This No Streak Homemade Window Cleaner is super easy to make, is much safer than a lot of the store bought options, and leaves your windows and mirrors streak free.
Plus it costs almost nothing to make, so it's easy on the budget too.
I've been working for awhile to get and keep as many toxins as possible out of our home, and that includes household cleaners.
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.
This Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe is a case in point. It's simple.
Since my childhood, I have been plagued with chemical sensitivities.
I've always been sensitive to a lot of things, but some chemical smells (think "off-gassing") and artificial fragrances are the worst.
For as long as I can remember, I'd get light-headed and feel "woozy" just walking down the detergent and house cleaner aisles at the grocery store, or walking through the perfume section in a department store.
Even walking outside when people are running their dryers bothers me. The VOCs in the dryer sheets are terrible for you.
So--for a long time, I've shunned the use of commercial home care products.
Since I'm a pretty simple gal about DIY cleaning products, mainly I was trying to get by with only vinegar and water. But sometimes you need something more.
Anyway, even if these chemicals don't make you feel bad, there's a lot of evidence that they aren't healthy, so it's a good idea to do what you can to remove them from your environment as much as possible. In fact, you really should do what you can to remove toxins from your life to improve your health.
Benefits of Making Your Own Homemade Glass Cleaner:
1. Get toxins out of your home and your life
Do you really want these things in your home?
Mirapol Surf S-210
Sodium C14-17 Sec-Alkyl Sulfonat
Fragrance Palette (all kind of stuff in there....artificial fragrances are not healthy)
Liquitint Sky Blue Dye
I didn't think so.
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. Every time you can use a toxin free product over a toxin laden one, you help the environment.
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'd 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.
This cleaner, however, is great. I found it on a number of sites all over the internet and I must say, it's a real winner.
This cleaner does contain isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which some people may wish to avoid, but I don't have a problem with that. I hope to try another recipe at some point without the isopropyl.
By the way, I discovered this recipe on several sites, so hard to know where it came from originally.
What Does the Cornstarch Do?
One of the things you'll notice in this formula for Homemade Glass Cleaner, is that it has cornstarch in it.
Are you with me in wondering what it's doing in there?
Here's what one reader shared with me:
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 Can You Save Using this Homemade Window Cleaner?
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.
How Can You Use this DIY Window Cleaner?
Tips & Notes for This Glass Cleaner:
Here are some helpful tips to ensure this works well for you.
- Shake well before using since the cornstarch might clog up your spray nozzle otherwise.
- Allergic to corn? I'm sure other starches like tapioca or arrowroot will work as well.
- What Cloth to Use? You can use microfiber cloths or rags to wipe your surfaces clean. I prefer these options or newspaper to paper towels since paper towels leave lint and are more wasteful.
(Note - microfiber is plastic so I'm not really a complete fan, though it does tend to clean pretty well. A helpful reader commented that rags work pretty well as long as you don't use fabric softener on them (which, by the way, typically has lots of toxins in it like artificial fragrance, so here's another reason not to use it!)
- Label your bottle so as you make more and more non-toxic home cleaners you will know what is what :-). This handy dandy Chalkboard Contact Paper is great for label making.
- Color It: Add natural food coloring to the bottle so kids will know it's not water. Beet juice (from canned beets) is one inexpensive natural color or you could drop a bit of powdered beet juice in as well.
- Prevent Streaking: Some readers have had streaking issues. It's possible that this is from impure essential oils or hard water. If you have streaking issues, please do share in the comments what brand of essential oils you used and if you have hard water. I recommending only using pure essential oils even for house cleaning, because even though it's "just" for cleaning, you are breathing in the scent.
- Use Two Cloths
To avoid streaking, use two cloths--one to wash and one very dry cloth to dry.
- Eyeglass Warning: You can use this Homemade Glass Cleaner on your eyeglasses, but only if they are plain glass. If they are coated, avoid using this since alcohol will cause crazing (small surface cracks) in polycarbonate plastic. It can also cause the lens coating to deteriorate, resulting in less durable glasses that are easily scratched.
- Avoid Marble: Do not use this cleaner on marble as it be damaging.
More DIY Recipes for You and Your Home:
Are you an avid frugal DIYer like me? Here are some more ideas of simple things you can make for your home to reduce your exposure to toxins and save money while you're at it!
- 1/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work as well)
- 1/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- 1 Tbsp non-GMO cornstarch (the cornstarch reduces streaking -- anyone know why?)
- 2 cups water
- 8-10 drops essential oil of choice (optional. Lemon, orange, or another citrus would be my choice here, but lavender or others would be nice as well. Go here to learn why I chose this company as having the best essential oils for the money.)
- A good glass spray bottle
or quality BPA-free plastic spray bottle.
- Combine everything in a spray bottle. (You can reuse the container you already have from your store bought glass cleaner. I had to buy one at a dollar store since we haven't used glass cleaner in years :-)!)
- Shake well to mix.
- Spray onto glass surface and wipe clean.
Let me know what you think of this homemade window cleaner recipe!
The images in this post were updated in Jan 2020. For reference, here is a copy of one of the original images.
What do you use to clean your mirrors and windows?