No-Streak Homemade Window Cleaner

Trying to make your own home care products to save money and get the toxins out of your home? This No-Streak Homemade Window Cleaner works great and costs pennies to make. I love not using that blue-dyed stuff - better for you and better for the earth - better for your pocketbook.

Our environment is filled with toxins and one of the biggest offenders in the toxin department is household cleaners.  So I’ve been working for awhile to get and keep as many toxins as possible out of our home. I use homemade foaming soap, a natural dishwasher rinse aid, homemade “soft scrub” and even soap nuts instead of laundry detergent.

Today I am going to share with you one of my most favorite non toxic Home Care Products – Homemade Glass Cleaner.

I personally think that it is so important to get Home Care and Personal Care products that are toxin free so that we, our families, and our world can be a lot more healthy.

Plus, you can save a TON of money by making these things yourself.

And it doesn’t have to take a TON of time.

In fact, most of them are lickety-split.

This Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe is a case in point.

Since my childhood, I have been plagued with chemical sensitivities.

Truthfully, I’ve always been sensitive to a lot of things, but chemical smells and fragrances are one of the worst.

So–for a long time now, I have shunned the use of commercial home care products.

Are you like me?  Do you walk down the aisle of the detergent and cleaner aisle and feel light-headed?

Even if you don’t, making your own glass cleaner is a breeze.

Benefits of Making Your Own Glass Cleaner:

1.  Get toxins out of your home and your life – Do you really want these things in your home?

propylene glycol
2 Hexoxyethanol
Ammonium Hydroxide
Mirapol Surf S-210
Viden EGM
Sodium C14-17 Sec-Alkyl Sulfonat
Fragrance Palette (goodness – what’s in that???)
Liquitint Sky Blue Dye

Yes, that is what is in one of the more popular glass cleaners on the market.  Ick.

2.  Save Money

You can make your own cleaner for way less money than you would spend on a commercial cleaner.  Even if not, I would still prefer to make my own for the other benefits.  See the end of this post to see how much you can save.

3.  Clean Up the Environment

Do you really want to add these toxins to our already toxically-overloaded environment?  I am convinced that one of the main problems regarding the onslaught of autism, auto-immune disorders and cancer is the prevalence of toxins in our world.  Let’s do what ever we can, within reason, to help clean things up for us and for future generations.  Every time you can use a toxin free product over a toxin laden one, you help the environment.

Now, I used to use just plain vinegar to clean our mirrors and glass.  Truth be told, we didn’t really clean our windows often.  Just didn’t really think about it.

We would put some plain vinegar on a piece of newspaper and wipe it all over the mirror.

It worked pretty well, but it did leave some streaks that were a little hard to get off.

But in a pinch, it works well.

This cleaner, however, is great.  I found it on a number of sites all over the internet and I must say, it is a real winner.
My son likes to take our spray bottle all over the house and clean all the windows and mirrors –it helps to have a bottle with a blue top (his favorite color!)

This cleaner does contain isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which some people may wish to avoid, but I don’t have a problem with.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on that….and I did find another promising recipe that costs quite a bit more money to make and has no isopropyl alcohol.  Maybe I’ll give it a whirl!

By the way, I discovered this recipe on several sites, but I suspect that the originator of the recipe is Crunchy Betty. She’s got some pretty cool DIY stuff on her blog besides just glass cleaners :).

Disclaimer. The links below are affiliate links. I get a referral fee if you end up purchasing for the first time, but your price doesn’t change. Thanks for your support of my blog! Please see my full disclaimer here.

What Does the Cornstarch Do?

You’re wondering that too, aren’t you?

I sure was.

Well, this update is just in today (Sept. 13, 2013) from a reader who is “in the know.”  Here is her answer:

On a microscopic level, glass is not perfectly smooth. When you spray water on it, the water molecules get caught in the pits on the glass surface. Water also clings to itself through hydrogen bonding – the hydrogen atoms from two molecules cling together. Water stuck in the glass + water stuck to more water = streaking. Cornstarch (or dish soap or oil-even a couple drops of essential oil) disrupts the hydrogen bonding, thus preventing streaks!

Cool beans! A DIY house cleaning recipe and science lesson in one!

How much will you save?

A ton.

Vinegar: costs about $.59 for 32 oz at Aldi. So even if we double the price, let’s say it costs $.04

Rubbing Alcohol:  Based on current Rite Aid pricing (I called :-)!) $.25 for 1/4 cup

Cornstarch:  A local Midwest grocery chain has it for $1.39 right now.  If the Tbsp per pound info I got is correct, then the cost for 1 Tbsp is about $.04.

Water:  I am just going to call this $0.00.  The current approximate cost per gallon in my city is $.002 per gallon :-).

So – it costs a total of $.33 to make 2 1/2 cups of Glass Cleaner.

Cost of a popular brand on the market? $3.43 on Amazon – you can check the price here.  I had to do some fancy math to get the cost per ounce, but this is what it costs for 2 1/2 cups (20 oz).  So you save over 90%!

