Vinegar and a few other household staples can be used to produce your own glass cleaner. Cleaning your windows does not require you to spend a lot of money on a cleaner that may include chemicals that you do not care for and that, in all honesty, does not do any better cleaning.
In addition to saving you money, using vinegar as a glass cleaner eliminates the need of harsh chemicals or fumes. This product is also good in removing fingerprints and other window filth without leaving streaks. Additionally, it’s better for the environment than any store-bought “green” cleaner.
Cleaner bottles should always have their contents clearly labeled. Put the contents of the bottle in large, legible letters on the label. “Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar Glass Cleaner” or “Vinegar Glass Cleaner” are both suitable labels. Add the date you mixed your ingredients so that you can tell whether they’re too old to be effective.
Keep cleaning supplies and culinary items in separate containers. Rub alcohol and diluted white distilled vinegar should never be used in the same recipe.
Empty cleaner bottles should not be repurposed. Buy a new glass cleaner bottle. An old spray bottle can be cleaned with vinegar or alcohol, which both work as solvents. New, clean bottles will eliminate the risk of unintentional responses. Children and pets shouldn’t have access to any glass cleaners you use. Inflammable rubbing alcohol can be irritating and dangerous.
What You’ll Need
Equipment / Tools
- In a cannister
- Cups for measuring
- Cloth made from microfibers (optional)
- Vinegar, white and distilled
- Corn flour
- Essential oil is a term used to describe a (optional)
Vinegar Glass Cleaner
White distilled vinegar should be used to clean windows, despite the fact that there are numerous types of vinegar. White distilled vinegar is sometimes known as “grain vinegar” because the alcohol used in the production process is converted to acetic acid. The potent cleaning chemical acetic acid, which is also found in many store-bought cleansers, dissolves mineral deposits and grease while also killing bacteria.
Make the Mixture
Combine vinegar and water in a new spray bottle.
Make scented vinegar if you prefer a perfumed spray. In a spray bottle, combine around 10 drops of your preferred essential oil with a vigorous shake.
Consider using a glass spray container if you’re going to be using essential oils. Diluted oils can still cause plastic bottles to decay and burst, even if they aren’t as concentrated as full-fledged oils.
Spray and Wipe
When cleaning windows, use a glass cleaner spray to apply the mixture. Paper towels and normal cloths leave behind lint, so avoid them. Clean your glass with a rolled-up wad of newspaper instead of a cloth.
Newspapers are now manufactured of dense fibers that do not scrape, smear, or tear easily, hence reducing the amount of lint they produce. Streak-free windows can be achieved with the use of newspapers.
Vinegar and Alcohol Glass Cleaner
To avoid stains, the alcohol in this cleaner dissipates quickly. Together, the mixture is inexpensive and works as well as most commercial glass cleaners.
For each batch, combine 1 cup rubbing alcohol with 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vinegar.
Mix in Bottle
To clean the glass, fill the spray bottle with the mixture and spray it on.
The alcohol in this cleaner makes it flammable, so keep it in a cool, dry place away from heat sources.
Vinegar and Cornstarch Glass Cleaner
Cornstarch’s tiny granules are mildly abrasive, making them ideal for use in window washing. You can hose off the glass to eliminate any cornstarch residue after using this potent combo to cut through dirt and grime on the outside of your windows.
Measure for Mixing
Add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 2 cups of water to your measuring cup.
Blend and Shake in Bottle
Fill the bottle with the ingredients. The cleaner will work better if you give the spray bottle a good shake before using it.
Wipe Until Glass Is Clear
Glass should be sparkling clean after you’ve finished wiping. Now we know we’re out of cornstarch! A residue is left behind if the cleaner is left on the surface, which is made of cornstarch. Use a garden hose to clean the outside of your home’s windows.
The appropriate microfiber cloth is just as important as newspapers when it comes to cleaning windows. The use of a microfiber cloth guarantees that the cleaning combination does not leave behind streaks on your windows. Microfiber that is 70% polyester and 30% polyamide is ideal.
How To: Make Streak-Free Homemade Window Cleaner
It’s simple to spot dirty windows or a streaky glass door. Even though it only takes a few minutes, we often put off cleaning the windows and doors in our homes. There are no more justifications! To prepare this DIY glass cleaner recipe, you don’t need any expensive cleaning products or tools. To save money and keep things simple, you may make your own homemade window cleaner using only a few common grocery ingredients. You can whip up a batch of this DIY window cleaner in a matter of minutes and store it in your kitchen sink for future use. Here’s how to be successful:
STEP 1: Gather your household ingredients.
