DIY Window Cleaning: How to Make Homemade Window Cleaner

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Did you know that the average American spends $178 a year on cleaning supplies? Window cleaner probably made it on to your shopping list, too. But before you head to the store for a bottle of commercially-made spray, check out your pantry and fridge.

You probably have all the ingredients you need to make homemade window cleaner. Here are four of our favorite recipes.

1. Vinegar and Water

Vinegar is the gold standard of multi-purpose cleaning. It can unclog a drain, get rid of soap scum in the shower and yes, clean your windows. A simple, effective way to clean your windows is to mix one part vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle.

No need to measure here, since the ratio is 1:1. Just fill your spray bottle halfway with water and top it off with vinegar for a streak-free shine!

What is it about vinegar that makes it so effective? It's all about the acid. White vinegar is made up of about 10% acetic acid and 90% water.  Acetic acid is the result of a fermentation process when alcohol is allowed to sour.

In fact, the word vinegar comes from two French wordsvin which means wine and aigre which means sour. Vinegar is basically sour wine.

2. Vinegar, Water, and Rubbing Alcohol

If you're tackling serious grime on your windows, this recipe will take care of it. Combine one cup of rubbing alcohol, one cup of water and one tablespoon of vinegar in a spray bottle.

The alcohol will give your window cleaner a little extra oomph to cut through grease. The alcohol we're talking about here is rubbing alcohol, also called isopropyl alcohol. It is not the same kind of alcohol you drink.

Isopropyl alcohol is toxic. The body metabolizes it into acetone, so you definitely don't want to drink it. ingesting isopropyl alcohol can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, organ damage and may lead to death.

Treat it the same way you would any other cleaning product. Label your bottle clearly and store it safely, away from kids and pets.

3. Use Lemons for Homemade Window Cleaner

This recipe calls for one tablespoon of lemon juice mixed in a quart of warm water. The acid in the lemon will cut through grease and grime on your windows and make them shine.

This is one recipe you should not store. The lemons can turn rancid, and you'll wind up spraying sour water on your windows. Make a fresh batch every time.

4. Cornstarch and Ammonia

This may sound like a strange recipe for window cleaner, but it works. The ammonia cuts through dirt and grease, and the cornstarch gives it a little more power.

Cornstarch granules are very fine, almost powdery. It's just enough to scrub your windows clean, but not enough to scratch them. It also reduces streaking.

One tip: when you're ready to clean your windows, choose a time of day when the sun isn’t shining directly on them. This is especially important when you're cleaning the outside windows.

If the cleaning spray dries too quickly, it'll leave streaks and water spots on your windows. After all, if you've invested money in beautiful picture windows or even those gorgeous folding glass walls, you want them to look their best.

Wrapping It Up

The best homemade window cleaner in the world won't work well if your technique isn't right. Don't reach for the paper towels. They'll leave lint and dust all over your clean windows. Instead, use lint-free towels or newspaper.

Once you've cleaned your beautiful windows, you may be ready for your next project. When was the last time you cleaned your walls? Read more about the best way to tackle that job on our blog!

Homemade Window Cleaner Recipes