How Can You Use Homemade Glass Cleaner?

Glass Appliances
Stainless Steel
Marble (thanks to a reader, I’ve found out that you shouldn’t use vinegar on marble as it can cause it to corrode.)

I hope this gets you motivated to:

– Save Money

– Reduce Toxins

– Improve Your Family’s Health

– Clean Your Windows :-)!

More DIY Recipes for You and Your Home:

Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid

Homemade Foaming Soap

DIY Decongestant Rub

Nourishing Sugar Hand and Body Scrub

Soothing Jojoba Oil Face Wash

Homemade Egg Replacer

Powdered Sugar Substitute

Homemade Taco Seasoning

What do you use to clean your mirrors and windows?

This post contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclaimer here

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  1. I’m surprised to read all of the other negative posts, as we just used this and it worked PERFECTLY. I’ve never seen our windows so clean – and it took all the streaks out of our mirror, too (which have been impossible to get out previously). That said, we did tweak the ingredients just a tad by using arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch. We started with warm water, followed the directions, and it was seriously like magic. I’ll never go back to plain vinegar again. Thanks for posting! :)

  2. Just wanted to say that the suggestion to use this type of homemade glass cleaner (which we have used in our family for about 5 years) on marble surfaces may be ill-advised, because vinegar eats into marble quite easily.

    …I was already aware of vinegar’s effect on marble, but a few years ago I happened to absent-mindedly put down a glass bottle of cooking vinegar on a marble-topped piece of antique furniture in my mother’s kitchen. There were a couple of droplets of vinegar left on the outside of the bottle after I had poured some out to use in a recipe, and after only 20 minutes that tiny bit of vinegar etched onto the marble surface a permanent circular impression of the base of the glass bottle. Therefore, I’m extra-careful now when it comes to vinegar and marble!

  3. Hi
    I haven’t read all the other posts but this formula works well for me. If one doesn’t want to use isopropyl alcohol just use some cheap vodka…it was all I had handy and worked great!?

  4. Efficient says:

    Pls can I use any oil at all? Like olive oil. Tnx

  5. Petrina says:

    Is the essential oil necessary for the success of the cleaner? I did order some, but have not yet received them and I am dying to try this window cleaner. Thx.

  6. Is the essential oil for anything other than smell?

  7. Adrienne, I am a widowed single mom of four. I have homeschooled all my kids. My girls are in college and my boys are still in High School. I couldn’t wait to check out your blog when I got home from work tonight. You told me to check out your research on essential oils. I found it very interesting. I will read the rest of the series when I have more time.
    That is a great recipe for window cleaner, but I prefer to use just water and my Norwex Envirocloth, followed with my polishing cloth. So quick and easy and it gets off greasy messes too. they clean the whole house so much easier and without chemicals. I wash them in hot water between laundering and hang them up to dry. They will self sanitize as they dry because of the silver in the cloth.
    I also used to make my own laundry soap that I learned online but now I like to use the Norwex ultra Power Plus. It only takes a tsp of it to wash a load. So one bag lasts me 6 months. (that’s with 2 teen boys at home) I can use the wool balls with a drop or two of essential oil in the dryer in place of fabric softener. I like the lavender for that.
    I have always been interested in finding healthy ways to clean, eat and live. Like you I have done a lot of research, even blogging a little about it. One of my reasons for researching alternatives to medicine and getting rid of chemicals is Cancer. It has devastated my family. I have lost 2 brothers and 2 sisters to cancer. My 16 year old son had Leukemia when he was 3 years old. He went through 2 1/2 years of chemo and survived. They search for a cure, but I think we should search for a cause and prevent it. There isn’t much support for that research because if they cure it, they will lose a lot of money. So we have to find our own cures. I’ll be

    • I’ll be checking back on your blog soon

    • I looked at Norwex for awhile – the dryer balls didn’t seem to make a difference for me, and I lost one now :(. I thought they were supposed to cut drying time??? I am looking into a supplement that you might be interested in. Feel free to email me at wholenewmom at gmail dot com. I do have some of the Power Plus so I should try it. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. I use almost the same mixture, just skipping the cornstarch and replacing the essential oil with a little amount of fresh lemon juice. My advice is to use newspaper instead of of any kind of cloth. I am not sure what exactly is the reason but I promise the results will be fantastic. Happy cleaning.

  9. richard says:

    best window cleaner ever 10 times better than bought stuff,just remember to shake the bottle or the cornflower will settle out fantastic. thanks.

  10. I ran out of my Vinegar Windex, so I Googled Homemade Window Cleaner. Yours was the first to pop up. I didn’t even think to use warm water, but I did not have any problems with streaking. My sliding door looks like the glass has been taken out, it’s so clear! Also, my husband dripped caulking on my glass top table, and this cleaner totally ate it away. I wasn’t expecting it to ever come off, because I tried several other cleaners without budging it. I am a convert! Thank you so much!