Cleaning Cloths, Lint and Streak Free – 8 Pack

This set of chemical-free, lint- and streak-free cleaning cloths does the job. Cleaning your windows will be a breeze thanks to the included six glass cloths and two green cleaning cloths.

In addition to these advantages, it is a healthier and more environmentally responsible alternative to the traditional spray and wipe procedure. Using only water will yield the results you desire.

In addition, you won’t have to spend money on chemicals because these cleaning cloths only require water. These towels can be used over any smooth surface, including windows and home appliances.

Better Life Streak Free Glass Cleaner

There are many different types of glass surfaces that can be cleaned with the Better Life streak-free and ammonia-free glass cleaner. Glass, mirrors, and windows all fall under this category, as do vehicle glass, treated windows, and other light fixtures.

Rain marks and fingerprints are also easily removed with this method.

Better Life glass cleaner is the finest option if you have plastic lenses that need to be cleaned.

It leaves your windows sparkling clean without a trace of a noxious odor.

Hope’s Perfect Streak-Free Glass Cleaner

A no-residue recipe and a streak-free glass cleaning spray are a must-have. Fortunately, Hope’s Glass Cleaner is designed to remove fingerprints and other impurities from surfaces such as tables, windows, light fixtures and mirrors as well as digital devices’ screens.

Clean windows and glass with this product, which has been rated well and is quite effective.

Our workplace windows were much easier to clean with just nine strokes of the Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner than they were with other cleaners that required anywhere from 20 to 60.

Make sure you don’t spray it straight on the screen of your device. Instead of squirting it directly onto the surface, use a cleaning cloth to apply it.

Sprayway Glass Cleaner Spray, 19 ounces, 4 pack

The Sprayway Glass Cleaner is an excellent choice for cleaning windows, mirrors, windshields, chrome, tile, porcelain, and other hard surfaces.

A strong solution that fights and removes filth, grease, and grime while saving you time.

If you don’t have a lot of time, this will get the job done in a matter of minutes.

This glass cleaner removes all streaks and residue with a thick, clinging foam.

Safelite Glass Cleaner, 19 ounces, 4 pack

Dissolves debris, grease, and grime with this professional glass cleaner. Its lovely scent comes from the fact that it is an ammonia-free and streak-free cleanser.

Dust, fingerprints and other ordinary filth can be easily removed with a simple spray-and-wipe.

It’s great for glass surfaces, including windows, windshields, and mirrors. Designed to stick to vertical surfaces, this is a heavy-duty glass cleaner.

When used in moderation, this glass cleaner is guaranteed to leave no residue.

Windex Ammonia-Free Glass and Window Cleaner

This window cleaner leaves a streak-free shine on windows, glass, and even automobile windows. Smudges, stains, and fingerprints are easily removed, and your windows are left spotless.

Excellent cleaning performance without ammonia in an environmentally friendly cleaning mix.

That it works on counter surfaces is an added bonus, as is the low cost.

The Windex Glass Cleaner is a terrific option if you’re seeking to get your windows, counters, and more sparkling clean.

How we tested

Cost

Our price per ounce was estimated using popular packaging sold on Amazon at the time of publication in order to compare our items equitably.

Costs for ingredients utilized in our homemade glass cleaner were also taken into account when calculating the total cost of the product. After that, we computed the price depending on how much of the product we actually utilized.

Our basic, home-cooked food Your Best Digs cleaner is the cheapest approach to clean glass surfaces (per ounce) despite the fact that it is more expensive, both in terms of time and money, in the beginning.

The cheapest commercial product is Windex, however buying large refill containers, like the 128-ounce Windex offering on Amazon.com, usually decreases the price regardless of the brand. Plant-based components make Seventh Generation the most expensive.

Windows

The interior and outside of the windows must be cleaned at the same time. A living room window was recreated as it was cleaned outside by smearing mud and debris and allowing it to dry. We then rubbed an olive oil-coated hand on the window to create greasy palm prints. After a few minutes of using each product, we finished cleaning the windows with the same method.

The products from Windex and Zep Streak-Free Glass Cleaner were superior in terms of both eliminating the chemicals and providing a streak-free finish. In order to remove the most stubborn spots, both of the glass cleaners clung to the pane without running. The absence of any streaks or fog made the windows appear dazzlingly bright.

