Make Your Glass Surfaces Sparkle With These Reliable Cleaners

glass cleaner

Back when I first started experimenting with making my own cleaning products, it didn’t take long for me to realize that Windex (or any type of glass and window cleaner) was one of the easiest types of cleaners to replicate at home. While the streak free shine of store-bought glass cleaners may seem like the result of advanced chemical wizardry, creating a great streak free homemade window cleaner is a lot simpler than you might think!

In fact, there are several ways to create an effective DIY window cleaner, and I’ll be sharing a few of the best homemade ones with you in today’s post! More specifically, I’ll be showing you how to make the three following window cleaning solutions:

  1. Homemade Glass Cleaner – great all-purpose glass cleaner for everyday use
  2. Non-Toxic Glass Cleaner – non-toxic formula, good for hard water spots and mineral deposits
  3. Outdoor Window Cleaner – recipe and method for clean, streak-free exterior windows

No matter what type of glass surfaces need cleaning around the house, you’re sure to find the perfect homemade window cleaning solution right here in this post. (And because you skipped the Windex and made it yourself, that’s money, time, and effort saved too!)

#1 – Homemade Glass Cleaner

glass cleaner

You’ll need:

glass cleaner

Directions:

Carefully pour the ammonia, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap into a spray bottle, then fill the remainder of the bottle with water. Screw the spray top onto the bottle, then shake the spray bottle gently to mix.

glass cleaner

How It Works

Ammonia and rubbing alcohol are not only effective cleaners in their own right, but they evaporate quickly too, which is crucial to that all-important streak free finish. Adding just a few drops of Dawn dish soap to this glass cleaning formula gives it a boost of grease-cutting power, so that even the greasiest fingerprints and smudges wipe away with ease!

#2 – Non-Toxic Glass Cleaner

glass cleaner

You’ll need:

glass cleaner

Directions:

Fill your spray bottle with equal amounts of white vinegar and water, replace the spray top, and shake to combine. (That really is all there is to it!)

glass cleaner

How It Works

In addition to containing just two all-natural and non-toxic ingredients, the beauty of this glass cleaner is how effective it is against hard water spots and mineral deposits. It’s perfect for cleaning glass surfaces that are frequently exposed to hard water, like glass shower enclosures and patio doors. To use it, just spray it onto spotty glass surfaces, let it sit for a few minutes to work its magic, then wipe clean.

Keep in mind that this vinegar-based solution doesn’t contain any fast-drying ingredients, so it won’t dry as quickly as the previous solution. After you spray and wipe the window, wipe it again with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to remove any remaining moisture and prevent streaks.

#3 – Outdoor Window Cleaner

glass cleaner

You’ll need:

  • 2 gallons warm water
  • 1/2 cup dishwasher rinse aid
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/4 cup ammonia
  • 1/4 cup dishwasher detergent
  • Bucket
  • Hose with a sprayer attachment
  • Long handled brush or mop
glass cleaner

Directions:

Prepare the window cleaning solution by adding the warm water, rinse aid, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and detergent to a bucket. Take the bucket outside along with a long handled cleaning brush, like a car wash mop or even a microfiber floor mop.

glass cleaner

Before you start cleaning, give the windows a good spray with the hose to remove any surface dirt or grime. Next, dip your brush into the cleaning solution and scrub the windows thoroughly.

glass cleaner

When you’re satisfied, spray windows thoroughly to rinse off the cleaning solution. Allow the glass to air dry, or use a squeegee to wipe off any remaining water, and continue around the house until all your windows are clean.

glass cleaner

How It Works

Thanks to a combination of standard window cleaning agents like alcohol and ammonia and a couple of surprising dishwashing agents, this homemade window cleaner transforms a somewhat arduous chore into a simple and satisfying process! Even the grimiest outdoor windows are left crystal clear, drying quickly without a trace of spots and streaks.

When I’ve used this solution in the past, my clean windows have dried so quickly that I didn’t even have to bother using a squeegee or paper towels (though that may be one of the rare perks of living in such a dry climate!)

glass cleaner

Tips For Streak Free Windows

  • Looking for the perfect streak free shine on your windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces? Make sure you do the following:
  • Work Top To Bottom. When cleaning windows, mirrors, shower doors, and other glass surfaces, always work from top to bottom to prevent drips and streaks from the top down.
  • Give It Time. Give your glass cleaners time to work by spraying them on, then waiting a few minutes before wiping dry with a lint free microfiber cloth.
  • Use A Clean Cloth. If your cloth isn’t totally clean (maybe your detergent didn’t get rinsed out all the way or you used fabric softener when you washed it), you’ll likely leave streaks behind. For this reason, you should avoid washing your cleaning cloths with anything that’s greasy or covered in stubborn residues. And skip the paper towels—they’re rarely lint free.
  • Clean Windows Early. If you’re planning to wash your windows, be sure to do it early in the morning. The higher the sun gets in the sky, the warmer the windows will get, making them next to impossible to get clean. No matter how good your window cleaner is, a warm window will end up streaky!

What is your favorite glass cleaner?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • This method for cleaning outside windows did not work for me. Lots of streaks. I also kind of freaked when I read the comment about theropane windows. I really hope I have not damaged them permanently.

