The Best Homemade Window Cleaner (5 Easy Recipes)

Homemade window cleaner is not only less expensive than store-bought versions but works just as well and contains fewer chemicals.

If you’ve never used homemade window cleaner before, you might be skeptical of how well it works.

Homemade window cleaner

The truth is that a simple mixture of vinegar and water can leave your windows sparkling clean and streak-free. But don’t worry, if you don’t want to use vinegar, there are other options.

Here are the top recipes for homemade window cleaners.

Vinegar and Water Glass Cleaner

The simplest window cleaner contains only two ingredients: white distilled vinegar and water. The ratio for vinegar and water glass cleaner is 50/50.

Here’s what to do:

  • Fill a glass spray bottle with half white distilled vinegar and half water
  • Lightly spray the glass or window and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth

If you’re worried about the smell of vinegar, don’t be. The vinegar scent fades within a few minutes. You can even add a few drops of essential oils to mask it.

A vinegar and water cleaner is not only excellent for glass, but you can use it on other hard, non-porous surfaces like laminate countertops, showers, and toilets.

Rubbing Alcohol, Vinegar, and Dish Soap Glass Cleaner

If you’re looking for a more complex DIY cleaner, a mixture of rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and dish soap will loosen stuck-on dirt and leave your windows clear.

To make this solution, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of 70% rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup of white distilled vinegar
  • 3 drops of Dawn dish soap

Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle and shake to combine. Spray the glass and use a lint-free cloth or squeegee to clean.

Ammonia, Dish Soap, and Water Window Cleaner (DIY Windex)

If you love Windex but are looking for a cheaper alternative, you can make your own using ammonia as your base ingredient. Just keep in mind that vinegar and water are your best bet if you’re looking for a “green” cleaner. While ammonia cleans well, it’s harsh.

If you want to make DIY Windex, here are the ingredients:

  • 3 ¼ cups warm water
  • ½ cup of isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
  • 2 TBS of ammonia
  • ¼ TSP of Dawn Dish soap or similar brand

Add all ingredients to a spray bottle and give it a light shake to mix. To use this solution, spray your glass and wipe it clean with a paper towel or microfiber cloth.

Dish  Soap and Water (Exterior Window Wash Solution)

If you’re ready to tackle your exterior windows, a mixture of water and dish soap is all you need. 

  • Fill a bucket with two gallons of water
  • Add a teaspoon of dish soap such as Dawn
  • Mix and then use a sponge to wash the windows

After you’ve washed the windows, you can squeegee off the solution. To do this, run the squeegee straight across the window, drying it with a cloth after each pass. After wiping the whole window, dry it with a fresh towel.

Dish Soap, Water, and Jet Dry (Exterior Window Glass Cleaner)

Looking to put a little more power into your exterior window cleaning job? Adding dish soap and Jet Dry rinse aid to your bucket of water will help.

  • Fill a bucket with 1 gallon of water
  • Add TBS of Jet Dry and 4-5 TBS of dish soap

Wet your windows with a garden hose before applying the mixture. Then use a sponge or microfiber mop to wash the glass. Rinse the windows with water immediately after washing.

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol to Clean a Window?

Rubbing alcohol is a popular ingredient in homemade cleaners – but not for the reason you might think. Most homemade window cleaning recipes combine rubbing alcohol with vinegar because vinegar does the brunt of cleaning. Rubbing alcohol alone doesn’t do a good job cutting through grease or grime. Instead, it disinfects and helps glass dry with a streak-free finish. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can you clean windows without wiping them?

There is no interior glass cleaner that you can use without wiping your windows. For outdoors, you can use a solution of water, dish soap, and a rinse aid. After applying, rinse with a garden hose.

What’s the best way to prevent streaks when cleaning a window?

The best way to prevent window streaks is to dust your window before using glass cleaner and only wipe it with a lint-free cloth. 

What’s the best homemade natural window cleaner?

The best homemade natural window cleaner combines half white distilled vinegar and half water. Vinegar-based cleaners are non-toxic, help remove lingering odors, and are good at removing built-up dirt, grease, and grime.

What’s the best cleaning cloth for windows?

Microfiber cloths are the best window cleaning cloths. They are lint-free and have tiny fibers that help break up dirt without causing scratches.

What’s the best way to clean extra dirty glass?

If your glass has a dirt layer, start by washing it with dish soap and water. After rinsing the dish soap solution, spray the glass with a half vinegar and half water combo. Then use a microfiber cloth to wipe the window, changing out the cloth as it becomes dirty. Repeat these steps until the glass is clean.

Final Thoughts

Homemade window cleaners work just as well as store-bought versions for pennies on the dollar. If you’re looking for a non-toxic cleaner, try vinegar and water. You can also add rubbing alcohol to the mix to help prevent streaks and disinfect. If you want a copycat Windex cleaner, a recipe with ammonia is your best bet.

For exterior windows, a simple mix of water and dish soap works well. You can add a rinse aid like Jet Dry for a more powerful clean.