Make Safe Homemade Glass Cleaner

Edited by Graciela Franchesca Rosario, Eng, Lynn, Yanidra and 3 others

Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Glass Cleaners

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The following homemade glass cleaner recipe is nontoxic. The main benefit of making your homemade glass cleaner is that it will take toxins out of your home and life. This may include:

  • Ammonium hydroxide
  • 2 Hexoxyethanol
  • Propylene glycol
  • Video EGM
  • Mirapol surf S-210
  • Sodium C14-17 sec-alkyl sulfonate
  • Liquitint sky blue dye
  • Fragrance palette

Benefits of HomeMade Glass Cleaner

  1. 1
    Save money
    You can have glass cleaner for less money than you would have to spend for a commercial cleaner.
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  2. 2
    Clean the environment
    One of the main cause of auto-immune disorders, onslaught of autism, and cancer is the exposure to the toxins in the world. So don't add more toxins on the toxically-overloaded environment.
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  3. 3
    Homemade glass cleaner may be as effective as the chemical-laden version, and is safe for the environment
    Commercial glass cleaners usually contain 2-Butoxyethanol which may cause sensory irritation when applied to a poorly ventilated area. A 32 oz. of commercial window cleaner cost around $4 in 2011, and the 32 oz. of homemade glass cleaner cost around 12 cents.
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You may use just a plain vinegar to clean glasses and mirrors. Pour some plain vinegar on a sheet of newspaper and wipe it all over the mirror. It won't leave streaks. You may also use a spray bottle as a container.

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Recipe number 1

  1. 1
    1. ¼ cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
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    2. ¼ cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar can work as well)
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    3. 2 cups water
    4. 1 tbsp. cornstarch (the cornstarch reduces streaking)
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  • 2
    1. Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle. You may repurpose the container of your previous commercial glass cleaner. You may also buy at a dollar store.
    2. Mix by shaking it well.
    3. Spray onto glass areas and wipe.
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  • Recipe number 2

    1. 1
      1. Water
      2. 2 tbsp. rubbing alcohol
      3. Distilled white vinegar
      4. ½ teaspoon clear liquid soap
      5. Quart-size container
      6. Crumpled newsprint or lint-free cloth
      7. 2 spray bottles
      8. Permanent marker
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    2. 2
      1. Mix 1 qt. of water with 2 tbsp. rubbing alcohol in a quart-size container. Mix rubbing alcohol in a good ventilation to avoid inhaling the vapors.
      2. Mix an equal quantity of warm water and white vinegar in a new spray bottle.
      3. Use a crumpled newsprint or lint-free cloth to put the window with the water mixture and rubbing alcohol. This will prevent the formation of streaks if you clean it with the vinegar solution.
      4. Spray the vinegar solution onto the window then wipe it using a piece of crumpled newsprint or lint-free cloth.
      5. Combine a solution of 3 tbsp. distilled white vinegar, ½ teaspoon clear liquid soap, and warm water. Use this rather than the half water, half vinegar solution for very greasy or dirty Windows.
      6. Use straight vertical or horizontal strokes to wipe the window. Clean the outside of the window with vertical strokes and horizontal strokes for the inside. This technique will make you identify which window side requires more polishing and cleaning to eliminate streaks.
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    3. 3
      1. Put the rubbing alcohol solution in a new plastic spray bottle. Don't reuse old commercial cleaning spray bottle. The rubbing alcohol may react with the remains of the previous cleaning solution. Use a permanent marker to label the bottle.
      2. Keep the rubbing alcohol mixture out of reach by the children or pets.
      3. Put the vinegar solution in a spray bottle you used to mix in. Label this bottle using a permanent marker.
      4. Store the vinegar mixture/liquid soap out of reach of pets or children. If combine water and vinegar, that solution is completely nontoxic.
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    Recipe number 3

    1. 1
      1. ¼ cup (4 oz.) rubbing alcohol
      2. 1/8 cup (1 oz.) white ammonia
      3. Warm water, enough to fill the spray bottle
      4. 1 drop Dawn dish detergent/any dish detergent
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    2. 2
      1. Fill an empty gallon jug with ½ full of water. Put the other ingredients and adding Dawn last, so it does not lather too much when pouring the other ingredients.
      2. After combining the ingredients, fill the water with water until it is full.
      3. Gently shake the jug to thoroughly mix the ingredients, then place some into a spray bottle.
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    Recipe number 4

    Borax and cornstarch. Combine 3 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of borax. Use the solution to window surface and wipe. After cleaning the Windows using borax, rinse the glass using a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to polish the surface and leave the glass without a streak. Alternatively, mix 3 tbsp. of cornstarch, a gallon bucket with water and ½ cup vinegar to apply and wipe.

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    Recipe number 5

    Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner

    1. 1
      1. ¼ cup white vinegar
      2. ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
      3. 2 cups warm water
      4. 1 tbsp. cornstarch
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    Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle then shake well. And before each use, shake it well, since the cornstarch may settle down at the bottom.


    • Shake well before using since the cornstarch may clog up the spray nozzle.
    • If you're allergic to cornstarch, you may use other starches like arrowroot and tapioca.
    • You may use rags or microfiber cloths to wipe clean the surfaces. You may also use newspaper since paper towels are more wasteful and leave lint.
    • You must label the bottle as you make more non-toxic home cleaners.
    • Add food coloring, artificial or natural, to the bottle so that kids will identify that it is not a water. You may use beet juice as an affordable coloring material.
    • The homemade glass cleaner can be applied to mirrors, Windows, stainless steel, glass appliances, chrome, ceramic, aluminum, marble, and plastic.
    • Why doesn't cornstarch make a streak?
    • In a microscopic view, the glass isn't perfectly smooth. As you spray water on it, the water molecules are caught in the pits of the glass surface. Water also attaches to itself through hydrogen bonding, and the hydrogen atoms from two molecules attach to one another.
    • Water stuck to more water plus water stuck in the glass equals streaking.
    • Cornstarch, oil, drops of essential oil, or dish soap disrupts the hydrogen bonding, in result preventing streaks.
    • If you don't like the scent of the vinegar, put drops of essential oil to the water and vinegar solution.
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    • If you are incapable of dealing with newsprint fumes, you may use a lint-free cloth. Don't clean Windows under exposure to sunlight as the solution will dry very rapidly, creating streaks.

    Questions and Answers

    What will safely clean glass and mirrors without etching/scratching?

    I have found different sites which state that vinegar and ammonia will etch the glass and should not be used in DIY cleaners. Some recommend club soda, others plain distilled water. Very confusing. What is the truth about these ingredients?

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    The answer is that they are used for different glass or different goals. Vinegar or ammonia (please remember not to mix these ingredients) should be avoided for delicate glass like in a pair spectacles with a coating, as these ingredients may strip the coating a bit; yet, vinegar or ammonia are good for cleaning drinking glasses. Also, ammonia helps to remove water or cleaning stains. Roughly speaking, ammonia or vinegar scrapes some dirt off glass (on tempered glass, mirrors, Windows, glasses, some jewellery) and can be dangerous for inhaling for animals and humans; therefore, cleaning always requires ventilation. Soda or distilled water polishes delicate glass (spectacles, zooming glasses, lenses) and is usually safe. Club soda mixed with water is a good and cheap all-around cleaning solution. You can also wash glass like Windows with soapy water, then wash it with water, and then polish and dry the glass with soft paper.

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    Article Info

    Categories : Green Living

    Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Jen M, Yanidra

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