No-Streak Homemade Window Cleaner

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.

homemade window cleaner in spray bottle in kitchen

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.

Chemical Sensitivity

Since my childhood, I've been sensitive to chemicals.

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. 

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 those 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.

making homemade window cleaner

Benefits of Making Your Own Homemade Glass Cleaner:

1.  Get toxins out of your home

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 (all kind of stuff in there....artificial fragrances are not healthy)
Liquitint Sky Blue Dye

Ick.

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

2.  Save Money

You can make your own cleaner for way less money than you'd spend on a commercial cleaner.  Even if it's not cheaper, I'd still prefer to make my own for the other benefits.

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 OK, 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 (not sure who created it, but it's called Alvin Corn) and I must say, it's a real winner.

This cleaner does contain isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which some people may wish to avoid, but you can use vodka instead.

What Does the Cornstarch Do?

One of the things you'll notice in this formula, is that it has cornstarch in it.

Wondering what it's doing in there? Me too...

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!

cleaning window with homemade glass cleaner

How Much Can You Save?

A ton.

Vinegar: costs about $.59 for 32 ounces 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 tablespoon per pound info I got is correct, then the cost for 1 tablespoon 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 To Use

Windows
Mirrors
Glass Appliances
Stainless Steel
Chrome
Aluminum
Ceramic
Plastic
Do NOT use this on marble or coated eyeglasses, however!

homemade glass cleaner in spray bottle on kitchen counter and cleaning a window

Tips & Notes:  

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 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 recommend only using pure essential oils even for house cleaning because even though it's "just" for cleaning, you still are breathing in oils (and whatever "else" might be in the oils. Another option is to leave out the cornstarch and see how that works.

- 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 might damage it.

More DIY Healthy Home Recipes:

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!

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

homemade window cleaner on kitchen counter
homemade window cleaner in spray bottle in kitchen

Homemade Window Cleaner

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

Do not use this glass cleaner on marble or coated eyeglass lenses.
If you have streaking issues (it happens sometimes) you can make this without the cornstarch.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholenewmom or tag #wholenewmom!

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.

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.

What do you use to clean your mirrors and windows?

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509 Comments

  1. Made this cleaner today. So, so good. Used distilled water which is softer, with Lemon and Cedarwood essential oils. OMG, smells great. Makes me happy to clean. Thank you.

    1. Oh that sounds great! Thanks for sharing! I was just breaking out a new cleaning blend that I'm excited about using--you might want to look at the Loads of Fun blend from the company that I use for oils. The offer a free oil w/ purchase - more info here. https://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-mom-healthy-living-deals/

      It's not maybe as amazing as yours, but you might like it. I'm hoping I will be happy to clean as well :)!!

  2. DO NOT USE ON EYEGLASSES

    totally and completely ruined my glasses. Damn good thing that I have an appointment to get a new pair this week. This concoction Removed the coating from them and they're completely opaque.

    Leave the chemistry to the professionals. Stay at home moms shouldn't be mixing random ****(expletive removed by blog owner) together and calling it a cleaner.

    1. Hello Aldrayssa,

      First of all, thanks for reading. Secondly, I appreciate your warning. I do not, however, appreciate the expletive and insults. This is a DIY Glass Cleaner, not an Eyeglass Cleaner or polycarbonate cleaner. I assume your glasses are coated with polycarbonate. This cleaner is fine to use on glasses as long as they are not coated with polycarbonate. So I did a fine job on my random "stuff" mix--you are the one who made the error by putting it on something that is not plain glass. I'm sorry for what happened to your glasses, however, and glad that you had an appointment already to get a new pair.

      I added some information to the post. Don't put this cleaner or any alcohol on your new pair :).

    1. You are saying to do this w/ water? I did look up pinesol's ingredients and it's really hard to find them. On one site "cleaning agent" is listed and it seems to be undisclosed. That would be my concern with doing this....do you have an ingredient list?

      1. I Make my own pine cleaner at home!
        All I use is four cups warm water and I add a tablespoon of unscented Castile hemp soap and 20 drops of pine needle essential oil. Smells just like pinesol and works AMAZING! In the long run, I save loads as well.

  3. Why specifically BPA free plastic spray bottle? I don’t want to ba washing window worrying about dropping a glass bottle.

    1. BPA is a main topic of concern when it comes to plastics and toxicity, though it's by no means the only thing to be concerned about. I would like to be plastic free if I could, but one can only go so far. Does that help?

