Best Easy Homemade Window Cleaners (Using Simple Ingredients You Already Have)

Window cleaners can be expensive and harmful to small children and pets. Certain window cleaners like Windex are blue and bright, which might appeal to young children.

In this article, we’ll be introducing 3 simple window cleaner recipes for you to make and try out at home to leave your windows streak-free. What’s even better is that you probably already have these ingredients in your home!

These recipes will be cheaper than buying window cleaning sprays and more environmentally friendly too. Since you already have the ingredients at home, you can whip these up whenever you need to.

IMPORTANT WARNING: These are tried and tested recipes that we discuss in this article which are known to not create toxic or harmful substances. If you are mixing different chemicals, please be careful not to make a dangerous substance. Here are some dangerous mixes:

  • Vinegar + bleach = chlorine gas which can cause various breathing problems
  • Bleach + ammonia = chloramine which causes shortness of breath
  • Bleach + rubbing alcohol = chloroform which will make you pass out
  • Hydrogen peroxide + vinegar = peracetic acid which is a corrosive acid

Here are more combinations to NEVER mix.

Simple DIY Window Cleaner (2 Ingredients)

window cleaning
Image via Canva.com

Here’s the first recipe. It’s super simple with just 2 ingredients! There’s also the option to add a third ingredient, but that’s a bonus.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • Bonus: 5 drops of essential oil for scent

Materials Needed:

  • Clean spray bottle
  • Pair of cleaning gloves
  • Paper towels or microfiber cloths

1. Gather Ingredients

If you don’t have distilled water, you can also use tap water. However, it might leave some markings due to the mineral content of the water. If your home has a water softener, you can probably use the tap water since it has less minerals in it.

Vinegar is acidic, which breaks down the nasty film that can build up on your window glass. If your window is being particular difficult, let this solution soak into your window for a coupon minutes before wiping it off.

The essential oils are there to balance out the smell of the vinegar, which can be unpleasant to breathe in. Some popular aromas are lemon and lavender, which give your home a fresh clean scent.

2. Mix in a Spray Bottle

For this step, make sure your spray bottle is new or completely clean from previous homemade cleaning solutions you may have made before.

This is important because chemicals can mix together and cause some unwanted reactions, especially if you have no idea what was in there prior.

You don’t want your window cleaner to become you kid’s newest science experiment gone wrong. Clean your spray bottle with soap and water between uses.

Now that you have a completely clean spray bottle, mix all of your ingredients into your bottle and shake until you have a cleaning mixture.

Easy Window Cleaner Using Just Soap

dish soap

If you don’t have distilled vinegar in your home, this recipe is for you! Trust me, not all of us have distilled vinegar just lying around. Sometimes, we’re too lazy to go to the store to pick some up.

Lucky for you, you most likely have dish soap laying around. Hopefully.

Dish soap is great because it removes oils and grease super fast and easily. It also can smell nice and fragrant. My personal favorite is the Palmolive Green Apple scent, what’s yours?

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 cups of hot distilled water
  • 3-5 drops of dishwashing soap

Feel free to downsize or upsize this recipe depending on how much cleaner you need to use.

Materials Needed:

  • Spray bottle
  • A pair of cleaning gloves
  • Paper towels or microfiber cloths
  • Bowl or small bucket
  • Funnel (optional)

1. Gather Your Ingredients

If you don’t have distilled water, you can also use tap water. However, it might leave some markings due to the mineral content of the water. If your home has a water softener, you can probably use the tap water since it has less minerals in it.

Any kind of dishwashing soap will work. In our case, we prefer mild types such as Dawn or Palmolive. Just regular dish soap you can find at your local supermarket, nothing too industrial.

Since your dish soap already smells good, we won’t be needing to add any essential oils to the mix.

2. Mix Ingredients in a Small Bucket

Pour all of your water and drop in 3-5 drops of dish soap. Mix it around.

We’re doing this in a bowl or small bucket because dish soap tends to form suds quickly, so it’ll spill out of a spray bottle if we mix directly in the bottle.

Once your mixture is combined properly, move onto the next step.

3. Pour into a Spray Bottle

Using a funnel or not, pour the combined window cleaner into a spray bottle. You’re all ready to go!

Quick Window Cleaner Using Rubbing Alcohol

Image via Canva.com

If you need a more powerful cleaning solution, this one is a good mix to try. It uses the power of rubbing alcohol which evaporates quickly, leaving you a streak-free look.

This recipe uses all three ingredients that we’ve used so far: vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and dishwashing liquid. You can use it for various surfaces, but NOT stone or granite.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 cup of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol 70%)
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3-5 drops of dishwashing liquid

Materials Needed:

  • Spray bottle
  • A pair of cleaning gloves
  • Microfiber cloths or paper towels

1. Gather Your Ingredients

We won’t be using any water in the recipe this time. You don’t need to worry about getting any streaks on your windows due to the mineral content of the water.

Make sure you do get distilled white vinegar though. This will make sure you won’t have streaks. You also don’t need to buy the ultra-strong cleaning vinegar either, the regular white vinegar works fine. Vinegar is powerful at cleaning off the stubborn layers of film that may build up on your windows.

Dish soap is good for fighting oils and grease. It also has a nice smell to it as well. Just make sure not to use too much or you’ll get streaks.

Rubbing alcohol evaporates faster than water, so it’s a better option sometimes. You can opt for higher concentrations of isopropyl alcohol such as 90%, but it evaporates so fast that you may not have enough time to wipe properly.

2. Add Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar

In your spray bottle, add in 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar first. Mix it around properly by shaking your spray bottle.

3. Add Dishwashing Drops

After your mix is thoroughly mixed, add in 3 drops of dishwashing soap. Use a gentle swirling motion to mix it in.

If you mix it too aggressively, then your mixture will spill out of your spray bottle with all the bubbles you’re forming.

4. Time to Clean

Now that you have your mixture, it’s time to clean! We’ll be discussing some tips for cleaning windows properly and have everyone thinking you’re a pro.

Tips for Leaving Your Windows Perfectly Clean and Streak-Free

Dust and Wipe Off Windows Beforehand

If you’re just spraying and wiping, you’re basically spreading dust and dirt all over your windows. That makes it look even dirtier and create more work for you.

Instead, use a clean cloth to wipe the dust off your glass and wipe down your window ledges before spraying anything.

Now after that’s done, you can grab another clean cloth, spray your windows, and wipe them down.

Start From the Top

If you don’t have any microfiber clothes, you can use paper towels. Keep in mind that paper towels may leave behind lint or paper residue on your windows.

It’s better to spray your cleaning spray on your cloth rather than your windows. This way, you don’t get the cleaning spray all over your window sill, siding, and other parts of your windows.

Start from the top and zig zag down your window. When you’re done wiping with the spray, grab another cloth that’s dry and wipe it over again to get rid of any remaining cleaning solution.

Clean on Overcast Days

If your windows have direct sunlight on them, you’ll end up with window streaks because of how fast your window cleaner is evaporating.

This might make your windows look worse. Look at the weather and try to clean in the early morning or on an overcast day.

If you’ve cleaned all of your windows but you still find them dirty, there might be an air seal leak somewhere. Consult a professional, maybe replacement windows might be in your future.

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