Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe

Homemade All Natural Glass Cleaner Recipe

Sometimes the best things in life are free… or really, really cheap, like this natural glass cleaner recipe. I’ve experimented with many types of natural cleaners and have finally found natural options that are as good (or better) than conventional cleaners.

Natural Glass Cleaner

This natural glass cleaner was a pretty easy recipe to figure out after I got the tip to use vinegar from an elderly neighbor. Apparently, that is what everyone used in past generations and we’ve just been slow to figure it out. What’s old is new again, I suppose…

I was motivated to create a natural option for cleaning windows when I discovered my one-year-old licking a window one time. I wasn’t sure what was in my conventional glass cleaner but I was pretty sure I didn’t want her eating it. Also, with five professional Fingerprint On Windows Creation Experts, cleaning windows is sometimes a daily job at our house!  I love that this cleaner is completely non-toxic so I can let the children help clean without worrying about them being exposed to chemicals.

In fact, I now keep little glass spray bottles and microfiber cloths in a basket in our pantry and cleaning the lower part of windows is not a daily job for our 4 and 5 year olds.

Since taking the picture for the post, I also found large glass spray bottles and prefer to use those now. You can make your own with an empty glass apple cider vinegar bottle and a spray top.

This cleaner has a somewhat strong smell that completely evaporates once it dries. I prefer to use microfiber cloth to wipe down the windows now, but old newspapers or t-shirts also work. Just avoid paper towels as they tend to leave lint on them.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Make your own glass cleaning with only three ingredients!
Recipe type: Cleaning
  • 1 pint (2 cups) water
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10-15 drops essential oil (optional, but helps the vinegar smell)
  1. Combine ingredients in a spray bottle (preferably glass) and use as needed to clean window. I like to use a microfiber cloth to wipe windows clean with this recipe.

NOTE:  If you have always used commercial window cleaner in the past, mix a couple drops of liquid castille soap or liquid dish soap in some of this mixture the first time you clean the windows to remove detergent residue.

Don’t want to make it?

I recently found Branch Basics, an amazing natural cleaner that is safe for even chemically sensitive people and that can clean the windows, your entire house, gets stains out of clothes, dirt out of grout lines, cleans an oven like magic and is safe to use on skin. In fact, it is tear free and I’ve been using it for baby shampoo! I’m addicted. You can find out more here. I even feel safe letting my kids clean with it!

If you are new to natural cleaning, check out these other easy recipes for cleaning your whole house without chemicals:

What’s your favorite natural cleaning recipe? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Fallon says

    Hi! Ok this may be a silly question, but I haven’t bought much vinegar in my day! Is there just straight vinegar or is it all distilled white vinegar? Thanks!

    • Whitney says

      I use distilled white vinegar. I buy a box with two 1 gallon containers at Sam’s Club for a good price! (Bakers and Chefs brand I believe…) The cheap stuff works just fine!
      I use vinegar in almost all of my cleaner recipes!

  2. Art says

    I just made this tonight and couldn’t wait to try it. It works better than any store bought glass cleaner I’ve ever tried! Thanks!

  3. Abbie Heller says

    Another product I have had great results with is club soda; it’s acidic and cuts through the greasy residue that can make it impossible to get a shiny stove top or microwave exterior.

  4. Carolyn says

    Last weekend I cleaned some dirty windows in a cabin with a similar recipe! Worked like a charm! I sprayed it on, wiped the window down once, but it was still wet cause I needed alot of cleaner since there was grime all over the window. Then I let it sit for a minute or so and then came back and polished it up. Beautiful sparkly windows!

  5. Muriel says

    Can I use apple cider vinegar? I can buy it in bulk organic for cheap. Haven’t been able to find a good source for white vinegar.

  6. Caroline Maslin says

    Sounds great, I am going to try this! Don’t use newspaper to clean your window, it can scratch the glass. Years ago, our mothers used newspapers, but it was a different quality and modern paper does not cut it. Paper towel does work, but it has to be a very good quality one. Happy cleaning!

