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Homemade Window Cleaner Recipe

Homemade Window Cleaner Recipe

This easy-to-make, fresh, and natural window cleaner solution makes your windows and glass look new.

Have you ever thought of making your own window cleaner? We all know you can easily pick up a bottle of Windex, and it will work fine. But what if you could come up with something more effective and cheaper with about 5 minutes of effort? Here are a few benefits of our homemade window cleaner:

No harmful chemicals When you make it yourself, you know exactly what goes into it, so you aren’t bringing dangerous chemicals into your home. This cleaner consists of five common ingredients: vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon oil, cornstarch, and distilled water.

It’ll save you money A 32 oz. bottle of homemade window cleaning solution is about $1.75, which is much cheaper than store-bought cleaners. Over time, that saved money will add up.

You can play with the proportions The best part about this homemade cleaning solution is that you can vary the proportions and optimize it for different purposes.

  • For more lemon scent, use more oils. 
  • For a stronger cleaner, use more vinegar. 
  • For a softer cleaner for a more temperamental surface, water it down more. 
  • For surfaces with a lot of oily grime, use more alcohol.

You have the control! 

Notes about the ingredients

Wondering why we use this combination of ingredients? Well, our first answer is that we’ve been working with windows and glass for years and you can’t argue with results. Try it and see for yourself. But if you’re a science nerd like we are and you can’t help but ask why, here is what we know:


Vinegar is a natural acid, which is well known to help break down stains without damaging whatever it is you’re trying to clean. It also has disinfectant properties to help prevent growth of many bacteria and mold.

Rubbing alcohol

Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol is another very effective disinfectant. It also has a lower evaporation point than water so it dries more quickly, which is key for not leaving streaks on your window.

The coolest thing about rubbing alcohol is that it’s an amphipathic substance. This means it can mix with both water and oil. What this means for alcohol as a cleaner is that it can easily dissolve oily residue and wash it away without needing to use soap.

Lemon oil

The most obvious benefit first the undeniably delightful scent of lemons this will bring into your home. It just smells clean, which is half the battle.

Additionally, lemon oil cuts through grease like crazy. That’s why it’s been used in dish soap and other cleaners for decades.


Some grandmothers will swear by cornstarch as a cleaner. It’s effective not only because it’s a natural odor absorber, but it acts as a mild abrasive to help loosen surface dirt.

If you like to cook, you know that cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent. In fact it’s often the cause of many lumpy gravies. So you might be thinking, “Why do we want a window cleaner with the consistency of gravy, much less lumpy gravy?” There are a couple reasons this won’t happen in this recipe. 

First, we’re adding the cornstarch to room temperature liquid. The tendency to lump happens when you add the cornstarch directly to hot liquid.That’s why many recipes tell you to mix it with a small amount of cool water first. For this recipe, as long as you shake it pretty vigorously before spraying, it should break up nicely.

Second, the acid in the vinegar will tend to neutralize the thickening ability of the cornstarch. So you might find it slightly thicker than you started, but not by very much.

Distilled water

So water’s great, but why do we specify distilled water here? Simply because tap water can have a lot of minerals that aren’t conducive to spot free surfaces. You’ve seen hard water deposits on the inside of your shower and windows. It seems like a good idea to make sure we’re not introducing any of that with the window cleaner.

How to make it

Again, this natural cleaner is not only cost effective, but it will also keep your windows streak free and your home smelling fresh. Because the vinegar is non-toxic and anti-bacterial, it safely kills germs without harsher chemicals.


32 oz spray bottle

1/3 cup vinegar

¼ cup rubbing alcohol

Distilled water (enough to almost fill the bottle)

8 drops lemon essential oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch


  1. Combine vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water, and essential oil in 32 oz. spray bottle. Add the water last to fill the bottle to about 80%.
  2. Add cornstarch all at once to the bottle. 
  3. Shake well until cornstarch is fully mixed. Any clumps could mean your spray bottle getting clogged. At this point top the bottle off with distilled water.
  4. Spray onto glass surface, let the solution soak in for a few minutes, and wipe it down. For a completely squeaky-clean window, use a microfiber towel with your homemade cleaner. And voila!

A 32 ounce bottle of solution will go a long way, but it’s very satisfying to use your own cleaner, so you may pull it out more often than you expect. Truth be told, this homemade cleaning solution works on just about any solid surface, not just glass. This can help you keep your kitchen and bathroom looking like new.

We recommend experimenting with different uses. Vary the proportions of ingredients and make it perfect for your needs. You may even end up with multiple bottles for different jobs. You may never buy a commercial cleaner again!

For window replacement contact Mountain States Windows & Siding

There comes a time when even the best window cleaner can’t make your windows look new again. Utah has cold winters and hot summers and they take their toll. 

We have the experience to provide world class window installation and we take pride in our work. When you need window replacement for your home or business, contact us for a free estimate.

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