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.

This DIY Window Cleaner works great and really leaves no streaks! And none of the toxins of the "blue stuff" from the store!

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.  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 from this site:

Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Homemade Foaming Soap
DIY Shower Cleaner
Best DIY Fruit Fly Trap
Easiest DIY Weed Killer

And for a whole boatload of DIY Cleaning Recipes, Heather from Mommypotamus has this great book:

DY Cleaning Book - Mommypotamus

What do you use to clean your mirrors and windows?

This post contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclaimer here


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Thanks for this, but curious, what is the purpose of the cornstarch in the mix?

  2. I use plain water, use a wet cloth to wipe the mirrors and then dry with a towel, no streaks or chemicals and about as cheap as you can get.

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I use one that is mostly rubbing alcohol but will do this for my next batch. Do you think that tapioca starch would work as well? My son’s allergic to corn so I never have corn starch around. I usually add a drop of food coloring to my window cleaner–it’s the only appropriate use for it, I think!–so that the kids know it isn’t water.

    • Good question about the tapioca starch. I think it would work – I will add that and your food coloring idea! I used that in my dishwasher rinse aid post – can’t believe I didn’t think about it here….thank you!!

  4. Hi Adrienne, :)

    This would be the perfect post to share on Wildcrafting Wednesday! :) Love it!

    ~ Kathy

  5. Brooke J. says:

    this is great. Best window cleaner I’ve used. I literally got up and made it as I read the recipe, then cleaned the bathroom mirror, our wardrobe mirror and our glass front door. LOVE IT!

  6. As soon as I finish this comment I am heading out to the kitchen to make this. Perfect timing…my windows all need cleaning!! Thanks much.

  7. Hi Adrienne,

    Wow – I love your recipe. I also make my own glass cleaner (but don’t use alcohol or cornstarch). I’ll have to try your recipe. I do use vinegar to clean my home. I love it. I don’t mind the smell. I also use hydrogen peroxide a lot too (it’s inexpensive like vinegar). I use it to clean out my blender before I make yogurt, for example. We also use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash. :-)

    So fun that you also appreciate homemade cleaners. And you’re so right – it saves money, and that’s always great. But moreover, it saves your health.

    Great post.


    • Hi Amber! Thanks for stopping by!

      I love vinegar too, but I do like other smells so I am thinking about adding essential oils to the mix.

      One thing I just learned is that the OTC peroxide has contaminants in it – I was using it for oral care and recently switched to food grade peroxide. It’s a lot more money but it is also more concentrated.

      Not something I wanted to hear….I also heard that excessive use of H2O2 on skin etc can be damaging to tissues so you really want to use it diluted.

      I used it for a long time before I heard all of this….but at least I found out now. :)

      • Hi Adrienne,

        So interesting. My gums have improved since using. But I also wonder about long term use. I think it’s just helping keep the bacterial down. I have gingivitis (hereditary) and also related to my chronic inflammation and Crohns. I do so much for my mouth (electric toothbrush, floss, tongue scrape, water pick, mouth wash) and I still have deep pockets of bacteria (5 and 6). So I think the HP just help control the bacteria, thus the tarter, thus less infectious pockets. But I agree with you about the long term use. I also suspected that it may do more harm than good. We do currently dilute. I will have to chat with my husband about the food grade. I’m curious about what contaminants you found? From my knowledge, OTC peroxide is just 3% H202 and 97% filtered water – would love to learn more, as the last thing I want to do is put more contaminants in my body. Yikes.

        Thanks for your help, Adrienne!! :-)

        • Hi Amber. I could only find this so far which was forwarded to me from a friend. I will put in quoted form what he sent to me and I will ask the question to another person to see what he has to say. You do need to really watch concentrations so as not to do damage to tissues and cells.