  • I’ve seen many cleaning tips, do you have any tips on cleaning screens on an outdoor porch. We have lots of trees and pollen. I have to dust the furniture almost every day.

  • I Know I’m a bit late to the discussion but what do you all find is easiest for cleaning your window screens. Please, I’m open to any and all suggestions since they are now the big hassle.

  • I’ve been using the “Homemade Glass And Window Cleaner” since originally posted in 2016. I actually searched Google for “glass cleaner Jillee” so I can make another batch today. I lost the paper it was written on, and I needed to verify the amounts. This is by far the most amazing homemade cleaner I’ve ever used! I’ve even given people slips of paper with http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com “glass cleaner” to search themselves. Jillee should repost her windshield washer fluid recipe since that time of year is upon us. I haven’t bought either type of cleaners in years, and I never will.
    One of the things that I like about this cleaner is the ammonia. My Mom smoked in her home for years. Somehow, I realized this glass cleaner helps remove nicotine from all kinds of surfaces. Added bonus for me.

    One thing I’ve learned over the years… a friend used to own her own cleaning company. She loves this glass cleaner, as well, and told me if it is too streaky either the towel is too wet, or I need to add a little more alcohol. Neither piece of advice has steered me wrong.

    Thank you, Jillee for saving me money and sanity trying to get stuff clean.

  • Wow what a detailed article! Such great tips and tricks I’m sure many people never knew, thank you so much for the information. We are actually a carpet cleaning company
    ( https://www.vaughancarpetcleaners.ca/ ) and we work with a lot of window cleaning businesses. There are some tricks in here they told us about, so you definitely know this is professional advice! 

  • I followed the recipe exactly. I have 7 door walls on my three season room. My husband and I worked very hard unfortunately it did not work. The windows looked better before I washed them. I am going back to my sqeegee.

  • I have this bookmarked so I can go back to the recipe each time I want to wash the windows It works for me & I’ve scheduled this chore for this weekend. First I wash the siding, then the windows. I have a small, washable house.

  • Can you tell me the brand name or place where you bought your mop? The handle AND the mop head. I am having a hard time finding something similar. Most of what I see does not look as good as what you have here. Thanks for any info you can give me!

  • Sorry – don’t know why but this did not work for me. Followed recipe exactly except used drop of Dawn instead of the powdered detergent. There were terrible spots and splotches all over my windows. So happy it worked for everyone else!

    • This didn’t work for me either. I substituted vinegar for the ammonia which I am not supposed to use on my Windows because of a UV coating they have. Not sure what else I did wrong. I was so excited about trying this – then so disappointed.

    • Hi Michelle,

      I have a window cleaning company and can tell you why it didn’t work. A lot of it depends on your TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in your water. You can buy a TDS meter online to find out what your waters TDS is. Mine is 150 ppm and my folks house is around 50ppm. This means that when you hose down your windows with your hose, even if you use all those chemicals at first, the water you rinse with will cause your windows to spot up with high TDS. Even at 50 TDS it spots up but not as bad as mine at 150. There are other factors that could be causing it to spot up, but then this would be a huge message.

      In my opinion, the squeegee or a Water Fed Pole System is the way to go for a streak free cleaning without the use of harsh chemicals. Once you get them done professionally, you’ll notice a huge difference in quality. In these pictures above, I can tell the sun isn’t hitting the windows directly, looks to me it’s in low light, which makes the windows look clean but the challenge is how do they look when the sun hits the window. I’m sure it still looks better then before and will work for many people, but If you like spot free, streak free windows without harsh chemicals, call up your local window cleaning service and check them out.

      Good luck to all and if it works for you awesome, but if not try out your local window cleaning company.

      • So have I. Windex has a great spray that you attach to your hose, first it shoots out a sudsy solution, then you turn a knob for a plain water rinse, the water slides off and the outside of your windows are gleaming. Indoors, I use Windex and wipe dry with a 100% cotton rag, that is cut from an old 100% cotton sheet.

  • I tried this window washing formula over the holiday weekend and the results were crystal clear streak free windows! I did use the liquid dishwasher detergent and I didn’t have any issues. I also used a fresh bucket of cleaner after 3 or 4 windows as my windows were covered with pollen. Thanks Jillee for sharing! What a time saver.

  • It seems the more windows I washed that it started to leave some spots when the water droplets dried. Is that because the water from the wet window gradually diluted my washing solution, because I know I was picking up that water on my window mop. Also would this solution hurt plants that are planted below the window?

    • A large amount of cleaner definitely won’t be good for plants. The problem with droplets might be because of the weather – was it a hot, sunny day?

  • Hmmm, good news travels fast. I saw this last week and only this morning, while chatting in the Sam’s Club checkout line, a nice lady told me she had used it and had great success. After trying the VERY expensive Windex window washing kit, she reused the Windex gadgets but with this cleaning solution, at a fraction of the cost.

    My husband cringes when I talk to perfect strangers in public places. But, hey, you never know who knows what and I’ve learned all sorts of things. I repaid the nice lady in the checkout line by sharing the formula for clothing stain remover: two parts hydrogen peroxide, one part Blue Dawn. I even remembered to tell her to label any leftover solution. The hydrogen peroxide bleaches out the blue in the Blue Dawn, leaving you to puzzle over where on Earth your stain remover went to and where this mysterious clear liquid came from.

