Two Easy Homemade Alternatives If You Don’t Have Glass Cleaner

updated Apr 6, 2020
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Picture this: Inspired by the window-cleaning marathon you completed while getting a jump start on spring cleaning, you’re cleaning all the glass in your house. You’ve done all the doors, the glass that protects every photo that’s hung on the wall or displayed on a bookshelf, and the mirrored tray on your oversized tufted ottoman. In your zeal, you’ve finished a spray bottle of glass cleaner. You want to finish this glass-cleaning bonanza so you go to grab another bottle, but you’re out. Completely out. And you can’t get to the store.

Or picture this: The cleaning kit you’ve tucked into the closet is overflowing. You know people keep glass cleaner under their bathroom sinks but your bathroom has a pedestal sink every inch of your room is maxed out with other storage needs. You’re frustrated with the amount of space your complicated cleaning tools and products take up and you long to simplify down to multi-tasking essentials. You know it will also save you money to stop buying specialty cleaners that are made specifically for one task. But you’re picky about your glass cleaners (you want them to make your glass flawless). What do you do?

In both scenarios, the answer lies in concocting a DIY glass cleaner from items you most likely already have on hand. Here are my two tried-and-true favorites.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: Apartment Therapy

DIY Glass Cleaner #1: Alvin Corn

I love Alvin Corn. It’s kinda weird but completely awesome. It contains ingredients that are in your pantry or medicine cabinet and it comes together in minutes and costs just pennies.

To make your own, mix the following in a spray bottle:

  • ¼ cup rubbing alcohol
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups warm water

Each time you use the spray, shake it up to redistribute the cornstarch. The alcohol causes the solution to evaporate quickly for a streak-free shine, the vinegar cuts through hairspray and other dirt, and the cornstarch is the magical unicorn dust that gives glass an absolutely crystalline shine.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: Apartment Therapy

DIY Glass Cleaner #2: Half and Half Vinegar and Water, With a Tiny Bit of Dish Soap

When a couple of professional cleaners came to clean my family’s new home addition from construction dust a few months ago, they told me that the main cleaner they use (for all surfaces) is a simple mixture of household staples:

  • One part white vinegar
  • One part water
  • A few drops of dish soap

I’ve found this to be an excellent glass cleaner with a few tips:

  • Spray the cleaner onto a microfiber cloth, not on your surface. Using too much, like what might happen if you spray it directly on your glass, can create streaks and smears.
  • Using a microfiber cloth is key. It prevents lint from getting left behind and it buffs windows dry to a gleaming finish.

Either of these DIY cleaner recipes is great to use in a pinch, or as your regular household glass cleaner.