Like many people, I had grown accustomed to buying window cleaner to clean windows in our home. Usually window cleaner is dyed a bright, unnatural blue color and has a strong odor. I started to question using an artificial cleaner in my home especially after we got our rescue dog Lulu. I decided I would learn how to make homemade window cleaner as a greener alternative.
If you are tired of the strong smell of window cleaner every time you decided to clean your home or want to switch to green, affordable products – consider making your own window cleaner using my instructions in today’s blog post. This homemade, all-natural alternative works well and I have been using the recipe for several years now.
Homemade Window Cleaner
Why All Natural Window Cleaner?
There are a lot of window cleaners available but why make a natural cleaner? First, many window cleaners contain ammonia which is pungent smelling, alkaline cleaning fluid. My homemade window cleaner spray is ammonia free. Ammonia can also confuse pets and the smell if spilled on the ground for example, can cause dogs to want to mark an area. I did not want any of that!
As a small business owner I not only live in but also work in my home. I spend a lot of time here and want to feel like I’m in a healthy place. In order to keep the home healthy it’s important for me to try to remain as chemical-free as possible.
DIY Window Cleaner Recipe
Homemade All-Natural Window Cleaner
This recipe is so simple, it will take you longer to read the instructions than to make it. Spring is coming, make sure you can see out your windows by making this homemade window cleaner. There are a few ingredients you will need to make the window cleaner and to learn how to clean windows with vinegar.
What you will need:
- White Vinegar
- Water (I use distilled water)
- Rubbing Alcohol or Witch Hazel
- Corn Starch
- Spray Bottle (purchase new or reuse old)
- Small Funnel (optional)
- Labels (optional)
How to Make the Vinegar Cleaner Step by Step
- If you are reusing an old window spray bottle, first, be sure to clean the bottle. Alternatively, you can purchase a spray bottle to use for your homemade window spray. If the bottle is 16 ounces you will base the ingredients on the size of the bottle.
- You will need two parts of water for every one part of vinegar so for a 16-ounce bottle this would be approximately 10 ounces of water and 5 ounces of white vinegar. Please note: Regular kitchen vinegar works you do not need a stronger or special vinegar for this window cleaner.
- You can pour the liquid directly into the spray bottle, or if it makes it easier, to reduce spills use a small funnel to pour the ingredients into the bottle. Next, add a splash of either rubbing alcohol or witch hazel.
- I typically use whatever I have in the house already. I almost always have witch hazel because I use it for my homemade makeup remover pads. Lastly, add 1 Tablespoon of corn starch to the bottle.
Tips for Use
When you are ready to use the cleaner to clean your windows, the trick is to always give the bottle a shake. The corn starch tends to settle at the bottom of the bottle so shaking the bottle before use will recombine the mixture prior to use.
Usually I use the cleaner with paper towels, although I would like to find a more green solution long-term than paper towels. However, I have also heard very good reviews about cleaning windows with vinegar and newspaper, using newspaper to wipe windows and have them remain streak-free Another option would be to use washable paper towels or rags.
With using the paper towels I have not had any streaking issues. This homemade window cleaner also doesn’t have a strong smell which is really nice, whereas, most commercial cleaners smell very strongly. The corn starch and the rubbing alcohol or witch hazel in this cleaner help to make it streak-free.
Store the window cleaner in a cool dry place such as your cleaning cupboard or pantry. Label the bottle if desired so you remember which cleaner it is, especially if you purchased a new bottle for your homemade window cleaner.
What’s nice about this cleaner is even if it were to spill or leak there are no strong chemicals in the cleaner, it’s quite natural compared to commercial cleaners. This cleaner stores well for a very long time. Typically I try to clean all of the windows in our home every fall and every spring. Frankly this is quite the feat now that I’m a mom!
After learning how to make glass cleaner, actually used and kept the same bottle of cleaner for several years for this reason. There was so much cleaner in my 16-ounce bottle that it was hard to use it up!
Window Cleaning Tips
This homemade window cleaner is easy to make. It only contains a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your home. The cleaner keeps well and lasts a long time. Just give it a little shake before each use. Most importantly, the cleaner works. I do not have window streaking and if a window is especially dirty I simply spray and wipe the window twice.
By using this all-natural window cleaner you can avoid the use of chemical and other unnatural ingredients in your cleaning routine. This is important not just for adults but also for households where children and pets reside. Also, you can save money by making your own window cleaner as the ingredients are not expensive.
How do you clean your windows?
*This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated and republished for accuracy and comprehensiveness.