Looking for a homemade window cleaner that will help you get those windows clear and sparkling clean? Here are a few ideas. Anyone will work – I tested them all. Be sure to review how to clean windows (there is a definite technique for getting streak-free results) before loading up your spray bottle.
The Best Window Cleaner
Long ago, at the beginning of my house cleaning career, I read cleaning expert Don Aslett’s delightful and practical book, Is There Life After Housework? Among other exciting revelations, I was surprised to find an easy formula for window cleaning solutions. This stuff gets the job done better than commercial window cleaners, which just goes to show you how easily we can all be duped by marketing and advertising. Just show me somebody that doesn’t have a spray bottle of blue window cleaning solution in their cleaning closet!
Indeed, these pretty blue cleaning solutions can actually aggravate the problem of streaky windows because they can leave a waxy film behind that holds dust and causes streaks. If you’ve been cleaning your windows for a while with a commercial solution, you may have a build-up of products that you will actually need to remove before you can get your windows clean. The other problem with commercial solutions is that they are formulated to evaporate quickly which might sound like an advantage, but what happens is that indeed they do evaporate, leaving behind the above-mentioned film before you’ve had a chance to wipe it clean.
In his book, Don recommended filling a bucket with warm water and adding four or five drops of dishwashing liquid or a capful of ammonia. One got the idea that the dishwashing liquid was there mostly to placate all of us that feel like something more than water is needed to get things clean. He then goes on to explain the correct technique for cleaning windows, which is really the secret, not any magic window-cleaning formula.
So this is it! The big secret formula for homemade window cleaner . . .
1 bucket of warm water
a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid
More Window Cleaners
Here are two different recipes that you can mix together and keep in a spray bottle, ready to spritz on for quick window or glass cleaning touch-ups. However, if you are going for an all-out window cleaning effort, use the bucket of water with a little dishwashing liquid recommended by Don. It’s the best way to go.
I recommend you use distilled (mineral-free) water in these homemade window cleaner recipes. The last thing you want to do is spray some hard water on your windows and end up with even more spots.
Window Cleaner 2
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
The rubbing alcohol is included to make a quick-drying formula, which is alright for the occasional window touch-up. It also makes a good solution for cleaning mirrors.
Window Cleaner 3
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 2 drops of dishwashing liquid
Vinegar makes an excellent solvent and can help cut through fingerprints that are oily stains.
Don’t forget to label your homemade cleaners!
Find more recipes for homemade cleaners.