Both Weiman Glass Cleaner and Stoner Invisible Glass Cleaner aerosols performed admirably in our tests. They were equally effective. Using a foamy spray, we were able to remove even the most stubborn messes. As a result, they left the windows a little smudgey. The streaks didn’t bother me or stand out much, although they could be seen from certain angles. There were also noticeable streaks left behind by the Glass Plus Glass Cleaner Trigger.

Our homemade cleaner and the Seventh Generation Surface Cleaner had a harder time getting rid of the smudges, especially the oily handprints. Even after the prints were erased, oil residue remained on the window, causing streaks that could be seen. Windows were still not as clean as they were when we tried Windex and Zep, even after extensive polishing.

Mirrors

If windows have the most glass surface area in the house, it’s likely that mirrors are right behind them. You can use this cleaner in different circumstances even though this is a review of window cleaning services technically. Particularly bathroom mirrors suffer from a great deal of abuse. Every day, mirrors get smeared by sprays, gels, creams, lotions, and fingerprints.

This was done by spreading toothpaste on the bathroom mirror with a fingertip in order to mimic real-world cleaning scenarios. We then applied a dime-sized amount of hair gel in the same way. Using our glass-cleaning process, we removed the smudges after 15 minutes.

Stains may be easily cleaned with several solutions, but Windex simply required moderate pressure and a minimum amount of buffing to be entirely erased. When the mirror had been cleaned using Windex solution, it looked its finest.

Glass Plus worked well, but we had to work harder and use more pressure to get all of the toothpaste out of the glass. In addition, there were a few splotches of paint on the surface.

There were noticeable streaks left behind by Weiman Glass Cleaner and Zep Streak-Free Glass Cleaner depending on the angle and distance from the glass.

The imperfections were quickly eradicated with our homemade treatment, but the mirror appeared foggy and dull. When compared to the commercially available alternatives, there was a clear distinction.

Seventh Generation did an excellent job of removing the problematic compounds, although it left behind a few stray bits of dust. These barely perceptible flaws could not be removed even after extensive buffing.

However, it took several applications of Stoner cleanser to remove the toothpaste completely from the hair gel. Second and third applications may be necessary, according to the can’s directions, to loosen and absorb trace deposits. There was still some residue even after the third application.

Exploding chili in the microwave

When it came time to put our top candidates to the test, we wanted to see how they fared when faced with a scenario that was both nasty and all-too-frequent: a microwave explosion. All of the inside surfaces of our microwave are made of plastic except for the spinning glass tray.

When we microwaved a glass bowl of chili for six minutes on high, what came out was a sloppy mess that everyone has seen before. Once the chili had dried for 30 minutes after each explosion, we used each glass cleaner to try to restore the microwave’s luster.

Best Window Cleaners - Best Window Cleaning Products

With Stoner’s Invisible Glass and Weiman’s Glass Cleaner, the two aerosol products, we were able to remove the chili considerably more effectively than our other contenders. Even the driest parts of our lunch were easily removed from the inside of the door.

Windex and Zep Commercial Glass Cleaner were the most effective liquid sprays. We were able to eliminate all traces of the chili, even though it took a little more effort and attention.

In the chili test, we found our homemade cleaner, Glass Plus, and Seventh Generation to be let down. When it came time to try and remove the caked filth, neither Glass Plus nor Seventh Generation were adequate to the task. A lot of washing and multiple spraying over the same areas were required for the DIY remedy to work, but it eventually worked.

Glass cleaners may not be designed to perform these tasks, but it’s wonderful to know what they’re capable of. Even if we use another product to clean the windows around the workplace, we’ll have our cans of Stoner and Weiman on hand just in case.

Scent

There are several factors to consider when it comes to the smell of these cleaning products. The fragrance is a crucial and immediately obvious component when using airborne sprays to clean windows and mirrors.

Most of these cleaners have a bad odor, ranging from somewhat unpleasant (Stoner Invisible Glass) to downright noxious (Stoner Glass Cleaner) (Zep Streak-Free Cleaner). I found Zep and Windex to be the worst ammonia-based cleaners. Ammonia’s pungent odor can be nearly unbearable to breathe in. The experience of utilizing the spray is hampered by the fact that the aroma doesn’t last long.