  • I absolutely hate using squeegees to clean windows and so I am so glad that I came across this post. However, I have never heard of someone using powdered dishwasher soap before to do the cleaning. Is there a reason why you use the powdered version instead of the liquid type?

    • I tried this yesterday, and it looks great! Like so many, I did not have exactly all the ingredients, but made due. I used dishwasher liquid soap in little pods, I just cut them open first. I did not have ammonia, but used half a bottle of
      Windex with ammonia. I was skeptical at first and actually squeegee the first window, but then resolved to give it a try. I have had professional window cleaners do my windows, and this is just as clean! Seriously.

    • Jet-Dry is a rinse aid! Rinse agents help your dishwasher rinse away residue that causes spots and film on dishes and glasses. It’s designed to lower the surface tension of the water, causing it to sheet off the dishes during the final rinse. :-)

  • Be careful if you have thermopane Windows. The ammonia adversely affects the gas in between the two layers of glass and could cause the seal to fail leaving you with clouded Windows that need to be replaced. This happened to me and the Anderson window representative told me to never use ammonia!

  • I had my windows cleaned professionally one year and they shared their secret which is very easy and only one ingredient with water. A couple squirts of dawn and warm water, about 2-4 Cups. Wash window down with a rag and squeegee a strip top to bottom of window. Using an old towel, wipe the squeegee after each swipe down the window. Not much elbow grease is needed. The squeegee does the “work”! Happy spring!

  • Jillee.. Help please. Used your recipe several times. Awesome. We live on the bay on the gulf coast of Florida and this has been terrific. However, My husband wanted to surprise me while I was away. Do all men think, if a little is good, more is better? He had your recipe printed up. Added too much dawn soap, he said, and frankly not sure what else. I ave terribly streaked Windows. Spent today scrubbing with a brush .. Helped some but, still pretty coated. Any suggestions.? Was thinking of using straight vinegar or proxide or maybe ammonia? I can actually feel the costing on the glass as I scrub. Omg, I do need help.. Please and thank you so much… Angela

    • My front glass door looked horrible and I used a microfiber cloth and straight vinegar on it. Looks like there isn’t any glass there at all now it’s so clean. I would probably start by power washing the Windows then going over it with vinegar and squeegee. I’m not a fan of all the chemicals in her recipe above.

      • I agree. Too many chemicals especially if you have plants or grass under your windows.

  • Sorry to say but it is sad that you are spraying all of those chemicals outside your home with the over-spray going into the soil and affecting beneficial insects.
    Please read what is in the Cascade, never mind the Jet dry!!!
    You can simply use a green friendly microfiber cloth with water only and get the same effect.
    Shiny and beautiful and chemical free.
    Please think of the environment …….we only have one planet to live on.

    • I was wondering the same thing. I doubt you would have problems if you used only a small amount of Dawn dish soap and water (as another person recommended). I also agree with the Dana Ashton (above your posting) who said the chemicals could most definitely harm the beneficial insects in the environment… which, if harmed, would eventually have a detrimental effect on your plants!

  • I tried this last summer when I found it on Pinterest. I even bought the same mop. I didn’t have wonderful results however although the whole procedure took very little time. I washed the glass panels of my deck. I’m going to try the Norwex cloths next. I’m always looking for easier ways to wash windows

  • Does anyone know how to clean the outside of your windows when you have screens that don’t appear to be removable?? The glass is so nasty on the outside!

    • Jet-Dry is a rinse aid! Rinse agents help your dishwasher rinse away residue that causes spots and film on dishes and glasses. It’s designed to lower the surface tension of the water, causing it to sheet off the dishes during the final rinse. :-)

  • Jill,yours is the only blog I follow,it’s GREAT,has sooooooooooo many tried and true tips,I love it and constantly forwarding to my FB friends and I print up so much good stuff,I keep a big folder full of the stuff I print from your blog and website,so thank you for having a wonderful blog to follow!!!!!

  • Looking forward to trying this. Question: Do you think I could substitute Oxiclean Powder for the powdered dishwasher detergent? I only use liquid and I hate to buy it for ~ 1/4 cup. Thanks. Very much enjoy your blog!

    • I’m going to try this too! I live in the woods in north Georgia, so lots of spider webs and pollen right now. And I don’t have a dishwasher. I’m heading to the Dollar Tree and buying some dishwasher soap. Then, it’s only a dollar and I won’t feel bad about throwing away the rest if I can’t find another use for it (or just save it for next time).

      • Hey Catherine,
        Thanks for responding. That was my thought too, to “hit” the dollar store. Buy way if I already have a product in my home. Hey Jilliee…..what are your thoughts?????

  • does anyone know if this is ok for plants? I have shrubs planted right under the windows so I’m worried that the runoff would harm them. Anyone tried it and know?

  • I love the linen spray and woke up to mote snow than we had all winter! So will add window cleaner to my evergrowing pile of lovely homemade products. PS: May I borrow your hubster? I will return him.

  • Jill, this doesn’t have anything to do with window washing, I just wanted to know about the window treatment that you use for your bay windows.