Gather the ingredients for this homemade glass cleaner from around your house. White vinegar is a critical ingredient here, as it is in a slew of other non-toxic DIY cleaners. As a result of its acidity, the window cleaner can easily cut through oil and grime to remove it. A waxy coating may have formed on your windows if you’ve used a professional cleaner like 409 or even Windex for years. Another element that contributes to the effectiveness of homemade window cleaner is dish detergent.
STEP 2: Mix the homemade glass cleaner ingredients and dilute with warm water.
Prepare the ingredients by combining them in a bowl. Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle briskly to combine the components after diluting with two cups of water. Lemon juice can be used in place of white vinegar if you don’t have any on hand. Lemon juice, like distilled white vinegar, has a mild acidity that effectively removes grease and filth.
STEP 3: Add something to make it smell nice (optional).
There are several advantages to using vinegar as a cleaning agent, but not everyone enjoys the pungent smell. Fortunately, adding a few drops of essential oil to the spray bottle combination will help mask the smell of your homemade glass cleaner. It doesn’t matter which oil you use; just use 10–15 drops.
Spray your homemade window cleaner on the glass and then wipe it across the entire surface with a lint-free cloth to remove any residue. Avoid using a sponge or cloth that will leave streaks (or even scratches). Use a chamois or microfiber cloth for the best results. A streak-free sheen will be left behind after the cleaner dries.
What the Ingredients Do
Because it includes acetic acid, distilled white vinegar is an excellent glass cleaner. White vinegar has a harsh taste and smell because of the colorless chemical molecule, but it also kills some microorganisms. Cleansing products that contain vinegar can help remove germs from hard surfaces in the home in addition to eliminating soil and grease from those surfaces.
The EPA requires goods labeled as sanitizers to eradicate 99.9% of germs and viruses that cause disease, and vinegar cleaning solutions do not meet this criteria.
When it comes to cleaning windows and other glass surfaces, the acidity of lemon juice may do wonders. Despite the fact that citric acid in lemon juice is a bit stronger than vinegar’s acetic acid in terms of cleaning power, they both work roughly the same.
For the outstanding grease-busting properties of Dawn dish detergent and other liquid dish soaps, one ingredient stands out above the rest: sodium lauryl sulfate. When applied with water, the component clings to greasy particles and pulls them off the surface, making it easier to remove.
You can use essential oils to clean your home as well as to create a pleasant aroma by using different types of essential oils. Among the many benefits of using tea tree essential oil is the fact that it is an antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal agent. Mold and mildew growth can be prevented by adding it to your DIY window cleaner.
When it comes to cleaning, the temperature of the water can make a difference. Hot water has greater kinetic energy than cold water, which means that it is more effective at agitating and removing dirt off surfaces than cold water. Cleaning windows with warm water can assist, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. If you like, you can use tepid or cold water.
Window Cleaning Tips
When it comes to seasonal cleaning, window washing should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list. When the weather starts to warm up in the spring, it’s a good idea to get started on these projects both inside and outside your house. Consider these helpful hints, though, before you start spritzing your windows:
A DIY or store-bought window cleaning solution is not necessary if the windows are just dusty but not streaked. To remove dust, all you need is a lint-free cloth. Afterwards, use a different clean cloth to polish the glass until it is streak-free.
On a cloudy day, if at all feasible, try to conduct your window cleaning. The cleaning solution dries faster when exposed to direct sunlight, which might create streaks or wet stains on the window.
What’s the Best Wipe?
The easiest way to start cleaning windows is with a soft microfiber cloth rather than paper towels. Remove stubborn debris and residue from the glass surface with a clean microfiber cloth, then rinse the cloth thoroughly. When it comes to cleaning the outside of your windows, squeegees are essential.
Warnings and Precautions for Using Natural Cleaners
In comparison to the harsh chemicals found in many commercial window cleaners, making your own window cleaner using natural components is both environmentally friendly and safer for your skin and lungs. However, there are still a few safety issues to be mindful of.