  4. This is a wonderful cleaner. Mine is cloudy and when it is not in use the cornstarch settles on the bottom. Am I doing something wrong?

  5. Worked great! Did a really good job on cutting through the dog slobber and nose drops on the sliding door and storm door! Much easier in the spray bottle than lugging around a small bucket/bowl of ammonia water.

  6. I just tried this diy window recipe on my bathroom mirror. No streaks!!! first time ever. I was so excited, I tried it on everything in my house... until I ran out of windows and mirrors. First time ever that ALL the windows and mirrors are clean in my house, and the first time I haven’t been annoyed by all the streaks after just cleaning the windows. I’ve always hated cleaning windows because it such a hard job and then afterwards the windows are all streaky and still look dirty. Because this worked sooo well, and did not require hard scrubbing, it was a joy to use. I also tried the diy foaming hand soap - love it as well. I’m soooo glad I stumbled across your site and thank you for sharing these recipes!

  7. The BEST homemade window cleaner I’ve ever tried! We have well water and I’ve tried for years to find something that doesn’t leave streaks! I put all of the ingredients except the essential oil in a bucket and used a rag, swishing it around before using. I’m so pleased!

  8. This is how I make my homemade window cleaner. 50/50 of water and distilled vinegar. I use only news paper. I never had it streak on my. I also use it for eletronic. You are MORE then welcome tp use my recipe. I don't put essential oils in it because some will make it streak and it really hard to get off the glass.

    1. Thanks! I wonder if that's the issue if some of my readers are putting streaking oils in the mixture. Thanks!

  9. Have made 2 batches of this cleaner, each leaves windows looking good for about 2 days, then they cloud up worse than before I cleaned them. Going back to my purple cleaner from WalMart!

    1. I'm so sorry - I haven't heard that from anyone else that I remember. How about considering something else less toxic or you could even do good quality microfibers? I know some aren't happy about them not being biodegradable but prob less toxic than the Walmart cleaner :)?

  10. Tried this for the first time today...WOW! Windows sparkle and are streak free.
    I use round coffee filters to wipe off the cleaner. 1 for the first swipe, 2 to finish drying. They fit perfectly on the palm of your palm and leave no lint behind.

  11. No matter how much I shake it up I cannot get the cornstarch to fully dissolve so is there something else I can use for the streaking instead of cornstarch.

    1. I'm not sure but it might still work for you. Tapioca or arrowroot are typically good substitutes but I haven't tried them.

    2. I put the ingredients in a bucket and used a rag, just swished it around before I used it on the window. Worked great! And I used a squeegee.

  12. Just tried it and it works great. Im pregnant and so wanted to try to replace my glass cleaner with something i can use without worry. I did used purified water. Surprised how well it worked! thanks for the recipe.

  13. Fantastic! It worked great! To be honest, I used paper towels for the initial wiping, then finished up with a micro-fiber cloth and there are NO streaks. I made sure to shake the bottle each time before applying... Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  14. Using distilled water is even better than using tap water. Zero minerals/hardness. It's what I use in all my home made cleaning products that call for water. It's still pretty cheap, maybe $1 for a gallon, and lasts a long time.

      1. Not sure what you mean. I've never had any of my home-made cleaning products go bad because of using distilled water. Hard water can add to streaking issues. And I avoid tap water whenever I can just on general principle. Lots of chemicals in it.

        1. Water by nature grows bacteria very quickly--filtered or not. Same with aloe vera but aloe is worse. That's all.

          1. But you have water in your own recipe. Water isn't going to grow bacteria. I've had bottled water (in gallon jugs) for months, using what I need and closing it back up. I'm not sure, like Jane, what you think you know.

  15. Hi, I've used a similar recipe before, but never with the cornstarch, and it used to streak. Yours worked beautifully! Thanks so much!!!!

  16. Unfortunately....it’s was streaky for me. I typically just use vinegar and water. I used distilled water and the cornstarch had on hand. It’s not organic it’s just a box of cornstarch for making simple science experiments for my preschooler. I only used half of what was called for and no essential oil because we’re pretty scent sensitive to that sort of thing around here.

    I’ll try it again with no cornstarch or maybe a different powder.

    1. I would imagine the cornstarch and essential oils are pretty important. I used plain ole cornstarch and it worked great. but I added the oils as well. most all recipes have the oils. Maybe that's the issue. Try the recipe as is and hope that you can tollerate the smell ( if you can handle vinegar you can handle anything right ) 🙂 Hopefully you can get it to work.

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