Our own blend of vinegar, cornstarch, and essential oil was the most enticing. In our 20-ounce spray bottle, we used just 10 drops of highly concentrated peppermint essential oil, which made a huge difference in the user experience.

When you make your own cleaner, you get to choose the scent you choose. Tea tree, rosemary, lemongrass, and dozens of other smells are among the essential oils available.

The aroma of Seventh Generation is difficult to detect. If the scent of your favorite essential oil doesn’t make you smile, this won’t either, but neither will many of the other goods.

When you shouldn’t use glass/window cleaner

Using glass cleaner to clean eyeglasses is another typical mistake. Even though the word “glass” is in the name, eyeglasses have a coating that is specific to the prescription and so assures clear sight. A mild soap and warm water are ideal.

How to clean glass

  1. The nozzle should be six inches away from the surface.
  2. Spray the glass immediately.
  3. Spray in six-inch-wide horizontal rows. This will help to ensure that the sprays cover the entire surface of the window.
  4. Wipe each row from left to right using a microfiber cloth, gently to moderately pressing down on the towel.
  5. If any liquid remains in the glass after the second pass, apply additional pressure and move from the rim to the top of the glass.
  6. Using a new, clean, dry microfiber towel, vigorously polish the glass to remove any remaining blemishes.

Other uses for window/glass cleaners

  • Kitchen equipment have a variety of surfaces.
  • Doorknobs
  • Bathtubs
  • Ink-free whiteboards
  • Fabric
  • Carpet
  • Jewelry

The majority of glass and window cleaners are safe to use on surfaces other than glass, such as granite and marble. In addition to mirrors, kitchen gadgets like blenders and coffee makers can be cleaned with the same materials that are used to remove oily smudges. By using a glass cleaner, even stains on fabric or carpet can be broken up and removed with minimal effort.

Glass cleaners may also do an excellent job of cleaning jewelry. A small amount of the solution can truly bring out the glimmer and brilliance in sterling silver and diamonds in particular.

Insect repellent is the most intriguing use of glass cleaner. To keep them away from a certain location, place a small bowl of glass cleaner on the counter. Even a bee sting can be alleviated with a modest amount of lotion applied to the skin.

How to make DIY window cleaner

Because we needed an all-natural substitute, we ruled out recipes that called for ammonia in our search. Also, we didn’t buy or dilute store-bought cleaning solutions like dishwashing liquid or other produced soaps.

We experimented with a variety of combinations of the most popular elements to see what would work best. Crunchy Betty, who conducted similar testing with several natural substances and found that warm water, white vinegar, and cornstarch were the most effective, so we decided to follow her lead.

Ingredients in the Crunchy Betty DIY Solution

Finally, we wanted to incorporate essential oils into our DIY glass cleaner. Essential oils are a favorite of ours because of their clean, long-lasting scent. (For more details, see our article on essential oil diffusers.) Essential oils, like cornstarch, also inhibit hydrogen atoms in water molecules from joining together, which helps avoid streaking.

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Glass & Surface Cleaner is an option for those who don’t have the time to make their own solution but still want a more natural product.

Important features to consider

Ingredients

A wide range of chemicals and compounds are used by window cleaner manufacturers to generate their solutions. This information will help you make an informed judgment about the substance’s effectiveness and potential health consequences. Because glass surfaces, such as windows and mirrors, are constantly cleaned and touched, it is critical to know exactly what ingredients are contained in the cleaning chemicals used on them.

Many of these substances have a lot of information available. It can be confusing, inconsistent, alarmist, and difficult to understand at times. We strongly advise anyone with an interest in learning more to do so. Below you’ll find a quick rundown on some of the most common chemicals in window cleaners.

Ammonia

When it comes to chemicals in America, ammonia is one of the most commonly used. Most commonly, it’s used in fertilizer, insecticides, cleansers, plastics, and water purification goods. Zep Streak-Free Glass Cleaner contains it, as does Windex. The other five goods that we examined did not contain any ammonia.

