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What Is The Best Thing To Clean A Glass Window With?

Cleaning windows can be tedious and frustrating, especially when you clean them, only to find unsightly streaks left behind. Using the correct products can go a long way toward making cleaning your windows a breeze. There are DIY cleaning solutions you can make that will clean as well as any commercial window cleaner, but using the correct tool is also essential.

The best glass window cleaning solutions include a white vinegar and dish soap solution, a white vinegar and cornstarch solution, and a rubbing alcohol solution. The best tools for cleaning glass windows are a squeegee, a microfiber cloth, or a newspaper.

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If you’re wondering what the best way to clean your windows is, you’re in luck. Finding a product that works well on all your windows can be challenging. So we’ve compiled a list of DIY window cleaning solutions for you to try, as well as the best tools to get the job done. 

mother and daughter cleaning glass window Pinterest pin

Best Glass Window Cleaning Solutions

There are a wide variety of DIY and commercial window-cleaning solutions you can use to clean your windows, but there are some that work better than others. Cleaning windows can be tedious, especially if your window cleaner leaves behind streaks and marks.

Different cleaning solutions work best for different types of dirt, whether it’s typical window grime and dust or a greasy film. Knowing which cleaning solutions to use and using them effectively is as important as deciding it’s finally time to give those windows a good scrubbing. 

Most homemade glass window cleaners use white vinegar, so essential oils can help cover the smell. If you don’t have essential oils on hand, don’t worry. The smell will dissipate as the windows dry, and the vinegar evaporates.

We’ve listed a few of the best DIY glass window cleaning solutions to keep your windows cleaner for longer.

White Vinegar And Dish Soap Solution

For this solution, you will need the following:

  • White vinegar (preferably distilled)
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Essential oils (optional)

When mixing this solution, you pour the ingredients into a small bucket or a spray bottle, depending on how many windows you intend to clean. If you need more cleaning solution, you can increase the amount

, keeping the ratio the same.

Mix a quarter cup of white vinegar into two cups of warm water for this solution. The water should be warm because it disturbs dirt more than cold water and makes it easier to remove. However, it’s not necessary to use warm water. Room-temperature water will also work, but it may be slightly less effective.

Since vinegar has a distinct and unpleasant smell, you may not want your windows smelling like vinegar. For this reason, an essential oil can give your cleaning solution a fresh, pleasant fragrance. If you want to add an essential oil to your solution, add around ten drops and mix it well. 

Vinegar makes for an excellent surface and window cleaner because it gets rid of bacteria and removes germs as you clean. Dish soap is excellent for removing grease and film from windows, so adding half a teaspoon to your solution can make a significant difference on the kitchen, garage, or workshop windows. Give your solution a good shake or vigorous stir when adding dish soap.

If you are short on white vinegar, you can use lemon juice in its place. It is also acidic and will cut through dirt and stains as effectively as vinegar.

White Vinegar And Cornstarch Solution

For this solution, you will need the following:

  • White vinegar (preferably distilled)
  • Warm water
  • Cornstarch
  • Essential oils (optional)

It may seem like a highly unconventional glass window cleaning solution, but cornstarch is exceptionally effective for removing tough stains and caked dirt. Cornstarch’s granules are so small that they can agitate the dirt on a glass surface without scratching it. As an added bonus, this cornstarch solution doesn’t leave any streaks or marks behind.

This solution is similar to the previous one and requires almost the same ingredients. This time, mix two cups of warm water with a quarter cup of white vinegar and add a tablespoon of cornstarch. You can give the mixture a good shake to ensure the cornstarch is mixed with the water and vinegar. 

Once again, you can add around 10 drops of essential oil to give your solution and windows a fresh, clean smell. 

Rubbing Alcohol Solution

For this solution, you will need the following:

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Essential oil (optional)

This solution deviates slightly from the previous mixtures of water and vinegar but is no less effective for cleaning glass windows. Rubbing alcohol is a powerful, germ-killing ingredient in window cleaning solutions. It kills germs and bacteria and removes tough stains and sticky marks. But probably the best thing about it is that it evaporates so quickly that it doesn’t leave any streaks behind.

To make this solution, you can combine two cups of water with half a cup of rubbing alcohol. This solution on its own is strong and can get rid of most dirt and stains. It’s an excellent substitute when you don’t have white vinegar on hand. If you do have white vinegar, you can add it to this solution to make it even more powerful. Add half a cup of white vinegar to your solution and mix well. 

If you aren’t adding vinegar to this solution, you won’t have to worry too much about the smell it will leave behind. Of course, essential oils can spruce up your window-cleaning experience by leaving all your windows smelling fresh. If you are using vinegar, essential oils will cover the smell anyway.

The ingredients of these solutions are relatively similar, and they all do a fantastic job of leaving your windows pristine. White vinegar and dish soap are everyday household staples, so even if you don’t have any commercial window cleaner, you can use these to significant effect.

