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DIY Glass and Window Cleaner

Did you know that you can make a simple DIY glass and window cleaner for pennies that works better than products you buy at the store?

Maybe you remember my sister Rebekah who blogged with me for several years? Once when I was talking to her I found out that she didn’t buy glass cleaner, but rather made her own. You know, a DIY glass and window cleaner.

Glass Cleaning Woes

Well, I had always struggled a little with cleaning glass. Mirrors always fight with me. I get a little dirt off, but I’m left with streaks. I wipe up the streaks I see and more appear. Am I right?

And don’t get me started on windows! It’s enough to make you give up before you begin. You thoroughly polish one side of the window. Then the other side. Then the first side again. Then it looks simply marvelous! You put all your cleaning supplies away and a few hours later, the sunlight is shining through differently and your clean window looks streaked and smudgy.

I’ve tried paper towels; I’ve tried newspaper; I’ve tried diapers. I’ve tried squeegees. I’ve tried microfiber cloth. Still there were problems.

DIY glass cleaners

But what has really made a difference is this DIY cleaner. Straight up simple stuff you can easily find at the store, if not at your home. White vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water. That’s it. Best glass cleaner ever!

And DIY, in this case, as is often the case, is a more economical, more environmentally friendly, more effective way to clean. I love to avoid harsh chemicals if at all possible.

Side rant on chemical compounds

Does anyone else find it funny when people talk about cleaning without chemicals? What they mean is that they are cleaning without harsh, non-toxic chemicals, but let’s be honest, there’s no cleaning without chemicals. Vinegar is made of chemical compounds. Rubbing alcohol is a chemical compound so we’re still cleaning with chemicals here. Water is a chemical compound. Baking soda is a chemical compound. There’s no getting away from chemistry. It’s all around us. Rant over.

Back to this DIY Glass and Window Cleaner

This cleaner is a little different than other DIY glass cleaner recipes I have found. Several of the others contain dish soap. But I don’t need bubbles. I don’t need more smeery that can be left behind on my glass. I want something to cut through the crud and make my glass sparkle and shine. That’s why I’m loving this particular DIY glass and window cleaner. (Yes, I realize that dish soap can do an amazing job of cutting through grease, but it still leaves residue. It doesn’t wash away as easily and can bog down a glass cleaner. Let me explain why this DIY glass and window cleaner is better.)

rubbing alcohol and white vinegar in front of a spray bottle

Why it works

White vinegar is a solvent, meaning that it dissolves other things like soap scum or greasy makeup, dirt and toothpaste (yes, that gets on my mirror). It’s acidic so it also helps dissolve hard minerals in water. It deodorizes (which may not be that necessary for glass and windows) and it easily washes away with water. 

Rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly. This is the key to making this wonderful solution knock-out streaks! Love, love, love! So not only does alcohol have acidity, and cut through the grease like its friend vinegar, it helps to finish the glass cleaning without streaks so all you’re left with is beautiful shine!

paned windows bordered by turquoise panels

Where did I find this lovely cleaning solution recipe?

This recipe came from Kalyn Brooke. Somehow I ran across this and made a batch. I was hooked. It was as I was looking for the recipe again that I realized that it is so different from others out there. Some have dish soap as I noted. But even those with the same ingredients – white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water – have them in different quantities. This simple combination rocks. Rather than steal her glory, let me just link you over to her site. Homemade Window Cleaner with Vinegar by Kalyn Brooke.

I’ll leave it to you to decide how you will wipe away this DIY glass and window cleaner – be it squeegee, rag or microfiber. Whatever you use will be much improved using this effective and affordable glass cleaner that you easily made yourself.

Closing tips

If you’d like more information about cleaning mirrors with the natural chemical compounds I mentioned, check out this link at Dirt Busters.

Last thing to note: please do not use this to clean your eyeglasses! They are not designed for cleaning with vinegar and alcohol.

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