Because it evaporates quickly and prevents stains, ammonia is commonly found in household cleaners. Many people believe that the risks to health from this substance are negligible because it evaporates so quickly. However, ammonia is exceedingly hazardous and can induce respiratory and skin irritation, as well as asthmatic and allergic reactions, if overexposed to high concentrations. If ammonia is accidentally inhaled or ingested, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Aside from its flammability, ammonia has the potential to cause a deadly chemical reaction when it’s used in combination with bleach. Chloramines are poisonous gasses formed when bleach and ammonia are combined together in a closed container. Sickness and fluid buildup in the lungs are possible side effects of exposure to these chloramines. Both of these compounds should be kept out of the reach of children and out of reach of each other.

Glycol ethers

Water-based paint and cleaning products often contain a common type of solvent known as glycol ether. In addition to causing a sore throat when inhaled, glycol ethers can contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage when inhaled in significant quantities, according to the EPA. 2-Butoxyethanol (found in Weiman Glass Cleaner and Zep Streak-Free Glass Cleaner) and propylene glycol (found in Windex) are just a few of the chemicals that fall within the glycol ether umbrella (an ingredient in Glass Plus Glass Cleaner Trigger).

Water-based paint and cleaning products often contain a common type of solvent known as glycol ether. In addition to causing a sore throat when inhaled, glycol ethers can contribute to narcosis, pulmonary edema, and severe liver and kidney damage when inhaled in significant quantities, according to the EPA. 2-Butoxyethanol (found in Weiman Glass Cleaner and Zep Streak-Free Glass Cleaner) and propylene glycol (found in Windex) are just a few of the chemicals that fall within the glycol ether umbrella (an ingredient in Glass Plus Glass Cleaner Trigger).

Fragrances

It is a group of solvents that can be found in a variety of cleaning products, degreasers, and paints. When inhaled, glycol ethers can cause narcosis, edema of the lungs, and serious liver and kidney damage, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Weiman and Zep glass cleaners have 2-Butoxyethanol as an ingredient, as does Windex, while Zep Streak-Free glass cleaners contain propylene glycol as an ingredient (an ingredient in Glass Plus Glass Cleaner Trigger).

The endocrine system is also disrupted by phthalates, which has a negative impact on male sperm count and reproductive health. For the same reason that corporations aren’t obligated to declare the ingredients of their fragrances, it’s impossible to know which ones include phthalates and in what amounts.

Other ingredients

Our top six items contain a wide variety of additional components. It’s safe to say that some people have expressed greater anxiety than others. The ingredients of these items are not needed to be listed on the bottle, and most manufacturers do not comply with this rule. There is no certainty that internet ingredient lists provided by some companies are complete.

State and federal initiatives have recently been made to demand the direct disclosure of all constituents in home chemicals on the package, with mixed results. We advise you to conduct some of your own research into these and other things you frequently use at home in order to make informed comparisons and prudent purchases.

No matter what product you buy, there are a few general safety principles you should follow to keep yourself and your family as safe as possible from potentially harmful substances.

Rules for Safe Cleaning

  1. Maximize the amount of fresh air being drawn in. Open the windows and turn on the air conditioning.
  2. Dishware, kitchen utensils, and children’s toys should never be cleaned using glass cleaners.
  3. Keep a safe distance from open flames and other sources of high temperature.
  4. Keep it out of the hands of youngsters at all times.
  5. Contact a doctor if you notice any unusual effects while using this medication.

Spray bottles and aerosol cans are the two delivery options for the liquids we examined. However, both Stoner and Weiman are selling aerosols, but none contains CFSs, which have been shown to degrade the ozone layer over time.

These cans are made of metal, and their contents are subjected to a lot of pressure. The cans can be deadly if they are exposed to high temperatures or punctured by accident.

When sprayed on a surface, aerosols produce more foam than other methods. More comprehensive coverage and saturation as well as the breakdown of hard-to remove fats and silt are achieved by using foaming agents such as this one

Spray bottles are used to apply all of the other products, including the one we made. Child-resistant nozzles are a standard feature of the Seventh Generation Free & Clear Glass and Surface Cleaner. Since children are more likely to accidentally consume Seventh Generation products than other brands, this safety element is especially welcome.

Window Cleaning Tips - What is the best Washing-Up Liquid? - YouTube

The Best Way to Clean Windows, Step By Step

Follow these three steps to follow to transform your dirty windows:

  • The first step is to gather all of your window cleaning tools and materials. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin. To clean windows, combine vinegar and water in a spray bottle and add paper towels and microfiber cloths to the mix.
  • This is the second step in the process. Use a spray bottle or dip your sponge into a small dish of solution to get the job done quickly. Apply a layer of tape on the window.
  • Finally, wipe the windows clean. Using a paper towel, squeegee, or lint-free microfiber cloth, you can clean the glass surface of any residue. To remove any remaining solution, go over the window several times with long, even strokes. If you’re using a cloth to remove the window cleaning solution, make sure it doesn’t leave fibers behind.

