How to Clean Glass Windows Using Homemade Window Cleaner

Updated: Apr. 21, 2023

Save money (and room under your sink) by making your own homemade window cleaner.

Whether you saw it on an old America’s Funniest Home Videos clip or on a recent TikTok (or you’re one of the unlucky ones who has actually been through it), walking into squeaky clean glass doors is no joke. On the other side of things, though, having glass doors that clean is quite the accomplishment. If you’ve been staring at streaky kitchen windows while washing dishes or that spot your dog always sticks his nose to, it’s time to wipe those windows clean.

Skip the harsh chemicals and pricey products and opt for homemade window cleaner instead. These two methods will make your windows—and most glass in your home—sparkling clean and streak-free.

Homemade Glass Cleaners

It’s no wonder there’s an allure to using homemade cleaning products. Cleaning supply aisles are stocked with all kinds of unknown chemicals and bright neon labels touting uses for every appliance in your home. But do we really need 12 bottles crowding the cabinets under our sinks? Turns out, less actually is more when it comes to cleaning your windows!

So what is the best homemade window cleaning solution? One that is simple and doesn’t boast a lot of ingredients. We have two methods using ingredients you probably already have at home: ammonia or vinegar.

Method 1: Vinegar and water

Glass Cleaner ingredients next to framed art On Marble SurfaceTMB Studio

Looking for a simple wash with nothing too harsh on your glass? Vinegar and water is the most simple and effective solution. Combine 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 qt. of water. Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the solution and wipe down your glass, or transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and wipe away the droplets on your glass or mirrors.

Vinegar and water is a great homemade window cleaner for light touch-ups. Think wiping away the artful flourish of toddler handprints or the glass planes in kitchen cabinets that seem to have permanent fingerprints.

Method 2: Ammonia and water

homemade Glass Cleaner ingredients on a marble surface in front of a windowTMB Studio

If your windows are in a high-traffic area of your home and have a bit of grime, household ammonia might be the best window cleaner for you. Keep in mind that ammonia is a cleaning product you shouldn’t use around your dog, so make sure Fido isn’t close when you’re using it.

Mix 2 tablespoons of ammonia with 2 qts. of warm water. Dab the solution onto a microfiber cloth or spray directly on the glass and wipe away in an S-shaped pattern to eliminate streaks and buff away grime.

Things you shouldn’t mix with homemade window cleaner

To avoid ruined surfaces and health hazards in your home, follow these tips to ensure safety when using your own cleaning products:

  • Ammonia and bleach are cleaning products that should never mix, so be sure to keep things simple and only use ammonia and water when cleaning windows and glass.
  • Vinegar can work wonders as a homemade glass cleaner, but there are certain surfaces you should never clean with vinegar, including dishwashers, marble countertops and waxed furniture.
  • If your stovetop is glass, avoid using ammonia as a glass cleaner on that surface. Ammonia and water work well on windows, but could be too strong for stovetop glass. The harsh chemical makeup in ammonia could cause streaks and stains on glass stovetops. The same goes for mirrors—ammonia could ruin the edges of mirrors and degrade the backing.