DIY Window and Glass Cleaners

Easy-tilt-in-to-clean-windowThere are many natural ways to clean the glass surfaces in your home without having to use harsh chemicals. There are gentler, non-toxic alternatives that you can even make at home with ingredients you likely already have on hand. Most recipes feature an acidic substance (usually lemon or vinegar) mixed with water and sometimes essential oils or other ingredients. Here are a few simple recipes for you to try on the windows and glass in your home.


A spray bottle filled with half water and half distilled white vinegar will help remove grime and hard water spots from glass and mirrors. If there is a lot of buildup on the glass surface to be cleaned, raise the ratio of vinegar to water for more cleaning power. Spray the glass with the solution, and spray the towel you’ll be using to clean the glass with the solution as well. Wipe the glass clean. Repeat the process for stubborn spots; you can add a drop of dish soap to the mixture if your glass needs a little extra grime-fighting power.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is acidic just like vinegar, so, if you don’t have any vinegar or perhaps prefer the scent of lemons (and who could blame you), this recipe might work for you. The simplest way to clean a glass surface with lemon juice is to cut the lemon in half and rub the open end in a circular motion over the surface to be cleaned. Just rinse the window or glass afterward and wipe down with a clean dry towel.

Alternately, you can use fresh lemon juice (it works better than bottled) combined with water in a spray bottle. Using at least two parts water to lemon juice works best for this method. Just as with the vinegar solution, you can add a drop of dish soap to this mixture if your glass is particularly dirty. After spraying the glass with this mixture, wipe with a soft, dry towel. To finish, wipe the glass with a towel that’s been dampened with water.

Essential Oils

A few drops of essential oil can be added to any of the above mixtures for an added cleaning boost or simply to create a pleasing scent for your homemade cleaner. If you are cleaning stubborn hard water spots from glass, a few drops of citrus essential oil (such as lemon or orange) mixed with a cup of water can help remove them. Mix the solution well and apply with a damp sponge or cloth. Finish with a traditional glass cleaner or your homemade solution of choice.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol (also known as isopropyl alcohol) can be used to help achieve a streak-free finish on your glass surfaces. You can mix a small amount (around 10% of the total volume) into the cleaning solutions above, or you can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water as a final step in your cleaning process. An added bonus when using rubbing alcohol mixed with your cleaning solution is that it will evaporate faster and thus run less. No isopropyl alcohol at home? Don’t worry—you can use vodka in a pinch.

To use it as a finishing spray, mix approximately two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol into a large spray bottle filled with water. Another way to measure out the mixture is to fill your large spray bottle nearly full, leaving about ten percent of the bottle empty. Fill that remaining ten percent with rubbing alcohol and then shake to combine. After cleaning your windows with any of the above homemade solutions, finish by spraying the rubbing alcohol and water solution onto your glass surface. Wipe the surface with a clean, soft cloth.