Homemade Window Cleaning Solutions: An Eco-Friendly and Cost-Effective Approach

Kiwi Clean Home investigates the efficacy, environmental impact, and economic advantages of homemade window cleaning solutions compared to commercial products. Through a comprehensive review of literature and online sources, various recipes and methods for creating effective homemade solutions are analyzed. The findings suggest that homemade solutions, particularly those consisting of white vinegar, distilled water, and dish detergent, can be as effective as commercial cleaners while being significantly more eco-friendly and cost-effective.

Windows are an essential part of any residential or commercial building.

They provide natural light and ventilation. However, maintaining their cleanliness can be a challenging task, often requiring the use of specialized cleaning products. Commercial window cleaners, while effective, can be expensive and potentially harmful to the environment due to their chemical composition. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in exploring eco-friendly and cost-effective alternatives, particularly homemade solutions.

This research involved an extensive review of online sources, including articles, blogs, and reputable websites, to gather information on homemade window cleaning solutions. The sources were carefully evaluated for credibility and relevance, with a focus on those providing scientific or empirical evidence for the effectiveness of the proposed solutions.

Common Ingredients and Their Properties

The most commonly recommended ingredients for homemade window cleaning solutions are white vinegar, distilled water, and dish detergent. These ingredients possess unique properties that make them effective for cleaning windows:

  1. White Vinegar: Known for its ability to cut through grease and film without leaving streaks, white vinegar is a popular choice due to its eco-friendly and inexpensive nature (Sources 1, 2, 3, 5).
  2. Distilled Water: Used to dilute vinegar and alcohol, distilled water helps prevent damage to window surfaces and reduces streaking (Sources 2, 3, 5).
  3. Dish Detergent: Adds a degreasing property, which is particularly useful for exterior windows that may have more grime and environmental residue (Sources 1, 4).

Recipes and Methods

Based on the literature review, several recipes and methods were identified for creating homemade window cleaning solutions:

  1. Vinegar and Water: A simple mixture of white vinegar and water can be used, with a common recipe being 50% distilled vinegar mixed with 50% tap water in a spray bottle (Source 1).
  2. Vinegar, Water, and Dish Detergent: Adding a small amount of dish detergent to the vinegar and water mix can enhance the cleaning power. This mixture is particularly effective for exterior windows and can be applied with a sponge or scrub brush (Source 4).
  3. Rubbing Alcohol, Vinegar, and Water: For a solution that evaporates quickly and reduces the likelihood of streaks, rubbing alcohol can be added to the mix. A typical recipe includes ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, ¼ cup of vinegar, and 1 cup of water (Source 3).

Benefits of Homemade Solutions

The literature review highlighted several benefits associated with using homemade window cleaning solutions:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Homemade solutions are significantly cheaper than commercial products (Sources 2, 3).
  2. Eco-Friendliness: They reduce the use of chemicals that can be harmful to the environment (Source 2).
  3. Health Safety: Homemade solutions are safer for use around children and pets compared to commercial cleaners that may contain harmful chemicals (Sources 2, 3).

Application Tips

To achieve optimal results when using homemade window cleaning solutions, several application tips were identified:

  1. Use a spray bottle for easy application (Sources 1, 2, 3).
  2. Apply with a microfiber cloth, squeegee, or newspaper for a streak-free finish (Sources 1, 3).
  3. For exterior windows, a hose can be used for rinsing (Sources 1, 4).
  4. Clean windows on a cloudy day to prevent the solution from drying too quickly and leaving streaks (Source 5).
  5. Regular maintenance is recommended to prevent build-up of dirt and grime, which prolongs the life of the windows (Source 3).

Comparison with Commercial Cleaners

While commercial window cleaners may contain additional solvents and detergents that can tackle heavy build-up more quickly, vinegar-based homemade solutions have been found to be as effective as commercial cleaners for several reasons. They do not leave streaks, are non-toxic, and effectively cut through grease and film (Sources 13, 14).

What is the best homemade solution to wash windows?

The best homemade solution often recommended for washing windows is a mixture of white vinegar and distilled water. A typical ratio is 50% vinegar to 50% water. For more stubborn grime, adding a small amount of dish detergent can enhance the cleaning power. This solution is effective, eco-friendly, and economical.

What do professional window cleaners use in their water?

Professional window cleaners often use a mixture similar to homemade solutions but might add professional-grade detergents or soaps specifically designed for window cleaning. These can include squeegee-off soap or other biodegradable liquids that effectively remove dirt without damaging the glass or leaving harmful residues.

Is vinegar better than window cleaner?

Vinegar can be as effective as commercial window cleaners for several reasons. It does not leave streaks, is non-toxic, and cuts through grease and film effectively. However, commercial window cleaners may contain additional solvents and detergents that can tackle heavy build-up more quickly. The choice between vinegar and commercial window cleaners often depends on personal preferences regarding environmental impact and health safety.

How do you get streak-free windows?

To achieve streak-free windows, follow these tips:

  • Use a solution that evaporates quickly, such as one containing rubbing alcohol or vinegar.
  • Clean windows on a cloudy day to prevent the solution from drying too quickly.
  • Use a clean, lint-free cloth, squeegee, or newspaper to wipe the windows. Microfiber cloths are particularly effective for leaving a streak-free finish.
  • Apply the cleaning solution using a spray bottle and wipe in a Z-pattern to cover the entire surface evenly.

Homemade window cleaning solutions, particularly those consisting of white vinegar, distilled water, and dish detergent, can be an effective, eco-friendly, and cost-effective alternative to commercial cleaners. By following the recommended recipes and application tips, individuals can achieve streak-free and clean windows while reducing their environmental impact and saving money. Further research could explore the long-term effects of homemade solutions on various window materials and potential enhancements to the solutions for specific cleaning scenarios.


  1. https://www.mollymaid.com/practically-spotless/2015/may/homemade-window-cleaning-solution-that-works/
  2. https://www.bondcleaninginadelaide.com.au/benefits-using-homemade-window-cleaner/
  3. https://www.businessinsider.com/guides/home/homemade-window-cleaner
  4. https://shewearsmanyhats.com/the-best-window-cleaner/
  5. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/homemade-window-cleaner/
  6. https://andreadekker.com/homemade-window-and-glass-cleaner/
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