  • I have had this pinned for a very long time and finally got around to trying this method a couple of weeks ago. It was awesome! I live in FL and have very hard water. The pollen was horrendous this year, but we can see out of the house now-I didn’t realize how bad they were! :-( I’ve even told countless people about it, and I’ve sent the recipe on to many. It made my Spring Cleaning list a little less daunting! Thanks! Check your site everyday for the marvelous tips!

  • I was all excited about this went out and bought the microfiber thing and everything else needed to try this out. Did not work for my window and I do not have hard water. It left spots all over. I also broke the seal on my window, I must have hit the edge where the silicone is or something so now I have fog on the inside that will not go away. Epic fail for me. Hope it gets better for you :)

  • I think soft water is the clue here. If you are fortunate enough to have it, this recipe most likely works well.
    Those of us with hard water fight rust and other chemicals that are very hard to deal with. Thanks anyway. It was fun to know about.

  • Oh woe. I have just figured out what is wrong with my life and the scruggy looking windows are not the issue at all. I NEED A HUBSTER! that’s the ticket! Anyone know where to shop for hubsters? HELP!

  • […] Streak-Free Window Cleaner…No Wiping or Squeegeeing Required! […]

  • I’ve had this pinned for a while and just got around to trying it a couple of days ago. Followed the recipe to the letter and proceeded to clean our windows but after they dried, I was met with long white streaks even though I rinsed them really well. :-( Disappointed. Not sure what went wrong but now I have to go back and wash them all again with something else.

  • I tried the solution and found that it worked great but after rinsing I found that mineral from my hard water left spots on my windows. I don’t think the problem was with the solutions but the hard water rinsing.

  • I did recently try this recipe for my window cleaning and it did not work. It left a lot of streaking. I thought maybe they were just too dirty in the first place and cleaned them again with the same results. Had to go over them a third time with a squeegee.

  • I tried this yesterday using just the Jet Dry (4 oz.) 1 TBSP of Dawn dish soap, and a gallon of water. It worked. No need for all of that ammonia, alcohol etc. It’s the Jet Dry that does the sheeting action. I used the Dawn just to get the dirt off. No chalky spots anywhere. Make sure you hose the window off first, wash well and rinse well. Don’t clean your windows in direct sunlight. Do it on a cloudy or overcast day.

  • The dirty window you pictured could have been mine. I want to wash them if the dang weather would behave. Anywho…Thanks for the recipe. It will come in handy soon…I hope.

  • I washed my windows the other day and they looked pretty good, until the sun hit them. Initially I thought that I didn’t rinse them enough. So I re-rinsed them. They dried again with a haze. Any suggestions?

  • I used this on my windows, and when I say “I don’t do windows” I mean it. But this is so perfect I guess I will do windows. My mom wants me to do her’s now. THANKS for that. I also tried it on my Harley. Now I’m kind of a nut about my bike, but I gave it a shot. I rinsed the bike good, washed it with a soft cloth, and then I bler most of the water off with the leaf blower, as I always do and it came out great. Had a couple spots that I ran a dry cloth over, but it came out great for a quick was. (Like I said, I’m a bit do a nut about my bike). The only thing I would say about using it on the bike is that I am concerned about the drying effect of the alacahol, so I won’t use it every time I wash the bike, but it looked so good and was only have the time and work. Thank you for posting.

  • Where do you live? This is probably working because you have a low tds reading in your area. Which means your water is so clean you could use anything and rinse it and it will dry clean.

  • Read thru most of the comments, but not all. Has anyone made this in a smaller quantity where you can use it in a spray bottle and keep it for awhile? Thanks in advance for ANY help with this!!

  • This is a really handy tip and looks at though it will work well. I’ve got a huge area of outdoor windows to tackle this weekend and this tip will make it a cinch! Thank you for sharing this.

  • What brand of pole and microfiber mitt? We are having trouble finding one we like. Yours looks very sturdy. I used it and squeegeed since we have hard water.

    Used it inside as well and by accident found it washes our professional grade ceramic tile which has grimed up from day one–had forgotten what the original tile color was ;) Am trying it out on the whole house now.

    • I bought a microfiber “mitt” at the dollar store and stuck it on the end of my Swiffer. I also used a sponge mop. Both worked equally well.

  • […] year, and I couldn’t find that great deal again.  A few weeks ago, my sister-in-law pinned this recipe for window cleaner.  I had most of the items, so I picked up the remaining ones and got to work! […]

  • Sorry gang, this formula does not work if you have really hard water. I still had dried water spots so I had to squeegee. Best formula if you have to squeegee is just 1 cup of ammonia and two drops of Dawn in 2 gallons of water.

  • Any idea how to do this for 2nd story windows? There is much less of a chance of getting this done if the ‘big ladder’ has to be pulled out because I would need my husbands help…. Thanks for the recipe!