Try cleaning windows with vinegar for a natural solution

A non-toxic and cost-effective alternative to store-bought window cleaners is a mixture of water and vinegar. Vinegar can be used to clean windows without the use of harsh chemicals. There are no harsh chemicals required for vinegar to break down the stains and filth that collect on glass. An inexpensive, non-toxic, and antibacterial cleaner may be made with vinegar and water, and it’s safe to use around dogs and small children. Plus, your windows will be sparkling when you’re done!

In order to lessen the vinegar’s acidity, you must first dilute it with water. To ensure that vinegar doesn’t harm any surfaces that you clean, it’s crucial that you prepare it correctly. This DIY recipe is simple to follow and takes only a few minutes of your time. All you have to do is mix the following:

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  • The same proportions of water.
  • White vinegar and water, in equal amounts

Put all the contents in a spray bottle, shake it up, and then use it to clean your windows. After that, use a microfiber cloth or a squeegee to thoroughly clean the glass. For example, if you require a smaller amount of solution, simply decrease or increase your cooking time. This chemical-free, all-natural solution can be used to disinfect and clean any smooth surface in your home.

Pro tip: To keep your stainless steel forks, spoons, and knives gleaming, use the same solution.

All of the products and tools you’ll need to clean windows

A regular home improvement store should have everything you need to clean your windows using vinegar. Your favorite combination of a couple of these products is all you need.

  • This spray bottle should not have been used with any other cleansers, as it may have added additional smells or chemicals that interfere with the cleaning process. Spray bottle
  • Sea sponges and natural walnut-sourced sponges, which are both environmentally friendly, are wonderful options for dishwashing sponges.
  • Squeegee: The best friend of the car wash is also your best friend when it comes to cleaning huge windows. The solution should be sprayed onto the window and then wiped off until the surface is dry and clear.
  • Using a microfiber cloth is an environmentally-friendly dream come true. It has the ability to quickly remove dirt and leave behind sparkling glass.
  • Dishwashing detergent: Use a solution of water and dishwashing detergent to wash the windows first, followed by a vinegar solution to clean everything.
  • To use white vinegar as a multi-purpose cleaner, all you need to do is combine it with water.

Keep these supplies on hand for quick and easy window cleaning!

Tips to help avoid streaks on your window

Streaks on windows are one of the most difficult aspects of glass cleaning. But if you follow these steps, you can finally get rid of those pesky annoyances:

  • If the filth on the window is too tough to remove with a vinegar solution, use dishwashing soap on the surface first. So that the vinegar solution can do its job properly, you should first remove any persistent stains with a stiff brush.
  • Vinegar on its own is quite acidic, so always dilute it before using it. You may make a safe mixture that is mild and effective on glass and other household surfaces by diluting it with equal parts water. Streak-free outcomes are ensured this way!
  • To avoid streaks, make sure the glass is totally dry before attempting another cleaning. The best way to remove streaks from a window is to wipe it down with a squeegee, a paper towel, or a microfiber cloth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to clean windows without streaking?

Avoid ammonia and alcohol-based solutions when cleaning windows to avoid streaks. Vinegar and water can be used to clean windows in a gentle and effective manner. To achieve a shiny, streak-free finish, wipe the glass with a microfiber cloth once it has been completely dried.

What is the best homemade glass cleaner?

The greatest homemade glass cleaner should be functional while also being in line with your personal beliefs and morals.. Vinegar is the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to clean windows.

When should you clean your windows?

Despite the fact that you may clean your windows at any time of year, the optimum time to do it is in the spring when pollen and winter filth have had a chance to build up on them. Wait to clean your windows if it has been raining recently. You don’t want all of your hard work to go to waste because your glass hasn’t dried.

How do you clean the inside of a window?

Spray a homemade vinegar solution on the glass and wipe away the filth to clean the interior of a window. Then use a clean, dry cloth to ensure that there are no streaks left on the window.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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