          This is a superb article, by the way. Also in this article is a reference for the different grades of H2O2:”Hydrogen peroxide is available in various strengths and grades.3% Pharmaceutical Grade: This is the grade sold at your local drugstore or supermarket. This product is not recommended for internal use. It contains an assortment of stabilizers which shouldn’t be ingested. Various stabilizers include: acetanilide, phenol, sodium stanate and tertrasodium phosphate.6% Beautician Grade: This is used in beauty shops to color hair and is not recommended for internal use.30% Reagent Grade: This is used for various scientific experimentation and also contains stabilizers. It is also not for internal use.30% to 32% Electronic Grade: This is used to clean electronic parts and not for internal use.35% Technical Grade: This is a more concentrated product than the Reagent Grade and differs slightly in that phosphorus is added to help neutralize any chlorine from the water used to dilute it.35% Food Grade: This is used in the production of foods like cheese, eggs, and whey-containing products. It is also sprayed on the foil lining of aseptic packages containing fruit juices and milk products. THIS IS THE ONLY GRADE RECOMMENDED FOR INTERNAL USE…90%: This is used as an oxygen source for rocket fuel.Only [highly diluted] 35% Food Grade hydrogen peroxide is recommended for internal use [note: obviously his point is that only Food Grade hydrogen peroxide should be taken internally, there are lower concentrations than 35%]. At this concentration [i.e. 35%], however, hydrogen peroxide is a very strong oxidizer and if not diluted, it can be extremely dangerous or even fatal. Any concentrations over 10% can cause neurological reactions and damage to the upper gastrointestinal tract. of how hydrogen peroxide is used, it can be toxic if its concentration is too high. However, when diluted to theraputic levels it is totally safe for external use or I.V.s.

          Hope that helps.

        • Hi Amber, you may also like to try Coconut oil on yr toothbrush, It works for me, even gets the stains off my teeth and is not abraisive. It has a nice mouth feel long after I’ve used it. Neva

  8. Toqua's Crafts says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe.
    I too have sensitivity to fragrance… the soap aisle is a KILLER! Not to mention all the scented candles around every corner in just about any store. I get migraines from the fragrance. When I was in an environment where I couldn’t control the fragrance I would simply HAVE to go to bed and sleep it off. Once I have the migraine it’s not just the fragrance, it’s noise and light added to the mix as well.

    Thank you for the link to the Chalkboard Contact paper! I did not know they had that!! AWESOME!

  9. Good to know! I’m currently needing some more glass cleaner so I’m going to earmark this recipe and give it a try. Thanks so much for posting (found you over at the Homestead Barn Hop)

  10. This is the recipe I use and it works great. I think the cornstarch helps polish somehow, but that is a guess. I also add 1 drop of blue food coloring and I wrote the recipe on the side of the dollar store bottle with a sharpie so I wouldn’t have to waste time looking it up again.

  11. This is so great! Thanks so much for not only sharing the recipe but the “why” of why we should use homemade cleaners for health, environmental, and expense reasons. I’m sure that took a great deal of research and is greatly appreciated!

  12. I am really excited about this recipe. Thank you for sharing it Adrienne.

  13. CherylAnne says:

    I’ll be making the glass cleaner. Thanks for caring & sharing.
    Do you have a page listed somewhere that I can find info on products to buy for a well stocked pantry for this life style change? I was also wondering about a product that kils mold & mildew in the bathroom . Without using
    Bleach. Any recommendations? I’m wanting to find a natural product without all the chemicals.

    • Hi CherylAnne. Could you let me know what you are thinking about specifically? Storage things or food items? Mold and mildew are toughies. I have consulted w/ a mold expert who said baking soda and vinegar & scrubbing or soap and water and scrubbing. I am experimenting w/ other products but don’t have a rough time w/ mold right now. Let me know what else you are looking for.

  14. I was wondering about the smell too! Glad some other commenter mentioned it! I’ll have to try it!

  15. Awesome! Can’t wait to try it out. Stopping by from WFMW. Hope to see you at True Aim!

  16. Saw your post on Pinterest this week, so as it is my window washing time of year, I pinned it. Mixed up a larger batch for my bucket and got to work with a microfiber chamois cloth. It worked wonderfully. The windows dried crystal clear even in this awful heat. No need to dry or use the squeegee this time. Made for much quicker work. I still hate washing windows though! Thanks so much for the only thing I’ll use to wash windows from now on.

  17. LOVE IT! Will be making a batch today as it is my ‘cleaning day’ :)

  18. Awesome! I will have to give this a try.
    Thanks for linking up to this week’s Catch a Glimpse party! I included this in my Feature Friday post!