  • when I read the ingredients in this window washing recipe…everything about it made sense. the ammonia which my Grandmother and Mother only used because of its grease cutting. The rinse aid and dish soap as the main purpose of a dish machine is to clean and not leave streaks and as there is not a tiny fairy in your machine with a dish cloth…..it also has to dry. Not sure the purpose of the alcohol but its certainly cheap enough so I put in the 4T.
    I have the exact same window set up in the front as you. all my other windows are easy peasy. The picture window is unreachable because of shrubs. I just washed it and its streak free and dry. Perfect except for the dog nose prints inside but thats easily taken care of.
    Lowes just brought in a shipment of poles with a squeegee and sponge/terry attachment included for $13 I believe. I refused to use the squeegee as I wanted to test the recipe. PERFECT

  • Our home has HIGH windows, and we used to be able to have a guy wash them. He used Dawn-a few drops in hot water. Did a beautiful job. i am thinking the rainex would be great with that. Our painter ( very good pro) said never rinse off any kind of cleaning solution from windows down over the paint. It is bad for it.
    Sorry. Maybe if you have metal siding you would be ok.

  • I have just washed the front, side, and porch windows. Wow, how fast and easy. Had suds in the bucket, so scrubbed the patio. Love it! Now, for the inside!!

  • How do the plants underneath the windows fare? I have some gardens right against my house and that ammonia especially makes me nervous. Any casualties?

  • Just tried this today on 30 windows. Worked really, really well – not a streak detected, windows noticeably shinier from the outside. We have well water, by the way.

    Would like to find a substitue for Jet Dry. Anyone tried something else?

  • Windows turned out perfectly clean, streak free, but water spotted. That was a little disappointing. Was wondering if I rinsed too much of the rinse aid off or if perhaps next time I should add more. Some of the windows were too high to wipe and that seems to defeat the idea of not having to wipe the windows. Any suggestions?

  • Here in GA we all swear by Jerry Baker:
    http://www.jerrybaker.net/Garden/Information/TipsAndTonics.aspx
    He is the goto guru for homemade tonics for gardens. Below is one of his Tonics for Greening up your lawns that was listed on his site. I can’t imagine the above recipe will harm plants.

    All-Season Green-Up Tonic

    1 can of beer, (ALCOHOL?)
    1 cup of ammonia,(SAME STUFF)
    1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid,(SAME STUFF)
    1/2 cup of liquid lawn food, and
    1/2 cup molasses or corn syrup

    Mix all of the ingredients in a bucket, and pour into your 20 gallon hose-end sprayer. Apply to everything in your yard to the point or run-off every 3 weeks, in the morning, throughout the growing season.

    And as for Jet dry: check this out:
    http://thethriftycouple.com/2013/04/01/homemade-natural-jet-dry-rinse-agent-2-ingredients-5-minutes-and-30-per-bottle/

    Homemade Natural Jet Dry (Rinse Agent) and Only .30 Per Bottle
    5.0 from 3 reviews
    Print
    Recipe type: Homemade Cleaning Product Author: Cassie from The Thrifty Couple Prep time: 5 mins Total time: 5 mins
    Here’s the perfect partner to our homemade natural dishwasher detergent – a natural and effective rinse agent!
    Ingredients
    1 cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
    10-15 drops of lemon or lavender essential oil (or one of the other 5 from our hot cleaning essential oils list)
    Instructions
    Measure 1 cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
    Add your 10-15 drops of Essential Oil
    Pour into your rinse agent compartment in your dishwasher (about every 30 days)
    Notes

    If you have any left over, I usually use it to clean my sinks and other spots in the kitchen. Fill-up your sink with some hot soapy water (not very much as you don’t want it diluted a whole lot), maybe about 1″ deep. Then pour your remaining Jet Dry mixture into the sink. Let it soak for a few minutes and then use a rag and shine up your sink, oven, microwave, counter tops, etc.

    ****************************
    And Jerry uses H2O2 or hydrogen peroxide for plants also:
    Preemergent Weed Control Tonic: 1 cup of dishwashing liquid, 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, and 2 tbsp. of instant tea granules in a 20 gallon hose-end sprayer, filling the balance of the sprayer jar with water.

  • Well, I used it and some of my windows I cannot reach to use the squeegee thing. But they still are shiny and looking as good as they ever did with the more expensive stuff. Thank you for this. It makes perfect sense to use the stuff this way

  • Just tried this window cleaner. Did a terrible job, many streaks, wide ones, although I made sure to rinse thoroughly both before and after using this solution. We had to redo all of the windows with what we’ve always used. . .vinegar, water and newspaper.

  • This is AWESOME! Used it yesterday and it worked great! Every bit as well as the expensive commercial version, with the cheap pads that refuse to stay on the mop. However, I’m wondering if you could substitute liquid d/w detergent as opposed to plowdered? I had quite a few spots as the bucket emptied and believe the mop head was picking up the dry granules that had not completely dissolved. That being said, all I did this am was wet an wring out a microfiber cloth and wiped them down. It took less than 10 min and we have a LOT to windows. Thanks for making my life a whole lot easier. :)

  • Great idea! I would be careful using this recipe on windows where you have plants in flower beds you love under the window you intend to clean. Not a plant friendly list of ingredients! Just an FYI!

  • We just did this and it worked ok but not perfect. Next time, I think I would have two buckets: one with the soaps and water; and one with the Jet Dry rinse-aid and water in the second bucket. After cleaning the window and rinsing it with the cleaning bucket (#1), then I would do it one final time with the bucket with rinse aid (bucket #2) and then rinse again. I think that would make for a cleaner rinse and make the most of the Jet-Dry.