Homemade glass cleaners produced with natural substances such as white vinegar, lemon juice, and essential oils are effective, but they should not be used in place of a real sanitizer certified to destroy 99.9 percent of disease-causing bacteria.
Vinegar and chlorine bleach should never be mixed. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which reacts with sodium hypochlorite to form hypochlorous acid, which emits poisonous chlorine gas. Long-term exposure to chlorine gas can cause skin burns, shortness of breath, and even death.
Glass Cleaner vs. Window Cleaner
Windex, for example, is an ammonia-based commercial window cleaner that can create streaks or cloudy patches on some glass surfaces when used. The residue from ammonia-based window cleaners, for example, offers a risk of blocking the driver’s vision when used on automobile windows.
If you use a clean microfiber towel to wipe away natural glass cleansers like the homemade window cleaner recipe above, you won’t be left with any residue or streaks behind.
The Best Streak-Free Glass Cleaners for Your Home
It’s easy to put off cleaning the windows—until streaks of grime, islands of dust, and smudged fingerprints suddenly appear. Things shouldn’t get that far. A clean, well-cared-for look can be achieved by regularly washing down windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces.
The convenience of purchasing a ready-to-use bottle of glass cleaner outweighs the desire of some to manufacture their own. There are more formulas, substances, and applications than you might imagine, making it more difficult than you expect to choose a solution. To make your decision on the best glass cleaner, follow the steps outlined in the table below.
Clearing Up Glass Cleaner Confusion
For something as simple as glass cleaner, there are a few things to keep in mind. With a wide range of products and components, glass cleaners may be purchased in a variety of ways that are both effective and easy to use.
Liquid, Foam, and Wipes
Three primary types of glass cleaner are on the market, each with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages.
- In the house, the most common form of liquid glass cleaner is the one that is most readily available. Spray bottles are the most common packaging for liquid glass cleaners, however aerosol cans are also available. Garden hoses can be used to clean outdoor windows using these attachments. Liquid cleaners should be misted on to a microfiber cleaning cloth to avoid dropping into the furniture or floor below and leaving lint behind. After that, use the towel to remove any streaks or smudges from the glass.
- For the toughest stains and glass grime, such as bird droppings on automobile windows, watermarks on shower doors, and dried toothpaste globs on bathroom mirrors, extra-strength foam glass cleaners in aerosol cans are commonly used. Spraying the product onto the glass and then wiping with a microfiber towel eliminates the risk of cleaning dripping onto other surfaces.
- A quick and easy way to clean windows and mirrors is to use glass cleaning wipes. Even though they’re useful for quick fixes, they don’t perform as well as liquid or foam cleaners when dealing with greasy, sticky or thick muck. If the wipes are not properly resealed after use, they can dry up and leave extra streaks.
There are many chemical compounds in commercial glass cleaners, but for most consumers these solutions fall into two major categories: those containing alcohol or ammonia as their primary active ingredient, and those containing softer, “greener” active ingredients.
One of the most frequent and least priced active components in classic window cleaner is ammonia, which is good in cutting through regular glass grime like oil, dirt, fingerprints, dried food spills, and other microorganisms. A streak-free surface can be left behind after it has evaporated swiftly.
What could be considered a drawback? Ammonia can cause irritation to the respiratory system, skin, eyes, and throat. Coughing and pain in the throat and chest might result from using an ammonia-based cleaner in a small, enclosed environment like a restroom. Chemical pneumonia can result from inhaling significant amounts of ammonia.
Ammonia can cause chemical burns if spilled on the skin, and a splash in the eyes can induce blindness. The use of ammonia-based glass cleaners as indicated and with adequate ventilation (open windows and doors with surrounding fans on) should not pose a problem for most people without previous respiratory sensitivities.
Another popular active ingredient in window cleaner is isopropyl alcohol (IPA), more generally known as rubbing alcohol. Grease and other tough crud may be easily cut through with it, and it evaporates so quickly that it kills a wide variety of bacteria just like ammonia.
However, if isopropyl alcohol is applied to the skin in high quantities, it quickly absorbs and can induce symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heartbeats, slowed breathing, disorientation, and nausea if ingested, sprayed into the eyes, or splashed into the eyes.
