Regularly cleaning your windows is one of the easiest, simplest ways to keep them in good shape. Most homeowners clean windows twice a year, which is generally suggested by experts. And if you live in Arizona? It’s recommended to clean your windows in the early spring and late autumn.
But beyond frequency and timing, it’s also worth thinking about what you use to clean your windows. This is especially important if you live with children, pets, or family members with respiratory problems or sensitivities.
Instead of reaching for a commercial cleaner, consider making your own. Here, we share the benefits of DIY options and a recipe for the best homemade glass window cleaner.
The Problem with Commercial Window Cleaners
In recent years, consumers have become increasingly aware of the potential dangers of traditional cleaning products. Many cleaners, after all, are made with harsh chemicals associated with unpleasant side effects.
For example, the Environmental Working Group has given Windex, a popular household cleaner, a “D” rating. It’s the second to lowest score—and indicates that the ingredients are of “High Concern.” Specifically, the cleaner has been associated with health concerns such as skin irritation and respiratory side effects. One of its ingredients, ammonium hydroxide, has also been linked to aquatic toxicity in the environment.
Of course, this is just one product. Yet, traditional cleaners have fallen out of favor with consumers over the years. And while it’s becoming increasingly common to find cleaning products with more natural ingredients, many homeowners have been turning to DIY versions instead.
Best Homemade Glass Cleaner for Windows
There are many ways to make window glass cleaner at home. However, the following recipe is an easy option that has gained popularity across the web.
- 2 cups distilled water
- ¼ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
- 10 drops essential oil (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a clean, empty spray bottle. Avoid using a spray bottle that was used for a commercial cleaner, even if you’ve washed it out. Any residue left over from the old cleaner might have ingredients that could negatively interact with alcohol and vinegar.
If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oils.
Apply your homemade cleaner to a window. Wipe with a high-quality microfiber cloth, working from top to bottom.
Note that this cleaner isn’t an all-purpose solution. Avoid using it on granite, marble, or tile. The acidity of the vinegar can cause damage.
Tips for Cleaning Glass Windows
In addition to using a safe and natural window cleaner, it’s important to follow the best practices for cleaning glass. Here are several tips to keep in mind:
- Before using a window cleaner (homemade or otherwise), test it on a small area first.
- Avoid spraying too much solution at once. Otherwise, the cleaner may pool and potentially damage the window frame. Work in small sections instead.
- Use a squeegee or soft cloth to wipe your windows dry. Avoid using a chisel, putty knife, or steel wool. These objects can scratch and damage the glass.
- Avoid using high-pressure sprayers to rinse off windows, which could damage the components of your window frame.
- Never use petroleum-based or caustic cleaning solutions on your glass windows.
- To prevent streaking, clean glass when there is no direct sunlight on the windows. Sunlight may speed up the solution’s drying time, resulting in streaks. Also, always clean from top to bottom.
- Some cleaners, including natural solutions, could discolor or damage wood window frames. Lay down a cloth or old t-shirt to protect the wood.
Contact XO Windows for All Your Window Needs
We hope you enjoyed this homemade window glass cleaner. It’s the best option for reducing chemicals in your home while making sure your windows look fresh.
While cleaning your windows, keep an eye out for signs of damage or breaks. Don’t forget to inspect the lock mechanisms and seals, too. If you notice any issues, contact XO Windows at (602) 396-4825. We offer professional window replacements throughout the Greater Phoenix area.