Glass cleaner is one of life’s essentials. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.
Of course, it’s necessary, but all those harsh chemicals can’t possibly be good for us.
Whether you’re allergic to Windex like I am, have small children and pets who think licking windows is a fun pastime, or you just want to rid your home of chemicals, a DIY glass cleaner is just what you need.
Why DIY Glass Cleaner?
There are so many benefits to a DIY glass cleaning solution.
It’s fast and easy to make
One full bottle of solution costs less than $0.75
No harsh chemicals
Streak and spot free, every single time
Making The Perfect Cleaning Solution
But making a DIY glass cleaner isn’t as simple as throwing some ingredients in a bottle and making your windows magically clean. Over weeks and weeks of testing out recipes online, I finally mastered the perfect solution, and found out some helpful secrets along the way.
The first secret is using a glass bottle instead of a plastic one.
Yes, it does cost more, but it’s a one-time investment. Alcohol and vinegar can actually pull the toxins in the plastic into your solution, completely negating the “all-natural” essence of your cleaner. Not to mention you’ll be seeing streaks and spots all over again after a few uses.
This is my favorite glass bottle on the market and I use them for all of my homemade cleaners.
Secret number two is all about the microfiber cloth.
You probably have these already, but you might not be maximizing their capability.
Microfiber cloths are so handy because they can be washed and reused. My biggest tip with these cloths is to make sure you don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softener. These products affect the cloth’s ability to pick up dust, as well as leaves a film on the surface.
I like having multiple colors of microfiber cloths on hand. I use blue for glass, yellow for wood, and green for basic dusting. This set comes with four colors, making it the perfect starter kit.
The third secret is the addition of essential oils.
Although this step isn’t necessary, it cuts through the not-so-appealing scent of alcohol and vinegar. I like using lemon, lavender, or peppermint, but any scent works just fine. If you’re just starting out with essential oils and want to try out a nice variety, I love this set.
My fourth and final tip is all about the technique.
You need two cloths to truly have a streak-free outcome.
1. First, spray the solution onto the window sparingly. A little goes a long way, and if you use too much, you’ll drench your cloth and have to switch it out.
2. Use one cloth to wipe vertically, avoid going in any other direction.
3. Use another cloth to wipe horizontally, avoid going in any other direction again.
By using this technique, this clears off all the solution and leaves no room for streaks to hang out behind.
The three products below are my top choices for the best streak-free solution.
My Favorite DIY Glass Cleaner Ingredients
When it comes to ingredients, I tried out lots of different combos and measurements, and all of them worked well, but I found that some ingredients were absolutely necessary and others didn’t really change the outcome at all.
Some recipes called for cornstarch, stating that it helped reduce streaks. I tested this out, but if you’re using the vertical, then horizontal technique I stated above, you don’t need that cornstarch. I honestly don’t think it made a difference at all.
All recipes called for vinegar and distilled water (distilled to prevent spots from hard water), but not all of them required rubbing alcohol. The alcohol was the ultimate addition in my opinion, because it dries so quickly. It doesn’t allow the solution to linger, which creates streaks and spots in the first place. If you have a sensitivity to rubbing alcohol, you can definitely leave it out, but I highly recommend it if you can.
So after all my test runs, and 20+ washing machine cycles, I found the best of all best DIY glass cleaner recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
I love your site. I just wish when you suggest were to get ingredients you gave other options besides amazon. So many of us are trying not to support them.
Thanks again for the great tips.
Brad Gandy says
Hi! Feel free to shop around for alternatives from companies you love and trust.
Cassie Hall says
Hi! Can you tell me where I can locate the recipe you use? Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks!!
Brad Gandy says
Hi, Cassie! If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the post, the recipe is listed there. Hope that helps, and please let us know how it works for you.
Love this idea! And I just ran out of window cleaner yesterday, so now’s a good time to try something new.
Lela Burris says
Perfect timing! I think you’ll really like it, and you’ll like how much more affordable it is to make, too!
Gadgets Living says
Hi, Lela, This was a really helpful article.I like chemical-free products. I agree with you that harsh chemicals can’t possibly be good for us. I use White vinegar and Water to make my own glass cleaner. It effectively removes fingerprints and other window grime. I also use a magnetic window cleaner when I need to clean a skyscraper’s window.
P/S: I just followed you on Twitter. 🙂
Lela Burris says
I had no idea that magnetic window cleaners were even a thing! I’ve got to go check that out! Thanks for the tip!