Other Active Ingredients
- Grease and hard water deposits can both be targets for cleaning agent glass cleansers, which are purpose-built to remove both. Glass induction stovetop cleansers contain solvents, such as ethylene glycol monobutyl (EB), which dissolve oily splatters. Soap scum dissolvers and water spot removers are both common elements in glass cleaners designed for shower doors.
- Glass cleaners that use white vinegar as an active ingredient are both commercial and home-made. Ammonia and alcohol, on the other hand, can cause respiratory, eye, and skin irritation, while vinegar doesn’t have a strong odor and doesn’t cause these reactions. A clean, streak-free finish can be achieved since vinegar dries rapidly and dissipates. Ammonia and alcohol are stronger antibacterial agents, yet vinegar has some antibacterial characteristics of its own.
- Today’s household glass cleaners may contain a variety of plant-based active agents, such as thyme, eucalyptus, pine, and mint. In general, they’re fine for cleaning the house, but they’re not as tough on grease, dried toothpaste, and other heavy-duty grime. As a result, their antibacterial properties are less effective than those of other cleaning products.
Specialty Glass Cleaners
Keep in mind that certain surfaces necessitate the use of specialized glass cleaners. Untinted windows, mirrors, glass shelves and tables and glass shower doors may all be cleaned using any sort of glass cleaner. But special-formulated cleansers are needed for certain surfaces, such as tile and grout.
- Cleaning chemicals including alcohol or ammonia, which can cause haze or discoloration, can damage the displays of today’s gadgets, which have numerous layers of very thin polymers and adhesives instead of glass. You should only use cleaners that are specifically designed to remove dust and fingerprints from fragile electrical devices like televisions and laptops.
- The inside of clear car windows can be cleaned with standard household glass cleaner, but for tough outside glass messes like bird droppings, thick dust, pollen, mud, or sticky tree sap, you’ll need a cleaner designed for severe messes common to windshields.
- Use a glass cleaner in a spray bottle attached to your outdoor hose to wash the glass fast and evenly, then rinse away the grime without scrubbing to save time while cleaning the outside of your home’s windows.
- Glass cleaners that include ammonia can discolor tints, so avoid using them on tinted windows. These products are also safe to use on chrome, stainless steel, plastic, vinyl, and tile that has been properly sealed.
- UV-resistant film on your windows can be harmed by vinegar, ammonia, and other chemicals found in commercial cleaning products, so verify the manufacturer’s requirements before using any cleaning product.
Our Top Picks
Shop for a glass cleaner that meets your demands based on those aspects while buying for one. The best glass cleaner should be able to remove dirt and grime from nonporous surfaces like mirrors and windows with minimal scrubbing, while still leaving a streak-free appearance.
FAQs about Glass Cleaners
But not all glass cleaning products are the same; not all of them are as effective as others. The majority of these products can be used to clean nonporous surfaces throughout the house, whether they contain chemicals or solely natural components. When you’re looking for the best shine, you should expect to get a few inquiries.
Q: What is the best glass cleaner?
When cleaning a mirror, you shouldn’t use the same cleaner that you’d use on a glass cooktop. In general, Sprayway Glass Cleaner Aerosol Spray is the best choice in the above comparison for general glass cleaning because it is a foaming aerosol glass cleaner that can also be used on mirrors and windows, as well as on metals like stainless steel, chrome, porcelain, and enamel, as well as on tinted windows, stone countertops, and grease-covered stove hoods.
Q: What do professional window cleaners use to clean windows?
It’s common for professional window washers to use Sparkle Commercial Cleaner as a cleaning solution. When it comes to cleaning your windows, professional cleaners approach things slightly differently; they spray a solution onto the glass, then use a razor scraper (or similar tool) to remove any remaining haze or residue.
Q: What is the best thing to clean windows with?
Spray the windows with a high-quality glass cleaner and then wipe them with a clean, soft cloth until they are streak-free. When it comes to polishing windows to a mirror finish, microfiber towels and newspapers are both popular choices among professionals.
When you see one smudge on an otherwise spotless window, it immediately draws attention to itself and gives the impression that the entire window is dirty. Using all-purpose home cleansers to clean glass leaves streaks or a film behind, which is not ideal. The use of glass cleaners as appliance cleaners is a common occurrence, which is ironic. Because sparkling windows, mirrors, and light fixtures give a home a fresh, clean feel, it’s a must-have to keep a good glass cleaner on hand.