    • Carol says

      The other reason that newspaper used to be recommended is that the vinegar and the newsprint together made the windows super shiny. But now newspapers are coated with something to keep the print from coming off on your fingers, and that coating ruins the shiny magic.

  7. Sara says

    I also add the cornstarch (eliminates streaking) it definitely makes it work even better-however you must shake it before each spray which may be hard for your kiddos but otherwise it works better. The recipe also adds rubbing alcohol:
    1/4 cup white vinegar
    1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
    1 T cornstarch
    2 cups water
    Mix and shake each time before using to avoid clogging the sprayer.
    Works better than any commercial spray that I’ve ever used!

  8. Brianne says

    Katie, you truly are a gem and have become my go-to resource when I need natural living tips (such as toxin-free cleaners) for myself or my clients. Thanks for amassing such a great collection of articles, recipes, and tips!

  9. Shannon says

    I use two microfiber cleaning system by Norwex – one to clean, one to polish – with only water and it works great even for filthy windows. Why would you also use a cleaner, even a natural one? My children do the windows and will sometimes use a spray bottle with water simply because they love spraying it. Otherwise I just wet the cleaning wipe for them at the faucet and off they go!

    I’m going to try the club soda suggestion for my stove top!

    • Cristina says

      Yes, the Norwex Envirocloth and Window Cloth are amazing! Just water and anyone can do it. If you wring out the Envirocloth well enough, you don’t even need the Window Cloth. Just let the water dry, it won’t leave marks, streaks or residue.

  10. Rachel Zwicker says

    This is a lazy question. I made my all purpose cleaner with your 50/50 water to vinegar recipe. Does this formula not work as well on glass? Would be nice to just have one spray bottle for surfaces and glass.

  11. Christina says

    Would the vinegar be harmful to tinted windows – finding a decent cleaner for my car that doesn’t streak or kill the tint is almost impossible. Thanks

  12. Heather says

    I fill a small metalic spray bottle with distilled water and add about 10-15 drops of doTERRA Purify essential oil to it. It works great as both a glass cleaner and all purpose cleaner.

  13. Pat says

    First off once I discovered that Windex contains ammonia which kills your white blood cells, I have been telling everyone I know not to use it. So I just mix tea tree oil and water together (can’t stand the smell of vinegar). Or you could just use water!!

  14. Danae says

    Love your site! In my country we use vodka or distilled spirits called Zivania for windows with newspaper. We don’t have much rain and houses have huge windows and lots of them. Here in the Northeast too much rain makes for too many bugs and their stains come off well. Of course this is not suitable for kids to use, although it evaporates completely and windows will be O.K. To lick!

  15. Bonnie Douglas says

    I use water in a spray bottle and a micro fiber towel from Wal-Mart for $1.98 (+ or -) made specifically for glass. You can find it in the cleaning supplies, mine is blue. It works better than anything I have used!

  16. shannon says

    I do not live in the States and only have access to white wine or red wine vinegar. Does anyone know if these will work just as well? So far I have been using “Alcol” or Alcohol and have found it quite effective.

  17. Lourdes says

    BEST GLASS CLEANER! I have tried so many DIY recipes, all of them leave trace or have to spend quite a while whipping it down. The secrets of this recipe I think is the amount of water and vinegar together= balance. I just clean my bathroom mirror and is shiny! I used I rug to clean it and remove all the vinegar, and another one to dry it out completely. Also added 15 drops of peppermint EO.
    Five stars!

  18. Shelby says

    It’s a tried a true recipe that never should have gone out of vogue! I’ve cleaned with vinegar for years. Its cheap and does a superb job! I mix a few drops of an eco dish liquid into my spray bottle. It also works fabulously on my timber blinds. The more people that see this recipe the less people will visit the cleaning aisle of the supermarket

  19. Leslie says

    I use vodka to make a streak free window cleaner with the same ingredients as above. I found that eucalyptus essential oil mixed with peppermint masks the smell of the vinegar the best.

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