  19. Thank you for sharing this, I’ve been trying to figure out a natural option and this is easy since we have all the supplies on hand!

  20. I have never heard of corn starch helping to remove streaks. That is so interesting. At this point I just use a microfiber towel because I find it does a better job on a semi (ex. no more then finger prints, which my two kids leave on my windows, or a few spots) dirty window. But this would be good to have for when they need a more thorough cleaning.

    Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2day Wednesaday. Hope to see you back next Wednesday.

  21. What a great tip!

    Thanks so much for linking up at my link party! I am going to feature this idea on my blog!

    Have a wonderful day!


  22. wow,so much information! Thanks for linking to the first every craft link at Tasteful Tuesdays! Hope you come back again this week and show off your stuff! Party Opens tonight at 8:30.

  23. I’ve used vinegar and water to clean glass before but you are right, it can streak. Your cleaner sounds wonderful! I had no idea cornstarch prevented streaking. It’s so much better using natural products; we get enough chemical exposure by accident as it is!

  24. This is so nifty =) Going to try it as soon as I get some cornstarch!

  25. sarah donovan says:

    This recipe is awesome!!! I can’t believe how clean my windows are, they were so sparkly I had to clean every mirror and window in the house. I have used natural window cleaner for years but this recipe is my new favorite. Thank you for posting.

  26. Corn starch has been used for ages by the older generation. My Step Mother’s Mother is the fine who showed us. She used cold water and corn starch to clean windows. She recycled everything and used news papers to polish the windows. Today I use glass clothes. I have a Commerical cleaning business and you can do to a janitorial supply house and purchase these for about $1.50 a piece. For those who clean green these clothes are amazing. Lint and very little streaks. You can also spritz a little bit of water on one and use them to dust. Easier way to green clean. They are good for shingling stainless Steel. I use them for absoulty everything. You need very little products to clean your home if you have the right equipment. It is easier to clean green. You can even use soap and a rag to clean mirrors and get them squeaky clean. The real magic is a squeeie they sell them at Lowes for about $6.00 I have had some for 11 yrs. it is faster and easier to get things clean. Hope you don’t mind me posting. If you do please delete this post because I want to be respectful. Thanks

    • I love your suggestion! I would love to know where to get the cloths. I wonder why janitors use chemicals then…Makes no sense. What do you use the squeegie for?

  27. They use chemicals because honestly they work quicker and faster. Time is money.
    But there are things they do chemical free. That anyone can also do. Glass clothes are the shiny clothes you can buy them at Walmart. They are smaller. I purchase mine through a janetorial supply house they are better and larger,. Anyone can shop there. You can tell them how many you want and can purchase them that way.

    I use the squeegee to clean windows, mirrors and showers. Instead of using any chemicals including vinegar I use a microfiber towel that is a little bit soapy. And wash the mirror. Soap mikes the window squeegee work better and smoother. The reason I use soap instead of anything else is because things like vinegar ( mild acid)
    Will etch the mirrors. If you notice sometimes around mirrors the bottom of them start flaking off. You can’t wipe in the corners to get all the cleaners off. The very best way to keep the shower from getting hard water build up is to dry it. Using the squeegee dries it faster. When I clean showers I also dry it this way faster and easy, windows your recipe is perfect for using the squeeggie keeps them streak free and faster to clean. It takes a few times to get the hang of it.

    The glass clothes I was telling you about are perfect for more things. I have several people that are extremely allergic to everything so the only cleaner I use is dish soap. They can’t even use the natural cleaners they have out. I barely and I mean barely spray a little of water on the cloth. And clean. These are great for cleaning any solid surface that you don’t want dust on or streaks. Facets, sinks everything.

    Cleaning green is as simple as dawn dish soap. And having the right products to clean with. It cuts down time and effort and makes it easier.

