You can make your own glass cleaner from vinegar plus other ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard. You don't have to spend big bucks on a cleaner that may have chemicals you don't like and, frankly, that doesn't work any better at getting your windows clean.
Using vinegar as a glass cleaner saves you money and eliminates harsh chemicals or fumes. In addition, it effectively removes fingerprints and other window grime and doesn't leave streaks. And it's better for the environment than any "green" cleaner you can buy at the store.
Always label the contents of your cleaner bottles. Label it clearly in large letters with what is in the bottle. "Vinegar Glass Cleaner" or "Rubbing Alcohol and Vinegar Glass Cleaner" are good labels. It is also wise to add the date when you mixed the ingredients so you'll know if the ingredients are too old to work well.
Store cleaning products separately from cooking ingredients. You don't want to confuse rubbing alcohol with drinking alcohol or use diluted white distilled vinegar in a recipe.
Do not reuse empty cleaner bottles. Buy a new bottle for your glass cleaner. Both vinegar and alcohol act as solvents and will pick up any traces of other chemicals that were in an old spray bottle. With a new, clean bottle, you won't have to worry about unintended reactions. Keep all glass cleaners out of the reach of children and pets. The ingredients can be irritating, and rubbing alcohol is flammable.
Equipment / Tools
- Spray bottle
- Measuring cups
- Microfiber cloth (optional)
- White distilled vinegar
- Rubbing alcohol
- Corn starch
- Essential oil (optional)
Vinegar Glass Cleaner
Though there are many types of vinegar, be sure to use white distilled vinegar for cleaning windows. Also called "grain vinegar," the process of making white distilled vinegar converts the alcohol used into acetic acid. Acetic acid, which is also used in many store-bought cleaners, is a powerful cleaning agent that can dissolve mineral deposits and grease and kill bacteria.
Make the Mixture
Fill a clean spray bottle with equal parts vinegar and water.
If you'd prefer a fragrant spray, you can make scented vinegar. Add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil into the spray bottle and vigorously mix.
If you plan to use essential oils, consider a glass spray bottle. Oils may be diluted, but they can still be concentrated enough to degrade typical plastic bottles and cause leaks.
Spray and Wipe
Spray on the mixture as you would any glass cleaner. Avoid using paper towels or regular rags as they will leave behind lint. Crinkle up a wad of newspaper into a ball and use it to wipe the cleaner on your glass.
Newspapers are made of dense fibers that don't scratch, they no longer smudge, and they don't fall apart and create lint. Newspapers are the secret to streak-free windows.
Vinegar and Alcohol Glass Cleaner
The alcohol in this cleaner evaporates quickly so you don't end up with spots. Together, the mixture is inexpensive and works as well as most commercial glass cleaners.
Use 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar per batch.
Mix in Bottle
Fill the spray bottle, mix, and spray on glass to clean.
Store cleaner in a cool cabinet away from any heat source because the alcohol makes this mixture flammable.
Vinegar and Cornstarch Glass Cleaner
Cornstarch's fine granules are naturally but gently abrasive for deep cleaning windows. Together with vinegar, this dynamic duo is ideal for cutting dirt and grime, especially from outside windows where you can hose down glass to remove any cornstarch residue.
Measure for Mixing
Measure out 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 2 cups water.
Blend and Shake in Bottle
Add ingredients into the bottle. Shake the spray bottle well to mix the solution before spraying the cleaner onto windows.
Wipe Until Glass Is Clear
Wipe the glass until it looks crystal clear. That will mean the cornstarch is gone. If you leave the cleaner on the surface, the cornstarch leaves a residue. Hose down outdoor windows if you spot residue.
Newspaper rules windows, but so does the right high-quality microfiber cloth. A microfiber cloth ensures that the cleaning mixture won't streak your windows. Look for microfiber made of 70 percent polyester and 30 percent polyamide.