Homemade Window and Glass Cleaner

posted by Andrea | 03/18/2011

It’s almost Spring, which means it’s almost time for spring cleaning — and that involves cleaning the windows!

I’m actually not even dreading this task now that we have new windows that conveniently pop out for easy cleaning.  However I did want to try to find a more natural — or homemade window-cleaning solution this year.

I was told to try vinegar and water, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied — it was too streaky.

So I did some more research and found about 48 different homemade recipes for glass cleaner. Yikes…it was a bit overwhelming! But after reading the reviews {and a bunch of trial and error} I picked the following “recipe” as my favorite.



1 c. water

2 T. vinegar

2 T. rubbing alcohol

1 1/2 t. cornstarch 


1. Mix all ingredients in a small spray bottle {I got mine from the “beauty section” of the grocery store}

2. Shake

3. Spray on windows, mirrors, or any other glass surface

4. Wipe with a soft cloth or paper towel

5. Enjoy your streak-free shine for pennies!

NOTE —  You will have to shake the bottle every time because the cornstarch settles to the bottom.
TIP —  I wrote the recipe right on the spray bottle so I wouldn’t forget when it was time to make more.

That’s it! My tried and true, overly-tested, simple, inexpensive, homemade glass cleaner!

Do you have any other great window cleaning tips?.

{top image credit}


Filed under: LifeCleaning

Leave a comment


  1. Jacque


    I’m trying to figure out how to get the salt residue off the outside windows by the beach. Balcony windows 4th floor


  2. Sue


    I made and used your recipe for the window cleaner. Very happy with it. But I do not have any corn starch so I skipped that part but still happy with the car windows and mirrors no streaks thank you


    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad to hear it worked so well for you even without the corn starch!


    Jacque Reply:

    Any suggestion on how to clean outside windows on a condo by the beach???


    Andrea Reply:

    I have no experience with this, but I just Googled it and this is what I found: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/clean-sea-salt-off-windows-93227.html


  3. Debbie


    Hi I have a similar recipe for this window cleaner but I use distilled water instead of tap. Distilled water has no minerals or particles of any type to even reduce the risk of streaks even more.


    Andrea Reply:

    good idea, thanks for sharing!


  4. Gayle Cardwell


    Coffee filters make good window wipes ,too.


  5. southharrowcarpetcleaners.org.uk


    Thanks for these “recipes”! I usually use vinegar alone for a lot of cleaning and deodorizing ! And I have to agree about vinegar being the best window cleaner!!!

    Best regards!
    South Harrow Carpet Cleaners Ltd.


  6. Viperguy


    Thanks for the glass cleaning tips. I tried white vinegar/alcohol/water mixture (no cornstarch) and it worked perfectly. Had almost a full bottle of Windex and disposed of it aft


  7. 2014 halloween costume ideas


    Hi there, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.


  8. Em


    Use distilled water, if possible, because of the minerals in tap water. That way, you’re sure to get a streak-free shine.


    Andrea Reply:

    Good tip. Thanks Em!


  9. Viv


    What is the deal with the corn starch? Wouldn’t that leave a cloudy film?


  10. Yvonne


    I found if you heat up the vinegar and mix the corn starch it helps to dissolve it..


  11. Krysta


    Tip: Use newspaper to clean windows & mirrors! Not only does it give a streak-free finish, but you recycling & saving money you’d normally spend on paper towels. About the ink, I know some people worry about it leaving a trace. The only time the ink runs is if it gets soaking wet. Otherwise, I have no problems & I don’t like my newspaper to get too wet, so the window buffs to perfection!


  12. Xhenya


    I keep seeing corn starch in window cleaner recipes. Anyone know why?


  13. Wendy


    Just tried this on the car windows. Work just great. No streaks, and got the bugs and birds afterthoughts too. Never thought of corn starch.
    Thank you


  14. Delien


    Hi Andrea & ladies

    I really need help, I live in South Africa, and have some glass bricks on some of our outside walls that have water marks on them and the same on my shower doors, and I just can’t get rid of, I would really appreciate some cleaning ideas with this, I am willing to try anything at this stage

    Andrea must just say I love your site I go on it at least a couple of times a day


    Andrea Reply:

    Hi Delien, I just posted your question on my Facebook wall. I’m sure someone will have some suggestions!


    Judy Reply:

    There is a product called “Nuthin’s Better” that works like magic. “All Natural, no chemicals, dye, or perfume”. Either follow directions, or just do what I do: wet a piece of very fine steel wool, dip into the Nuthin’s, rub on the water marks like you would a dirty pan. Let it dry and then rub off with a soft cloth. If the spots aren’t gone, you didn’t rub long or hard enough. You’ll likely want to clean again like you would any glass, to remove streaks, etc.

    I happen to live near the place this stuff is made, so don’t know if it available elsewhere – tho I do see it on Ebay. Shipping might be bad to S Africa! Their US number is 800-688-2887.



  15. Deborah


    At the risk of sounding like a crazed domestic diva and having clean, clear windows is one of my household pet peeves, I have to say this stuff was simply amazing! I have tried numerous store bought products, have tried a few “homemade” recipes to clean windows and this recipe cleaned some very dirty windows virtually streak free. I used some cut up old t-shirts and the results were windows that “let the sun shine in” . I have already sent the recipe on to several family members to try. I was skeptical about using this on glass door fronts and other surfaces in my house (mirrors, glass range top etc). and it worked great there also. Anywhere I have used a bottled glass spray product in the past I sprayed, wiped and it worked great! Thank you!!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for this testimonial Deborah — glad to know it worked so well for you!


