We've got lots of great reasons to make your own window cleaner. Watch how to make three of the very best tried-and-true homemade window cleaner recipes out there. (If we do say so ourselves!)

By Berit Thorkelson

So, why make homemade window cleaner?

It's cheap. A bottle of homemade window cleaner costs around $1.50—about a third of the cost of most typical store-bought window cleaners.

It's environmentally friendly. You'll save bottles from the landfill as well as the fuel that would've been used to get those bottles to the store. Plus, a natural glass cleaner is much gentler on the earth than most premixed cleaners.

It's adjustable. You have total control over the quality and ratios of ingredients in a homemade window cleaner. You know exactly what's going in it—no surprises here. If the formula feels a little off, you can adjust it to better suit your preferences.

It's the safe and easy route to streak-free, shiny windows. Try one of these three DIY glass cleaners and see for yourself.


Method 1: Basic Homemade Window Cleaner Recipe


  • 2 cups distilled water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 10 drops essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and gently shake together. We used lemon for its clean, fresh scent, but you can use the essential oil of your choice.

Method 2: Rubbing Alcohol Window Cleaner


  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 2-3 tbsp. white vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol

Add the rubbing alcohol and vinegar to a spray bottle, then fill with distilled water. Secure the lid tightly and shake thoroughly. For best results, make sure your vinegar says "made from grain" on the label.

Method 3: Dish Soap Glass Cleaner


  • 16 oz hot water
  • a few drops mild dishwashing liquid

Combine water and dishwashing liquid in a large bucket. We recommend using distilled water to get a streak-free finish.

Secrets for a Streak-Free Finish

  • Give your homemade window cleaner time to work. Spray, then wait a few minutes before wiping.
  • Wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth. If there's any laundry soap or other residues on your cloth, it could leave streaks. For this reason, never launder your cleaning cloths with those used for cleaning the car or other greasy jobs. Paper towels and rags are also a bad choice since they leave lint and residue behind.
  • Clean from top to bottom. This trick helps to prevent drips and streaks from the top down.
  • Use distilled water in your cleaner recipes. It's purer, shelf-stable, and less likely to leave stains or marks.
  • Don't use any cleaner containing vinegar on marble, granite, slate, tile, or solid surfacing, which it could damage. For other cleaners, always test a small spot first in a hidden location to be sure it won't damage the surface.
  • Don't reuse old bottles. Residual chemicals could cause a reaction. Always use a new, clean spray bottle and label its contents.


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