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How To Make Homemade Window Cleaner

Updated Nov 22, 2022

Updated Nov 22, 2022

Home > Windows > How To Make Homemade Window Cleaner

Streaks and smudges on windows, glass doors, and other glass surfaces are glaringly obvious and can make an otherwise tidy home look dirty. Unfortunately, many of us put off cleaning our windows because it can be a pain to achieve that streak-free look.

However, making a homemade window cleaner out of simple, natural ingredients like vinegar and water makes cleaning your windows a snap.

Here’s the recipe for the best homemade window cleaner recipe to achieve that coveted streak-free look while saving your hard-earned money.

homeowner cleaning windows with homemade window cleaner
Image Source: Canva

Before You Begin

  • If you live somewhere with hard water, use distilled water to make homemade window cleaner. Hard water has minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, which can make glass cloudy.
  • Always label any cleaning solutions you make, detailing what they contain and the date you made them, so you know if the solutions are still fresh.
  • While this homemade window cleaning solution is made from simple ingredients found in your home, it should still be kept locked up and away from children and pets. Certain ingredients, like essential oils, may not be ideal for pets, so always check with your pet’s veterinarian about what essential oils can be used safely around the house.
  • Never mix chlorine bleach with vinegar, as this creates a harmful chemical compound that produces toxic chlorine gas. Chlorine gas can cause labored breathing, burns on your skin, and even fatality with long-term exposure.

Gather the Ingredients

For this homemade window cleaner recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • White vinegar (lemon juice or rubbing alcohol can be substituted)
  • Dish soap or dishwashing liquid
  • A plastic or glass spray bottle
  • Label and marker
  • Essential oil (optional for fragrance, citrus essential oils are especially lovely for a fresh scent)

White vinegar is a critical ingredient in this recipe because its acidity cuts through grease, grime, and dirt, leaving you with a streak-free window. It’s also non-toxic, making it a fantastic alternative to traditional cleaners like Windex, which is made from many unpronounceable chemical ingredients.

Commercial cleaners usually leave a waxy film on your windows over time, which dish soap easily cuts through, resulting in a cleaner window.

Mix Your Ingredients

Take your spray bottle and add ¼ cup of white vinegar to ½ teaspoon of the liquid dish soap. Dilute this cleaning solution with 2 cups of water and shake the mixture thoroughly to combine.

If you’re using lemon juice instead of white vinegar, keep the ratios the same. You can also substitute rubbing alcohol for white vinegar. However, you’ll need to adjust the ratio to 1 ½ cups of rubbing alcohol and 2 tablespoons of vinegar or dish soap diluted with 1 ½ cups of water.

As an optional step, you can add essential oils to customize your scent and cover up the strong vinegar scent, which, understandably, many of us don’t like. Choose one of your favorite essential oil scents and add 10 to 15 drops of essential oil to the spray bottle mixture.

Cleaning Your Windows Effectively With the Solution

woman cleaning a window on a cloudy day
Image Source: Canva

After preparing your window cleaner, you’ll want to consider what kind of cloth you’re using alongside it, as this can make an enormous difference in how many streaks or water spots you’ll have.

We recommend using a lint-free cloth or microfiber cloth. Spray the window with the glass cleaner, then wipe across the entire surface in an “S” pattern using the lint-free or microfiber cloth.

Avoid using sponges or cloths that leave fuzzies to achieve a spotless shine. Paper towels are also a poor choice for window cleaning because they leave bits of paper sticking to your window.

Tips for Cleaning Windows Well

  • Wait for a cloudy day. When the sun shines directly on exterior windows, your homemade glass cleaner will dry quickly, making it more prone to water marks and streaks.
  • Water temperature doesn’t matter. Often, we’re told to use hot or warm water to clean because it agitates and lifts dirt off of surfaces easier. In most cases, this is good advice. However, hot water isn’t necessary when cleaning windows because the vinegar or lemon juice in your solution is strong enough to cut through dirt particles.
  • Use a little cleaner at a time. This DIY window cleaner is powerful, so don’t use too much, or this will increase your risk of getting streaks.
  • Try alternative cleaning cloths. Microfiber and lint-free cloths are ideal for cleaning windows, but old pantyhose and stockings are other terrific options because of their fine mesh. When using cleaning cloths, never use ones washed with fabric softener, as this can cause streaks.
  • Clean the window tracks and frames first. A window’s tracks and frames are often filthier than the glass. Clean these areas before cleaning the glass to avoid dirt and grime from sullying your window glass.
  • Don’t forget the window screens. Your exterior window screens should be cleaned several times a year alongside your windows. Cleaning your windows but leaving the screens dirty is counterproductive, so we recommend cleaning the screens and windows simultaneously.

Cleaning Tips for Glass Shower Doors

woman cleaning a glass shower
Image Source: Canva

If you’re cleaning a glass shower door, saturate it with your solution and let it sit for 10 minutes or more to break down buildup. Then, take a scrub sponge and give the shower door a deep scrub. Follow up with a wipe down with more cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth for the perfect, streak-free look.

In the future, use a squeegee every time you shower to quickly remove soap scum and moisture from the door, preventing serious buildups.

Closing Thoughts

Cleaning your windows shouldn’t be overwhelming. If you have a large home with many windows, break up the task and work from one side to the other to avoid redoing previous work. We hope our vinegar-based recipe saves you money and decreases the time needed to clean your windows.

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