7 Homemade Window Cleaner Recipes

By: Deanna Kane | Affiliate Disclosure

Making your own homemade window cleaner is an easy, non-toxic, and cost-effective alternative to a commercial cleaner. This guide shares several different homemade window cleaner recipes that you can ultimately adjust to your cleaning needs.

How to make a homemade window cleaner

Most homemade window cleaning recipes require two to three ingredients that you likely already have in your home. The only other materials you’ll need include a glass spray bottle or bucket and a microfiber cloth.

To ensure your windows aren’t left with any streaks, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Use distilled water—it’s purer than tap water.
  • Spray directly on the window and wait several minutes before wiping off the window cleaner.
  • Avoid paper towels or rags, which can leave streaks or residue—stick with lint-free microfiber cloths.
  • Wash windows in one direction, such as top to bottom or left to right.

For extra dirty windows, you can wash the windows with warm water and soap prior to using your homemade window cleaner. You can also use a vinegar solution to scrub any stubborn spots.

Method #1: vinegar solution

A vinegar and water window cleaner is the most common homemade window cleaner. This widely used household solution is a go-to in any homemade cleaning arsenal.

Using vinegar as an alternative to chemical store-bought cleaners can prevent you from breathing in toxic and harmful fumes. Vinegar also has an added benefit of being streak-free. This solution can be used on glass surfaces, such as glass top tables, but should not be used on marble, granite, slate, or any other porous surface.

Materials

  • Equal parts white vinegar and water
  • Glass spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Optional: a few drops of citrus scented essential oil, such as lemon, grapefruit, or tangerine for an extra fresh scent

Directions:

  1. Pour equal parts of white vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
  2. Add in a few drops of essential oil if you want a scented solution.
  3. Shake the bottle and spray your window surface.
  4. Wipe your window clean in one direction with a microfiber cloth.

Method #2: lemon juice solution

Give your home an extra fresh scent with nature’s antiseptic: lemons. The lemon’s acidic base will eliminate window grime, while ensuring that you’re only using clean ingredients in your home. This cleaning remedy can also be used on glass, plastic, or ceramic surfaces. Avoid using lemon juice on marble, granite, slate, or any other porous surface.

Materials

  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Glass spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

Directions:

  1. Add both the water and lemon juice to a spray bottle.
  2. Shake the bottle to mix the solution.
  3. Spray the solution directly on the windows.
  4. Wipe dry in one direction using a microfiber cloth.

Method #3: vinegar and alcohol

Thanks to the alcohol, this recipe evaporates fast, eliminating spots and streaks. Vinegar is antibacterial and non-toxic, making it a must-have for any cleaning supply cabinet. It also helps to break down any film or grime that builds up on glass surfaces because of its acidity. This solution can be used on glass, plastic, or ceramic surfaces, but should be avoided on marble, granite, slate, or any other porous surface.

Materials

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • Glass spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

Directions:

  1. Pour the ingredients into your spray bottle and shake.
  2. Spray directly onto the window.
  3. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe dry, in one direction. Due to the alcohol content, be sure to store this mixture in a cool location, away from any heat.

Method #4: dish detergent window cleaner

This glass cleaner recipe can be adjusted to the amount of window cleaning you have to do—use a spray bottle for smaller interior windows or a bucket for exterior windows.

Materials

  • Hot water
  • Several drops of Dawn soap or other dishwashing liquid
  • Glass spray bottle or bucket (depending on window surfaces)
  • Microfiber cloth

Directions:

  1. Combine the water and dishwashing liquid in either a spray bottle or bucket.
  2. Shake and mix the solution. 
  3. Spray the cleaner on your windows and let it sit.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe clean in one direction.

Method #5: Jet Dry solution

This large-volume recipe is best for outdoor windows that need some extra scrubbing. While this recipe makes a big batch, it can be adjusted for smaller interior windows, as well.

Materials

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid Jet Dry
  • 4 tablespoons of dishwashing soap
  • Bucket
  • Squeegee or cloth
  • Hose sprayer

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a bucket.
  2. Use a squeegee or cloth to clean your windows (this might depend on the window size).
  3. Rinse clean with a hose sprayer.

Method #6: vinegar and baking soda

Give your vinegar-based homemade window cleaner some extra cleaning power by adding baking soda to the process.

Materials

  • Equal parts white vinegar and water
  • 1 box of baking soda
  • Glass spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cloth or paper towel

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp cloth or paper towel.
  2. Gently move the cloth across the windows.
  3. Fill a spray bottle with liquid ingredients and shake the bottle to mix the solution.
  4. Spray the solution on your windows.
  5. Wipe off your windows with a microfiber cloth. 

Method #7: ammonia and cornstarch

This recipe helps break down stubborn fingerprints or grease marks, thanks to the ammonia, while leaving the windows clean and streak-free, courtesy of the cornstarch. This solution can also be used on glass, plastic, or ceramic surfaces. It shouldn’t be used on marble, granite, slate, or other porous materials.

Materials

  • 1 quart warm or hot water
  • 1/4 cup ammonia
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Glass spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

Directions:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a glass spray bottle and shake.
  2. Spray directly on the window’s surface.
  3. Wipe the window from top to bottom with a microfiber cloth.

Benefits of making your own homemade window cleaner

Making your own homemade window cleaner can help cut costs on cleaning supply purchases and eliminate interactions with toxic fumes and chemicals found in store-bought window cleaners. Additionally, homemade window cleaners are relatively versatile and can be used on other glass surfaces, such as mirrors, showers doors, or photo frames.

Here are the top benefits of making your own homemade window cleaner:

  • Inexpensive—Brand name window cleaners cost approximately three dollars. Homemade window cleaners cost pennies, aside from the spray bottle.
  • Environmentally conscious—Creating your own homemade window cleaner reduces the amount of chemicals you’re putting back into the air and the number of plastic spray bottles you would use if you purchased a store-bought cleaning product. U.S. landfills are overflowing with two million tons of discarded water bottles alone, so do your part and reduce this number by switching to glass bottles.
  • Cleaner home—Eliminating chemical-laden store-bought cleaners can reduce the amount of chemicals you’re using in your home, potentially reducing the chance of experiencing long-term health issues.
  • Volume control—Making your own homemade window cleaners lets you create large or small patches, depending on your cleaning needs.

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