    Micro fiber Mops. I love these mops. They are quick and easy and dhow can get into corners and behind toilets with these mops. Walmart sells them for about $10.00. Maybe a little more, shiny floors that look clean be sure and dry them. A dry microfiber pad will also dry. Cleaning floors is most of the time is as simple as adding a squirt of Dawn Dish soap. And drying. Cleaning certain tile showers you again can use the microfiber mops and dawn dish soap. And drying it. Knowing how to clean surfaces in your house without damage is my job. When I have something new…take travertine tile I contacted the manufacter he told me that I could only clean the tile with dish soap. Or their product, because if I didn’t it would void the warrenty’s . I also rinse any cleaner that I use in bathrooms very very well. Build up happens a lot of times because we don’t get all the cleaners off. I also warm the bathrooms showers, and sinks, tubs before I clean them. It helps cleaners work better and I let it set for a few minutes before I scrub. It helps it work better. Your recipe would be wonderful for glass doors. Becareful getting it on medal because some of it could discolor be sure and check. Your recipe would also probably also get hard water build up off use it carefully dabbing and wiping then rinsing really well. Half the battle is getting your family to rinse and dry the bathrooms. Another thing I have learned that keeps mold down is to turn on the fan to pull out moisture. After your done leave it running for 30 minutes. This helps more than anything. I do this for a living. I am successful doing this and I always check with the manufactor before I clean anything new. . I use chemicals because a lot of business want that clean smell. But a lot of people I can for want it chemical free which is my preference. But cleaning businesses it is faster to use chemicals, I always glove up but I can tell even with that it has affected my hands. Not only are they very dry they burn after I clean.
    I hope your okay with my post? I want to be very respectful and hope everyone see’s it that way. I am OCD and I constantly research ways to make it better for myself and my customers. And I have been very successful at it. But I am always learning new things from others and I also love that.

  28. I also have a IPad that auto corrects… My spelling is off and this is why. : )

  29. I love using natural cleaners when I can. I make my own laundry detergent. I even use natural items outside. I use vinegar a lot in the kitchen to kill germs. I have tried vinegar and water before on my mirrors and it streaked. But I am going to give your recipe a try. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Great recipe for cleaning those windows. I use vinegar myself, and for mirrors, just splash them with cold water and rub with a dry towel! I learnt that while working as a chambermaid in hotels, and find it works perfectly for mirrors!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  31. Went looking for foaming soap recipe (got it) and found your glass cleaner recipe as a bonus. Added corn starch to my shopping list and will be making some glass cleaner up soon. Thanks!

  32. my friend gave me a window recipe that called for cornstarch. What a nightmare. it took forever to get the redisdue off my windows and back to normal. i hope your recipe works for all. i choose not try again. thanks

  33. This looks like a good one- I’m going to try it. I’m confused as to how someone could use only water, as I’ve tried that with no luck at all (maybe our mirrors get dirtier?). I featured you in my weekly Crafty Thursdays post (I know glass cleaner’s not really a craft, but at least it’s homemade!).
    -Viva recently posted Cash-Only Challenge Part I: The Accidental Players

  34. LOL – saw your link at LifeasMOM and figured you used regular vinegar, but you had me fooled! We don’t clean our windows often either (something about being in a rental and not being able to clean the outside is deterring), but I plan on making my own cleaner as soon as these last few drops are gone. Thanks for the recipe!

  35. Can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

  36. Adreinne, What a simple and inexpensive way to clean our windows! I will have to try this out. We are almost out of our current cleaner. It is all natural but expensive! Thanks for sharing with Fellowship Fridays!

  37. Adrienne, Thank you so much for this wonderful solution. It worked so well that I wrote a post about it and included the link to your sight on my post. I also posted this on another blog – Heavenly Homemakers, for things we are thankful for. This solution worked so well – we now look forward to cleaning our mirrors and windows. Thanks again!

    God bless,
    r. :)

  38. One of my clients supplied me with her own homemade window cleaner. It was just like this. I do not know if she had the cornstarch in it..but recall her telling me the other stuff. It worked like a charm. I have searched high and low for her recipe and thank God I found this site.

  39. Always use distilled water in your homemade cleaning products to keep them from growing bacteria.

  40. duh. Reverse osmosis should be good.

  41. As I was ‘filing’ your recipe in my NATURAL CLEANING file, I found this and thought you might be interested as well. I have not tried it yet though.