  • Jill, thank you so much for this window washing tip. Our house has floor to ceiling windows that measure 7’5″ tall x 3’5″ wide and ther are 30 windows, so I’m sure you can understand that cleaning those puppies is quite a task. I’m definitely going to give your method a try and see how it works. Would this same cleaning solution work on the inside as well? Or would I have to do some kind of a tweaking to it?

    Thanks again so much in advance for your help.

  • Has anyone tried using this formula with a pressure washer? Just wondering if it could be used instead of the normal cleaning solution for pressure washers. Nice job with the blog, as usual.

  • I used this recipe today when I cleaned my windows. Was super easy, fast, and just like you said. I am so pleased with this. I have the most beautifully clean windows, thank you so much!!!

  • You have single-handedly changed how the world washes everything more economically and efficiently and with fewer chemical! I’m awestruck by the power one woman can have. But the real achievement…Tah Dah…getting your husband to wash the windows. Could you please give us that secret formula!

  • I was very excited to try this but the results were not exciting. I had streaky windows. I used liquid detergent instead of powdered. Can’t imagine that would matter but maybe it does. Will try again.

  • This sounds great for really dirty windows. I use car windshield wiper fluid in a spray bottle. Works really great inside and out. No streaking and you can buy about a gallon on sale for a little more than a dollar. No streaks, great shine, just spray on outside windows and hose off, or wipe down windows inside.

  • Sounds great might have to try this when it warms up.Will this hurt plants that might be planted under your windows? Husband might be upset after spending all this money on plants then have them die from a “home” cleaner.

  • This did not work for me. I followed the instructions to a T and it left a film on my windows. Very disappointing since I made the hubby run to the store for the alcohol.

  • […] for too long and I want to see the sun shining in my windows though sparkling glass Check out this link to a great streak-free recipe that I am going to try this week from One Good Thing by Jillee. Get a squeegee for this. You know, those things that easily wipe all the stuff from the windows […]

  • I love the idea of this. But I cringe at the idea of all those chemicals running off into the yard, garden, groundwater, etc. I wonder if there’s a way to get a similar effect with more eco-friendly ingredients?

    *wheels turning*

    It looks completely amazing!

  • Did this solution burn your lawn or plants that are underneath the windows? I am interested in trying it (when the weather turns a corner) but I’m worried about the solution burning the leaves on plants. Just curious. :)

    • Pat I’ll be honest, I literally know nothing about solar panels so I’m really not sure. Maybe try googling how to clean solar panels to see if any of the ingredients here would be harmful to them.

  • Did this yesterday and it worked perfectly!!! We can’t stop commenting on how beautifully clean the windows are and how easy and quick it was to do. The only change we made was subbing 1/4 cup white vinegar for the ammonia. Thanks for posting this and making a dreadful chore actually fun!

  • I sometimes come accross your blogs somtimes, and I take the time to read :-) First off, for any of the single women .. Ill be happy to be your husband and clean your windows for you :-) hehe.. Anyway, I own a window cleaning company here in NC .. And some of the cities have really bad hard water, in some cases using the squeege is really the only other option. I have one or twice used this type method for consumers who dont want to pay full price for our service, mainly when it comes to windows with grids on the outside of the glass, rather than using a small squeegee on every little window pane I have done this, or something close anyway..
    I saw where some where asking a few questions , so actually thought I would post a response, just for the hard water spots and dirty water left after drying. First if you are going to use the Jet Dry, its better to actually use in the rinse not in the solution you are actually washing the windows with.. bc all your doing is using hard water to rinse off the jet dry as well. Use a soap container or somthing like this that you can replace with water and Jet Dry and attach it to your hose.. Or and this is what I have done… Get one of those pest control sprayers that you hand pump pressure into, and mix distilled water and Jet Dry in with that into the sprayer, These sprayers will actually spray a stream of water up to 20 feet or more.. and the sprayer only cost about 8 bucks from Home Depo or Walmart or something.
    Someone mentioned “I cant remember who” that they had hard water stains or spots already on there windows, and was wondering if they needed to just replace the windows.. The awnser is NO, dont do that lol… These are actually pretty simple to get out , again from a lowes or home Depo, There are products for removing this.. But for complete results for something like this you need to use a polish just for this that all of us professional window cleaners use, you will find it in the window cleaning section in these store I mentioned for about $5 .. I use Ettore Hard Water Stain Remover, for me its been the best, where even a razor scraper wouldnt get things off.. one last thing and Ill leave you guys be :-) .. But if you rinse your windows with hard water and leave it there, after months and years of sun and weather, these stains become etched into the glass, and with out these hard water removers it wont come out… Left even longer and it will deform your glass.. Ok I think I am done .. I dont normally post things so this was kinda fun, and Jill your stuff is great ;-) love looking in on your site from time to time.

  • i didn’t think we were supposed to use ammonia on our low e windows. i have tried everything to get rid of hard water spots on our windows but nothing works. new windows maybe.

    • Hmmmm….I’m not quite sure. To be honest I would probably not worry about washing the outside of my windows if I lived on the 24th floor. I’d say the only way you’d be able to do it is if you could somehow take the glass out of your window.

  • I plan to use this now that I have read what I can replace for ‘jet dry’ but where alcohol is concerned I oresume you mean rubbing alcohol but can I substitute any white alcohol for it i.e. vodka?…..I know that’s a bit over the top but my wondows need a good clean.