Commercial Glass Window Cleaning Solutions

There are many glass and window cleaning products available in stores. Still, you may find that some of them don’t clean windows as effectively as others. Using a cleaning product specific to the type of dirt you want to remove from your windows is essential.

Some window cleaners are more acidic, and some are more alkaline. Acidic cleaners are better for removing scum and stains from windows. On the other hand, alkaline solutions are better for removing grease. For this reason, it’s important to check what kind of cleaning product you purchase to ensure that it’s right for the type of dirt you want to remove from your windows.

Best Tools To Use When Cleaning Glass Windows

Aside from the various cleaning products and solutions you can use to clean your windows, there are also different materials and tools you can use. Some are more effective than others when it comes to cleaning windows and drying them. 

Sometimes, simpler tools get the job done just as well as others. Our list of the best tools for cleaning glass windows includes the best tools for the job.


Squeegees are one of the best window-cleaning tools. Unfortunately, they are difficult to use properly, and often leave streaks behind. That said, they are an excellent method of cleaning windows if used correctly. 

Some squeegees come with a sponge on one side and a rubber edge on the other. After applying your window cleaning solution, you can use the sponge side of a squeegee to wash the window and remove any dirt. For the best effect and to reduce streaks, ensure the squeegee has covered the entire window surface. If the surface is dry, there will be streaks when you use the rubber side.

If your squeegee does not have a sponge, spray your cleaning solution onto the window and scrub it with a soft sponge. Professionals use lambswool, but it may be hard to get.

Once you have scrubbed the window with your solution and squeegee sponge, you can flip the squeegee over and use the rubber side to remove the cleaning solution along with any dirt that may still be on the window. This is the tricky part about using a squeegee. 

To prevent streaks when drying your window with the rubber side, it’s best to ensure the rubber is free of dirt. If dirt gets trapped under the rubber, it allows water to escape behind it and creates streaks. Another thing to note is that you shouldn’t pull the rubber over dry glass. This will create streaks. If you have to go over dry parts of the window, leave some water on your squeegee.

Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber cloths are excellent tools for applying your cleaning solution as well as wiping it off and drying your windows. They are soft and absorbent, meaning they won’t leave any solution or streaks behind as you wipe. 

You can apply your cleaning solution to your microfiber cloth or directly onto your window if there is stubborn dirt. Scrub your window thoroughly with the cloth. You don’t have to worry about scratching your window because microfiber cloths are so soft. 

Once you’ve scrubbed your window, you can squeeze out your cloth or get a fresh dry one and wipe your window down to dry it and remove any excess solution or dirt. This method may take more time than simply spraying and wiping, but your windows will be cleaner, and the cloth will pick up more dirt.

There are microfiber cloths made specifically for cleaning windows and others for drying them. It may be worthwhile if you have both or can purchase them at a nearby store. The fibers of the cloth trap dirt so that it is removing it instead of just moving it. The soft fibers also absorb liquid, so streaks won’t be a problem with a wipe-down from a microfiber cloth.


Newspaper isn’t as common in households as it used to be, but many still have subscriptions. Newspaper is one of the best window cleaning materials and is relatively cheap. Newspaper is highly absorbent and doesn’t leave streaks on the glass.

One problem with newspapers is that they can leave ink marks on window frames when wet. To avoid this, tear off a new piece of newspaper to dry the window sills.

The best way to use newspaper to clean glass windows is to spray your window cleaning solution onto the window. Don’t worry about wetting the window too much. Once you have sprayed your solution, tear off a square of newspaper and crumple it up flat. The newspaper will absorb much water before it becomes too wet to use.

Rub the newspaper over the window in circular motions, loosening as much dirt as possible. Once you’ve done the whole window, wipe the newspaper in straight lines across the window to make sure all of the solution has been absorbed. The newspaper doesn’t scratch the glass and doesn’t leave any streaks behind.

Paper towels have a rough surface that can scratch your glass. It can also leave behind residue and fluff. Dust clings to the rough surface of paper towels, meaning they can scratch your glass windows and leave marks behind. Unfortunately, as common as they are, you can’t substitute the newspaper for paper towels. 

Paper towels also leave a residue smeared over your window when you’re wiping it down. This leaves your windows looking as if they still need to be cleaned. Avoid cleaning glass windows with paper towels, tissues, and rags. These materials will either cause smears or scratch your glass.

The best materials for cleaning glass are those with smooth surfaces or tiny fibers like microfiber cloths. Squeegees can get expensive, and you may not have one handy, but microfiber cloths and newspapers are cheaper and easier to find.


Cleaning windows may seem difficult, especially if you don’t know what kind of window cleaning solution or tools to use. You can make your own window cleaner with ingredients you have at home. A squeegee, microfiber cloth, or newspaper will work wonders on your windows, leaving them clean without causing damage.

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