  16. Jessica


    I have found the best and easiest to use natural window cleaner , I was very happy with the results after all the stuff I have tried and was always disappointed in the results until I used Dawn dish washing liquid and very warm water together I had a streak and smear free windows .


  17. Dawn


    Thank you, thank you !!!!!! My daughter turns 5 next week and I am trying to get the house in tip top shape for her party this weekend. After following your blog for the past week I found this recipe!!! I just made this window cleaner. And I LOVE it. I was cleaning the windows and the little one says mommy the windows are whistling. I had to laugh…I don’t thing I have ever had cleaner, streak free, ” whistling” windows 🙂 thank you again!!!


  18. Shari


    I made this today, love,love.LOVE it!!!! My mirrors have never been this streak free before!! THANK YOU!!


  19. AnnaLee


    Scratch that… I just realized that I read it wrong. 🙂


  20. AnnaLee


    So, I have a question… on the recipe, it says 1 1/2 t. corn starch, but on your bottle, it has 1 1/2 T. corn starch. Which is it, a teaspoon (t) or a tablespoon (T)?
    Thanks! 🙂




    I use 1 part white vinegar, 1 part water and 1 part rubbing alcohol. I finish up by using coffee filters to dry the window off, works like a champ.



  22. AWESOME green window cleaner!!


    […] out S-O-L for Andrea’s Homemade Window and Glass cleaner. Filed Under: cleaning, green, guest post, […]

  23. Laurie


    This worked wonderfully! Thank you!


  24. Jae M


    JUST found this on Pinterest and tried in on some ‘window crayons’ that my 4 yr old did… Worked like a charm!! I will NEVER EVER buy window cleaner again, Thanks!!!!!


  25. Heidi


    I can’t wait to try this recipe! Of I don’t have any newspaper handy I use coffee filters for glass cleaning!


  26. Megan


    Just used this. Was very skeptical because of corn starch HOWEVER, worked like a charm! No streaks or residue left behind. I even used cheap paper towels!


  27. Courtney


    Wow! I just finished cleaning my inside windows and balcony slider and I must say, I AM IMPRESSED!!! 🙂 The slider is soooo clean you could walk through it. I can also say this works better than the Win— that I have been using for years. SO happy to make the switch! Thank you for sharing your amazing “recipe”!!


  28. Linda Spooner


    i plan to try your recipe, but I just wanted to tell you what I have been doing for about a year. I have large pane French doors in both master bedroom and dining room as well as a clear full view storm on the front of the house, so I am always interested in streak free. Someone told me a pro window cleaner used a few drops of dawn in water and put it on with a terry cloth and wiped with a squeegie. i adapted it for use without the squeegie and use another terry cloth. I am amazed what a job it does on the windows….never streaks.


  29. Janet


    I tried this but it left a powdery white residue. I think it might have been the cornstarch. Any thoughts?


  30. Kristen


    How long do the homemade cleaners made with vinegar typically last…is there a shelf-life? I know you mentioned having to shake it, but does it start to lose potency after a while? Thanks!


    Andrea Reply:

    I honestly don’t think they have a shelf life… Or if they do, it’s really long!


  31. I save money by not buying… | Farewell, Office.


    […] – Mix 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons vinegar,  and 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol. (I modified Simple Organized Living’s recipe by omitting the 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch. I used the cornstarch on the first bottle but found I had […]

  32. Julie


    Thank you! One question. I know that capital “T” usually refers to tablespoon, but one 1/2 Tablespoon seems like an odd measurement. Is this correct, or should it be teaspoon? Thanks.


    Andrea Reply:

    yes Julie, it is 1/2 Tablespoon.

    I know that’s a weird measurement but I was actually cutting the recipe in half so it would fit in my smaller bottle. You could easily make it in a larger bottle and use a full Tablespoon.

    Hope it works well for you too!


    Ruthie Reply:

    1/2 a tablespoon is just 1 1/2 teaspoons, if that helps.


    Andrea Reply:

    yup, I know… but it’s pretty hard to find a 1/2 T. measuring spoon… and if people really want to be exact, I thought 1 1/2 t. would be easier!


  33. Allison Hale


    I reused my windex bottle when I started making my own cleaner-one less thing to buy or throw away!


    Andrea Reply:

    Great idea Allison! I reuse containers too — but I didn’t even have any extra spray-bottles in the house this time 🙂


  34. Wendy


    Thank you for sharing your version of window cleaner… I had tried vinegar mixture before, too, and wasn’t thrilled with it. Then I found Shaklee. I truly love Shaklee’s Basic H2… it’s a concentrate that you mix a drop of with 16 oz of water… literally costs a penny to make a bottle of window cleaner plus it’s completely safe for my littles to use to help me clean. One bottle will make 5200 bottles of window cleaner. Thank you again for sharing your find ~ will file it in my recipe file.


  35. Ashes


    Scrubbing glass windows with wadded up newspaper works wonders too 😉 Gleaming and streak free!


    Andrea Reply:

    Oh, I forgot to mention the newspaper trick…thanks for the reminder Ashes!


  36. Heather @ Mrs. Southern Bride


    I made the switch back to homemade cleaners, but not for windows…yet. I will be trying this one out as soon as my bottle of Windex is used up! Thanks for sharing!


  37. Jennifer


    Thanks! I tried the vinegar and water and didn’t like it either. Happy to try this b/c I was about to give in and buy more windex. I have all this on hand anyway! yay!
    I just found your website a day or two ago and I have learned so much valueable info. Thank YOU!


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jennifer!
    I hope you have good luck with this glass cleaner too — I’m loving it!