  • Do you have any other method of washing the outside windows, these are supplies that I normally don’t have and find it funny to purchase dishwasher soap and get dry when I make my own, however would love a streak free without having to whip down my windows.

    • I just used this recipe but left out the dishwasher soap since I don’t even have a dishwasher. I did by an off brand of jet dry just for this recipe. I suspect it is the key ingredient for the streak free rinsing.
      It worked beautifully, I did find on key was to be sure to rinse well. The first couple of windows I did have a few spots, but I suspect I simply didn’t rinse well enough.
      The poor birds have been flying into my windows for a few days now since they are so clean!

  • I just got done trying this and it did NOT work. Streaks & water spots everywhere so of course I had to redo by hand. If it sound too good to be true it usually is!!!!!!

  • We have wall to wall, floor to ceiling windows on two floors of our ranch walk-out. I am only 5’1″, so scrubbing these windows is normally quite the chore! I made this recipe today, but didn’t have powdered detergent . All I did was replace the commercial dish det with a homemade recipe I found: 2T Borax + 2T baking soda. It worked like a charm! We had so much fun cleaning, the kids actually took over! A million thanks! This one’s a keeper!

  • I forgot to add…as I’m always writing ‘recipes’ down, using them and then losing them I decided I wanted to keep this one safe. I wrote it down, put in it a zip lock bag and taped it to the gallon jug I’ve stored this magic formula in. A safe place I’d say.

    CHEERS, CC

    • I have found out that I just write all these cleanings formulas in a little sprial notebook by my computer drawer. Then I never loose them … And they are close at hand…..

  • Can not tell you how thrilled I am with your recipe for clean/sparkling windows. Yesterday I broke down, mixed it up and got down to business.

    We have 3 large windows in our tiny home. Living room, kitchen and dining area…oh and a small one in the bathroom. I decided if that stuff cleans the outside so well I’d used it on the inside as well. I protected the sills with rags, sprayed on water, sprayed on you magic formula, scrubbed, sprayed on water and wiped dry with my $.99 store coffee filters….SUCCESS!!!!

    This morning, over coffee, we saw 3 birds fly into the living room window (thankfully only dazed), now that is a sign of crystal clear windows.

    CHEERS, CC

  • I tried this myself today and cleaned all the outside windows of my house including some high bay windows. I am extremely happy with the result and my windows are sparkling. Way to go on this recipe! I have to admit that my neighbor just cleaned his windows two weeks ago and it took him two whole days. I did it in approx 3 hours. Thanks for the advice!

  • Wow! I can’t wait to try this. I have almost forty windows and it’s a two story house (three on the back), so I guess I can wait. But your post looks inspiring. I found you on Pinterest.

  • Ammonia isn’t really something some of us try having in our homes; especially with children around. (Cause let’s face it… you could padlock rooms and they’d still figure things out lol) We just use warm water and vinegar for our windows and it works fine.

  • Tried this and loved it! Shared with the extended family (in time for spring “after the storms” cleaning)… now if I could just an easy way to get red clay dirt stains out of things ….

  • Hi Jillee!

    I just read aloud and “showed” my husband this post. We’re impressed and going to try this concoction this weekend. WhoooHooo! Whoever would have believed we’d be excited about cleaning windows!

    I have a question though. Can I pour this same solution into spray bottles and use on my interior windows, as well? If so, I was thinking I could use a squeegee to clean them.

    I am sooo addicted to your blog! I have made your homemade laundry detergent, homemade fabric softener and this weekend will try this window cleaner…… oh and the (no-rotisserie) rotisserie chicken, too!

    Happy weekend to you and your family!

  • Just tried this. We live in Arizona where the windows are very dirty from blowing dust and dirt and the water is very hard. The water did not all sheet off, so I just gave the windows a quick wipe with a microfiber cloth and they are great looking. Not perfect, but then I don’t require perfect. Must easier that other methods I have tried.

  • Just have to tell you….THIS IS ANOTHER WINNER!!
    Used this tonight…after work…and my windows, doors, shutters loof FAB! Have about 40+ family coming for Mother’s Day and this certainly sped up outdoor prep for the event! Love your blog, your ‘Good Things’ and your witness! Keep it Up!
    Thanks for all you do!!!

  • Part of the reason I’m trying homemade cleaners is to go green for myself and the environment. This recipe has too many chemicals for me. I’d love to know the best non-ammonia, non-toxic window cleaner. There are so many variations out there and I wonder which one I should try. Suggestions welcome!

  • […] include it here because I only use it occasionally (thank goodness).  Same thing with the STREAK-FREE WINDOW CLEANER.  LOVE it!   Just don’t use it […]

  • Jillee,

    This worked MARVELOUSLY! Not even any “muscle power” needed (I did it myself!) but then again, maybe my windows weren’t as dirty as I thought ;-)

    Regardless, I am looking through crystal clean windows, and I’d like to thank you! You’re the best!

  • I would mix this outside and DoN’t breath the fumes: dishwasher soap has chlorine bleach in it and remember what happens when you mix ammonia and chlorox? Very TOXIC chlorine gas which will damage your lungs. Be careful!!