    This was posted in Non-Toxic Cleaners, Work by bubbler on August 8th, 2007

    “I’m proud to say, after some experimentation with different formulas, that I’ve developed a no-streak household non-toxic glass cleaner. The one I had been using prior, which is all over the internet, was a vinegar/water combination with a little bit of cornstarch thrown in. This worked just fine for me, but apparently most people are just too lazy to use the arm muscle to rub all of it in so that it doesn’t streak. So I set myself the task of developed a non-streaking glass cleaner, with the most minimal input of materials possible. One formula I tried was with rubbing alcohol, and this one worked exceedingly well, but I had 2 problems with it: 1) it smells like rubbing alcohol!, and 2) the ratio of isopropyl alcohol to water just seemed too high to me to make it cost effective on an institutional level in comparison to my original formula.
    The second formula I tried, and this one was my own concoction, was with hydrogen peroxide and water, with a pinch of Dr. Bronners liquid castile soap thrown in. This worked well, and it smelled pleasant as well, so I fiddled around with it to see how little hydrogen peroxide I could get away with putting in there and have it still be effective.

    The resulting formula is as follows:
    2 cups hydrogen peroxide (normal over-the-counter 3% stuff)
    1-2 drops of Dr Bronner’s liquid castile soap
    1 gallon of water
    Modify according to your dispensing system, of course. If you are putting directly into a spray bottle, that would be an 8-to-1 ratio.

    It sprays a lot of liquid onto the mirror or glass at first appearance, but even if you don’t rub it all in, it all evaporates without any streaking in the test trials that I have done so far.
    The formula may require some tweaking; I’m going to perform some more tests on it before switching over all my 55+ glass cleaning spray bottles.”

  42. The ones who are having luck with just water, may be using a microfiber cloth to clean the mirror. Leaves them streak free. I have a norwex microfiber cloth and polishing cloth, they leave them streak free with only water. :) I’ve been looking for a homemade cleaner to replace the blue stuff for windows and bathroom counters though, Thanks!

  43. I make glass cleaner with half vinegar half water and a couple drops of a citrus oil, usually lemon (sometimes i leave it out)
    The oil is for streaking, and like you with the anti streaking agent i am not sure why or how it works.
    I get no streaks with just white vinegar and water, but sometimes you have to polish it a little extra, because there may be a little streaking but it polishes right off.
    Alcohol seems like it would help it evaporate faster and leave less streaks. Have you tried this recipe without the cornstarch?
    I am super passionate about avoiding toxins whenever we can, and keeping them out of our home.
    Which is why I love your blog! I would love to blog about this, but Im not a great writer, and I dont love blogging, and there are already awesome blogs out there on the subjects im passionate about (like yours!)
    So I teach people how to make these things, and I also have a small cleaning business, where I use my homemade products and hopefully help other people realize that you dont have to use chemicals to have a fresh clean home!

    • Haven’t tried it w/o the cornstarch. That apparently is what makes it streak free.

      I would love any new ideas you have – that’s great you are doing this!! Yippee to get rid of more chemicals. You should come clean my house :)!

    • I have used this recipe for a long while but without the corn starch. With the alcohol, it is always streak free so never needed to try the corn starch. For really dirty windows, I also add just a few drops of liquid dish soap. A spray and wipe down with a microfiber cloth will get anything clean. The alcohol and vinegar are also great germ/mold killers and this makes a great all purpose cleaner.

  44. Just made this. Not only are my windows clean, after being left covered in streaks by that awful blue stuff, but I tried it on my counters and it worked 10x better than anything I’ve ever used before. Thanks so much. :)

  45. I can’t remember where I read it, but I think cleaning with newspaper may also be toxic due to the ink they use. I know it irritates my eyes and nose when I read a newspaper, so there may be some truth to this.

  46. Hi there!
    I am just wondering if you did end up trying the other promising recipe that costs quite a bit more money to make and has no isopropyl alcohol?
    If so, could you please share and advise which one was better?
    Many thanks!

  47. I’ve just tried the recipe you gave for home-made glass cleaner and would like to share a few comments. This recipe worked well for me and I plan to use it in the future.

