How to Make Your Own Homemade Glass Cleaner

homemade glass cleaner

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 5 - 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10 to $15

A lot of things will work as a homemade glass cleaner, from rubbing alcohol to vinegar to soapy water, but single ingredients alone tend to have their own drawbacks. For example, vinegar does a decent job removing dust and water spots, but it doesn't cut through a lot of sticky stuff and tends to streak more than other cleaners. Rubbing alcohol is a potent cleaner but is harsh and strong-smelling, so it's not a great glass cleaner by itself. Combining ingredients is the secret to making a homemade glass cleaner that cleans well without streaking, just like the store-bought formulas.

ingredients for making glass cleaner

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

Basic Homemade Glass Cleaner

  • Empty spray bottle
  • Mixing spoon

Homemade Glass Cleaner With Cornstarch

  • Empty spray bottle
  • Mixing spoon (optional)

Materials

Basic Homemade Glass Cleaner

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

Homemade Glass Cleaner With Cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

Basic Homemade Glass Cleaner

Mixing alcohol and white vinegar makes a quickly evaporating glass and mirror cleaner that can compete with the cleaning power of national brands. This same recipe can also be used to give a nice shine to ceramic, chrome, and other hard surfaces.

Warning

Do not use vinegar on stone or other materials that can react with or be etched by acid.

  1. Combine Ingredients

    Carefully mix together your cleaning ingredients in a new, empty spray bottle.

    Ingredients for vinegar and alcohol glass cleaner

    The Spruce / Taylor Nebrija

    Warning

    Do not reuse a spray bottle that previously had another kind of cleaner in it. This eliminates the possibility of a dangerous chemical reaction between the new ingredients and the old cleaner.

  2. Label and Store

    Label the spray bottle as "glass cleaner" and keep it safely stored where curious pets or children will not have access to it.

    Storing and labeling glass cleaner

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

Homemade Glass Cleaner With Corn Starch

Yes, cornstarch. Why it helps is anyone's guess, but a lot of people with formerly filthy windows swear by it. There are a couple of tricks to using this formula.

  1. Mix the Ingredients

    Combine ingredients in a clean, unused spray bottle. Label as glass cleaner. If you've made two different glass cleaning solutions, mark this one as having cornstarch.

    Ingredients for cornstarch cleaning spray

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

  2. Use With Care

    Shake the spray bottle well before spraying on the cleaner to mix up the solution. During use, continue wiping until the glass is clear; if you leave any cleaner on the surface, the cornstarch leaves a residue.

    Using homemade glass cleaner

    The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

The Best Tool for Wiping Windows

You've probably heard this before, but the best homemade rag for windows is plain black-and-white newspaper. It's free, it's recyclable, and it leaves glass and mirrors without streaks and lint. Cotton rags and paper towels leave too much lint, and paper towels are a waste of paper.

newspaper is the best tool for cleaning windows

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

An Exception to the Rule: Microfiber

Since you're interested in simple, homemade glass cleaners, it wouldn't be right not to mention the option of plain water. This is the exception to the previously mentioned advice about mixing ingredients for the best performance. Water is an excellent glass cleaner, but only if you also have a very high-quality microfiber glass-cleaning cloth.

The best microfiber cloths are made of 70 percent polyester and 30 percent polyamide. They also can cost upwards of $15 or $20 each. If you wash and dry them properly (without fabric softener) and keep them in good condition, they'll clean glass with plain water just as well as another homemade cleaner will. Cheap microfiber cloths don't have the same cleaning power and usually aren't worth the trouble. If you have a cheap cloth, you're probably better off with a blended solution and newspaper.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Household Cleaning & Sanitizing. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.