  • I read in an article on the internet that Jet Dry is really only acids. Ammonia is an alkali. Alkali react with acid to form a salt and water. So using both in this recipe is pointless. I think the salt that results can produce white spots on the glass. I am going to try some vinegar (acid) and skip the ammonia.

  • I used this today and it worked pretty well. I did have water spots after the windows dried. It took a little Windex and they were gone. Overall, I think it worked pretty well!

  • Love this idea. I’m wondering if anyone has figured out how to do this indoors. Perhaps soak a rag in the solution, wipe on and then wipe off with a wet (water only) rag?

  • Wonder if I can improve on an already good thing? I have an amazing hose attachment that has a wand with a brush at the end and a reservoir for car wash soap. What’s your opinion on using all the ingredients minus the water and using it on the outside of my windows?

  • Thanks for the recipe – I did try it today but had some really fine water spots. I quick wipe with some window cleaning took it right off and the windows are sparkling! I did use water that went through the water softener so I can’t blame it on hard water. Maybe I needed more jet dry?

    • ok this is just a question mainly, isn’t water softened with salt, could the spots be residue from that?? I do not have a water softener but my boss used to bring us in water to drink (anyway long story) and it always tasted salty to me

      • I just found this post through Jillee’s ‘good thing’ for July 20th regarding windows. Windows seem to be my nemesis. Always glad to have new ideas (thanks for doing the legwork, Jillee! You’re awesome) Nicole, we have naturally soft well water and it is just at the upper limit of acceptable sodium content. Yes, soft water is softened with salt, whether naturally or manually. I am challenged when it comes to washing windows because of the salt in our water. I was just pondering how I could use this formula and have it work despite rinsing with our softened water. Will take some experimentation. Maybe one of those fertilizer distribution thingies that you attach to your garden hose with a little rinse aid added to the canister.

  • I was wondering if the windows will still self dry and be shiny if we are using hard well water (we have a water softner for the inside water). I drive a school bus and asked my hubby to clean the buggy mess off my windshield. Well…… he cleaned it ok, but rinsed it with the hose water and did NOT squeegy it. Good intentions but it was worse than before with white water spots all over. LOL If this works, not only will my house windows sparkle, but I will have the shiniest bus in the lot. LOL

    • I’m going to say no. We don’t have a well but we do have extremely hard water and this recipe/method does NOT dry streak-free here. I’ve tried it 3 times, same result each time. Major bummer!

  • Not sure if this will help but, I always wash the inside of my windows with about a quart of hot water in a bucket with a splash of ammonia and a few drops of dish soap. I use a rag for scrubbing and then dry with microfiber rags or paper towels.
    What I like about this is that I can clean the frames and ledges at the same time.

  • Thanks so much, Jillee! This looks great and I can’t wait to try it. I have been following you for a few weeks and LOVE your posts! Keep up the great work <3 your tips…

  • I’m wondering how this affects the flowerbeds directly beneath the windows. Are the products used (in the runoff) harmful to flowers and plants?

    • Ammonia is a natural bi-product of the decomposition of protein – it won’t hurt your garden
      Vinegar is made from decomposition of fruit – it won’t hurt your garden
      Dish Soap – can have phosphates and other similar chemicals.
      Try not to use so much that you have a great deal of “run off” down the house until you rinse. The worse any of these should do is mildly change the PH in the area directly below the application. Should not harm or poison any ground or plant.
      Jet-Dri – that is an unknown
      “JET-DRY® products are a special combination of nonionic surfactants, a chelating agent, dye, and fragrance* (*for our fragranced products). On a more detailed note, they are kosher and don’t contain phosphate.
      How it works: Rinse agents help your dishwasher rinse away residue that causes spots and film on dishes and glasses. Rinse agents for automatic dishwashers, such as JET-DRY® Rinse Agent, are designed to lower the surface tension of the water, causing it to sheet off the dishes during the final rinse. This prevents the formation of droplets of water that can remain on the surface of the dishes and are ‘set’ by the heat of the drying cycle, forming spots and film. Rinse agents are also helpful in obtaining dry dishware when dishwasher energy savings switches are activated, or when dishes are left to air dry.* *Source: The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA), visit: http://www.cleaning101.com. (http://www.jetdry.com/whatis.shtml)”

  • You have no idea how MUCH I love your posts, English is not my native language, but I am always waiting to read what’s next from You. Thankssssssss for all the tips! ( I made my laundry detergent, And I am loving it.)

  • I was wondering what you could substitute for the dishwasher soap as I don’t have a dishwasher.

    Can’t wait to try this out. Wonder if I can get my son to help?

    • Tellina I don’t have a dishwasher either. I just went to our local $1 store and got a cheap box of the powdered dishwashing soap. Worked perfectly for me…GOOD LUCK

    • I have made this and cleaned the outside windows…perfectly!!!! Then I’ve poured a small amount in a spray bottle and diluted it with water to do the inside of the windows…then I just took a wet/dampened cloth and polished the window then dried with a soft cloth…perfect again!!!!!

  • What pray tell, for the benefit of your ‘over the pond’ friends, is Jet Dry? As I don’t have a dishwasher, perhaps I’ve just led a sheltered life….

  • Wow, now that is graphic! What an easy way to clean windows. Ours really need it, and we will try this for sure. Thanks for the help you always give us.

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