    I am a chemist and fortunately do not suffer from chemical sensitivities, allergies or other serious autoncthonous health problems, but I do like saving money & sticking it to the Man (a little :-) by making cleaning products at home. While I get annoyed by the unreasonable chemo-phobia which runs through much of the Internet material available on these topics, I do agree that we shouldn’t needlessly expose ourselves to actual toxins at home or work. (Not all synthetic chemicals are serious “toxins” but that is a rant for another post.) Quite often the simpler products work as well as the expensive commercial ones, and are as safe or safer; even if they work 90% as well but cost only 10% as much they are clearly worth using.

    WITH that as a disclaimer, I’ve given some thought to the presence of corn starch in the recipe and honestly find it mystifying. I prepared the liquid portion of the recipe (using red wine vinegar, see below) and tested it first, before adding any starch. (My original plan was to make half a batch with starch and half without – to compare their “streakiness” – but once I made a small starch-free batch I found it worked so well that I just kept cleaning mirrors and windows until it was all used up. :-) At the amount given, vegetable starch is soluble in the dilute acid; how it would cut down on streaking I don’t know. I’ll keep thinking about it. I’m sure that starting with clean rags w/ low detergent residue levels and using water with low mineral content, as I did, will minimize the streaking problem (as I found just now).

    As to the addition of some food coloring as a warning, I agree that is wise in a household with young children. My youngest is now 6.5 y.o. and I no longer worry he will ingest random cleaning products, so this gave me an idea.

    A few months ago a new Woodman’s (a large, multi-service grocery store chain in WI) opened near my home. On my first visit there, about a week after Grand Opening, there was already a cart of “scratch & dent” items at deep discount pricing. From this cart, in a weak moment of semi-economy, I found an unopened one-gallon jug of red wine vinegar for $3. It had a torn label, but I could still read that the original price had been $11.99! My satisfaction at getting such a great deal was muted when I got home and realized the jug would not fit in the pantry cupboard where I’d planned to put it; I was further chastened to realize that – even though I love RWV and use it in salads and cooking – one gallon was approximately a four-year supply at my current usage rate. :-> When I read your recipe for glass cleaner I realized that this red wine vinegar might work as well as the white or apple cider varities.

    Sure enough, when I mixed my wine vinegar with water & alcohol in the correct ratio I got excellent glass cleaner with a lovely rosy-pink tint – a color that would actually be hard to achieve with food dyes alone and which is unusual enough to prevent, I think, any accidental mis-use. Wine vinegars of course have some natural variability in their color, so trial-and-error would be required with other batches, but I will tinker some with the recipe and post again if any other worthwhile points appear.

    Thanks for your information on this topic. Erik

    • Thanks for the helpful comments. I’m puzzled by the starch as well. Anyway, I only have so much time for so much research.

      I always use apple cider vinegar regardless of the recipe b/c it tends to be fairly inexpensive and I buy an organic variety w/ the “mother” included for added health benefits. Plus, most of the red wine vinegar often has color protectant preservatives. Thanks again!

  48. I made this but found that I ended up with a white dusty residue from the corn starch (I’m assuming.) The first time I shook the bottle and the residue was EVERYWHERE. The second time I didn’t shake the bottle and there was less, but still some. Any ideas what I did wrong?

    • I don’t. Sorry. I have heard so many people say it works great. Did it stay there even after it dried?

      • Yeah! It did! So strange! I read through the comments to see if anyone else had found the same thing. I guess I did something wrong! I’ll give it a second try and see….

  49. Hi Adrienne
    My recipe is:
    white vinegar, water, drops of lemon essential oil and only newspaper for wipe,works great!

  50. Hi Adrienne! I’m so glad I found your blog. I feel like we are leading parallel lives, except you are several years ahead of me in your journey! For this recipe, do you think vinegar+water+cornstarch would work just as well? I’m not sure about the alcohol because we would be using this solution on our dining table, which has a glass top. What do you think? Oh, and would filtered tap water be ok as far as not growing bacteria goes? Thank you!

    • Are you concerned about alcohol b/c of food? I can’t make a claim about your safety of course, but I use filtered tap. Mine just happens to be reverse osmosis.

      • Yes, because of food and that it’s an eating surface and not just windows or mirrors. I’ll do some research on it. Thanks again for your blog!

