I've been on a green-cleaning kick lately. By “green” I mean natural, but also “green” as in money-saving! While paying four or five dollars for a bottle of cleaner might not feel like a big deal, it is when you consider how easy it is to create a similarly effective cleanser for a few cents a bottle. In an effort to convert all my cleansing products to homemade, I've recently whipped up a batch of homemade window cleaner that works just as well as the store-bought variety, and without streaking!
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl 70%)
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 15-20 drops of essential oil (any scent will do – I'm using sweet orange)
This homemade window cleaner is a cinch to put together. All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a glass or BPA-free plastic spray bottle (I purchased mine online here), shake well, and you're good to go.
To use this DIY window cleaner, I recommend cleaning with a microfiber cloth, as cotton cloths and paper towels leave lint and debris behind. Spray a little of the homemade window cleaner solution onto your glass surface, and wipe with the cloth. Flip the cloth over to the dry side, and give the glass another pass for a clean shine.
Each ingredient in this homemade glass cleaner has a special job. The water is the carrier – it's important to use filtered water, since it's softer and less likely to leave mineral deposits behind. The vinegar is the cleaning agent – its high acid levels makes it great for cutting down dirt. The rubbing alcohol allows the homemade window cleaner to evaporate quickly from the glass, and the essential oil does double duty: it smells nice, and it it helps prevent streaking.
Because rubbing alcohol is not universally considered non-toxic, make sure to label your DIY window cleaner. While small amounts of rubbing alcohol are harmless, you probably wouldn't want to use this solution to clean countertops or children's toys.
So far I've only tested my homemade window cleaner on the mirrors in my bathroom, but I'm really happy with how well it works. No streaks, and just as good as the store-bought stuff. The smell isn't overly-pungent (great if you have a sensitive nose like me), and I was able to make it with ingredients I already had in my house. Happy cleaning!