        • Hmmm…I just read more on the rubbing alcohol. Now I am wondering if it might be best to switch to a cleaner that doesn’t have this. I would try the formula you are thinking about and let me see what I can come up with. Thanks!

  51. I’ve been using Crunchy Betty’s window cleaner (I think she calls it ‘Alvin Corn’) for awhile now and I love it! Fortunately, no one in my family suffers from any allergies. However a few years ago I just started getting concerned about the amount of chemicals in my home. I basically went through and threw out all our chemical-based household cleaners and mostly just use vinegar and baking soda (worked wonders on cleaning up a mashed strawberry from our cream color carpet recently!). I just cringe anytime of think of chemical-laden products – I can’t stand walking down the ‘cleaning’ aisles – the odor is overpowering.

  52. I would have never thought to use cornstarch in a glass cleaner… Especially to reduce streaking. I guess you live and learn :)

  53. I mixed everything up according to the directions, used a microfiber cloth and ended up with streaking. Any advice?

  54. Laura H. says:

    This recipe would appear to be copied from Crunchy Betty’s site.

    • Hi Laura. I did see this on her site and on several others so my understanding was that it was an “everybody’s got it” recipe. Since then I have added a link to her site. Did you miss that perhaps :)?

  55. The cornstarch probably binds with any grease on the window and absorbs it so no streaks are left behind.

  56. I am allergic to corn, so, no cornstarch. Do you have an alternative? Maybe skip the cornstarch?

    • Omit or try tapioca or arrowroot :)!

    • You can use only white vinegar and water ( just around half cup vinegar and one or one and cup water it doesn’t matter ) with microfibre cloth, it cleans unbelievable. I use only these two things since many months with no regret for glass and normal counter tops. ( I didn’t try on marble).

  57. liza lee grace says:

    The cornstarch 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!

  58. Please do NOT use vinegar on marble! It is too acidic and will damage the marble!

  59. I’ve been using this for a year now and won’t use anything else. I have old mirrors and windows and this is the only thing that has worked, with no streaks!!!!

  60. I know this article is old but I just found your sight and love it! I’man environmental cleaner and would like to add that your cleaning cloths need to be clean. Most detergents leave residues that bind the fibers and when you clean with any solution you are spreading that residue on your surface. Not only should you rinse with vinegar but boiling you cloths are the best way to remove any and all residue. You should also separate your cleaning cloths from different uses. ex mirrors, bathrooms, kitchen etc… Mirrors should be cleaned before they heat up from over head lights, when this is done just plain water and a good flour sack towel is all you’ll ever need.

  61. Hi,

    I made this recipe and mine still left white powdery streaks on the mirror? would you know why? I did exactly what your recipe said. =(

  62. Definitely consider cheap vodka if you have concerns about isopropyl alcohol. It really isn’t something we want to put on our skin. That’s what Hulda Clark suggests.

    But when it comes to cleaning glass/mirrors, I prefer using just straight water on a microfiber cloth. The ones I got at the dollar store haven’t performed well, but the ones I got from really do the job with ease. I don’t see any big reason to disinfect vertical surfaces.

    Caveat 1- you might want to skip using vodka as a cleaning ingredient if you have an alcoholic in the house.

    Caveat 2 – You need to have control of your laundry to keep your microfiber cloths in top functioning condition. NO fabric softeners allowed, in the wash or in the form of a dryer sheet. If someone “helpful” decides to launder your nice microfiber cloths with “proper” laundry products that involve dryer sheets or soap that includes a fabric softener, the cloth fibers will be clogged and won’t work right. I’m not sure if there is a cure to save a cloth that has been ruined that way.

    Speaking of laundry, I really love using the a Laundry Pure Machine with a drop or two of essential oil added. No soap is needed because the machine softens the water and uses ozone technology (I keep the door to the laundry shut, and there is a ventilating fan in there as well). When washing without a Laundry Pure, I love how my clothes come out with just a tiny squeeze of Dr. Bronner’s – with or without added essential oil – especially if I can air dry them (I have an inexpensive table fan to gently blow on my drying clothes indoors).

  63. Another winner thanks to you and all the time you put in! Thank you so much sharing with all of us. You have helped me a ton!

  64. Molly Burns says:

    Love this glass cleaner. Wondered if anyone had used it on granite countertops? Or what else to use this wonder cleaner on?

  65. You don’t have to use isopropyl alcohol if you don’t want to. Use any leftover hard liquor equal to or greater than 80 proof that nobody in your house wants to ingest. Most people have something like that they can’t seem to get rid of. Or get the biggest, cheapest bottle of crappy vodka you can find at a warehouse store. Totally nontoxic and you can use it to sanitize things like tweezers, clippers, cutting boards, etc. I just made this glass cleaner with whiskey instead of rubbing alcohol and it works just fine!

  66. Ben Kleschinsky says:

    Can you use water instead of rubbing alcohol, any reason for the rubbing alcohol?

  67. Lynn Anne Miller says:

    I just made my first batch of “Alvin Corn” as Crunchy Betty calls it. It worked great on my glass tables, though you do have to give it an extra swipe with a dry papertowel. But, I can do that for something that ends up sparkling. Thanks for all the tips.

  68. Butch Robinson says:

    I followed the recipe and it streaks worse than store bought brand. Used a new micro-fber towl.

    • Sorry you didn’t have success. Maybe try again w/ a smaller batch? Could be something went wrong. I am trying another option now that I hope to post on.

  69. This worked great!!! Thank you!!!!

  70. I just made your glass cleaner and tried it on some windows and it left streaks bad. I have some great value glass cleaner and it works better they your homemade one. I was hopping it would work but was sadly disappointed.

  71. Johngreen Uchendu says:

    Thanks i will try it tomorrow morning

  72. Cory Waltmathe says:

    I salute you for being a good mom and environmentally friendly. Creating your own home glass cleaner is really awesome. Aside from that, you can learn many things about that kind of stuff while doing it. This will surely help a lot of moms out there.

  73. Didn’t work. Actually made it worse. :(

  74. Shane Douglas says:

    Do not use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. It contains oil which will leave streaks that the cornstarch may or may not remove. Use denatured alcohol which contains no oil. By using denatured alcohol you can eliminate the cornstarch which, in time will leave a film on your glass.

  75. Really wanted this to work, but after using it a couple weeks all my mirrors have major streaks and I’ve had to revert back to using an environmentally safe, commercial glass cleaner. I just wanted to share my experience.

  76. I am curious to know how well this works without cornstarch or any type of starch?

  77. Not sure if you said all essential oils were optional, or different citrus types were. Essential oils are crazy expensive from what I see online, which defeats the whole idea of this being inexpensive.

  78. Is there any substitute for the alcohol? Like is witch hazel interchangeable or anything like that?

  79. Just made a batch. Used it to clean my car windows and it was awesome! No streaks!! I did not use cornstarch, I substituted about 5 drops of dish soap. It takes a bit of rubbing but the results are worth the effort!

  80. Cynthia S. Grills says:

    thanks! great info for saving money.

  81. Just found your website and love it. I love using vinegar. However, my husband daughter can not stand the smell. Any suggestions?

    Also – when I use vinegar & baking soda for toilet bowl cleaning, I have to clean more often. Any suggestions for longer-lasting cleaner?

    Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar is fabulous to put on broccoli, potatoes, beans, as well as in chili, beef soup/stew.. Healthy and cuts down flatulence.

    • So sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve been swamped and am trying to catch up now. I guess you could just use a microfiber? I find the vinegar smell goes away quickly, however. We love ACV!

      no thoughts on the toilet bowl…perhaps getting a whole house water filter would help? Thanks!

  82. 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! :)

  83. 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!

  84. 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!?

  85. Efficient says:

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

  86. 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.

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

  88. 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!

  89. 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.

  90. 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.

  91. 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!

  92. I read do not use vinegar on granite counter tops either.

  93. I used this glass cleaner on the windshield (inside) and it worked great – no streaks, HOWEVER, after the solution that misted over the dash dried, there were white specks all over the dash, doors, and steering wheel. I hadn’t sprayed the cleaner on these areas, it was just overspray. So I wouldn’t recommend it for the inside of cars.