Homeowners know how irritating it is to have dust, dirt and grease stuck on glass surfaces. That doesn’t include bacteria and fungi growing in places that haven’t been cleaned for a while. So, make it a point to clean glass surfaces regularly, especially if you (or a family member) are prone to dust allergies. Even if you’re not, keeping your window panes, mirrors and shower enclosures clean can help prevent illness, allergies and asthma.
But, as simple as it may sound, achieving streak-free results isn’t easy.
Sometimes, even the best over-the-counter cleaning products fail to perform. Commercial glass cleaners often contain ammonia and other chemicals that are harmful for both your skin and the environment.
Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to prepare your own glass cleaner while saving your skin, health, money and the environment.
5 Ways to Make Your Own Glass Cleaner
Here are some effective no-streak homemade glass cleaners you might want to try.
1. Vinegar and Essential Oil
● 1 glass spray bottle
● 2 cups of distilled or filtered water
● 2 tablespoons of vinegar
● 10-12 drops of essential oil (lemon or the scent of your choice)
Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle and use as required. Use a microfiber cloth for squeaky clean results.
Vinegar has no harsh chemicals or fumes and effectively removes dirt and fingerprints. Essential oil helps reduce the strong odour of vinegar.
If you’ve been using commercial glass cleaners, pour a few drops of liquid dish soap into some of this mixture to remove the detergent residue on the glass surface. Then, clean as usual using the rest of the solution.
2. Vinegar and Alcohol
● 1 cup rubbing alcohol
● 1 cup water
● 1 tablespoon vinegar
Mix all the ingredients, pour them into a spray bottle (preferably glass), and clean as usual. Always store this solution in a cool place, away from any source of heat because the alcohol can make it combustible. Clean using newspapers instead of rags or paper towels to get streak-free window panes and shower enclosures.
Warning: Always use a new container to store cleaning solutions instead of reusing old cleaner bottles. Alcohol and vinegar are both solvents that will react with any trace of chemicals in an old cleaner bottle. With a new container, you don’t have to worry about such harmful reactions. Keep all glass cleaners out of reach of children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion.
3. Rubbing Alcohol and Dish Soap
● ½ cup rubbing alcohol
● 2 squirts of dish soap (without phosphorus)
● 1 gallon of warm water
Combine all ingredients in a large container and pour a portion of it in a spray bottle. Save the rest for future use. Before you use the solution on glass, wipe it clean using a clean cotton cloth. After spraying the solution, wipe it away quickly with a newspaper to avoid streaking.
Keep cleaning products separate from cooking ingredients and label the contents of the bottle with big letters. This will avoid confusing rubbing alcohol with drinking alcohol or mistakenly using the cleaning solution in a recipe.
4. Rubbing Alcohol, Cornstarch and Essential Oil
● 1 cup hot water
● 1 cup rubbing alcohol
● 4 tbsp. cornstarch
● 40 drops lemon essential oil
● 20 drops orange essential oil
You’ll also need a few supplies like a 17 oz. spray bottle, a measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring, and a whisk.
Pour water into the measuring cup and add rubbing alcohol. Now add cornstarch to the mixture and combine well using the whisk. Finally, add the essential oils to the solution and stir again. Pour it into a spray bottle and clean.
Make sure you shake the bottle well before every use. Since the solution contains cornstarch, it may thicken up and clog the nozzle of the spray bottle. Shaking will prevent the cornstarch from forming lumps and make cleaning a breeze. Tip 2: After spraying this solution on the glass surface, rub it until the liquid is entirely gone. Not doing so will leave a cornstarch film that won’t be easy to remove.
5. Citrus and Vinegar
● A few citrus peels (of your choice)
● 1 cup of vinegar
● 1 cup of water
Soak the citrus peels in vinegar, preferably for a few weeks before preparing the solution. Strain the mixture and mix one cup of this liquid with one cup of water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and it’s ready to use. When you use this cleaner on your custom shower door, it not only provides you with a streak-free glass surface but adds fresh fragrance to your bathroom.
Water-based cleaning solutions (without preservatives) must be used quickly because they run the risk of growing bacteria. Prepare and use them fresh for the best cleaning results.
Additional Tips to Clean Glass Surfaces
1. Clean on a Cloudy Day
Cloudy days are better to clean your window panes on than sunny days because the sun can quickly dry the cleaning solution, leaving behind dirt and stains. On a cloudy day the solution won’t evaporate quickly and you’ll get better cleaning without much effort.
2. Use Distilled Water
When preparing your own cleaning solution, always use distilled water. Tap water contains impurities that can leave behind stubborn marks.
3. Work from Top to Bottom
Since glass cleaners are mostly liquid, they can drip. If you start from the bottom, you may have to clean the glass again to remove said drips. So, it’s better to start from the top and gradually move down. This process will not only save you time but also provide you with perfectly clear surfaces.
4. Use an Old T-Shirt
Since they don’t have any lint residue, old T-shirts are absorbent enough to give streak-free cleaning. Moreover, they’re a more eco-friendly option than paper towels and save you money on house maintenance costs.
Cleaning window panes and other glass surfaces is essential. It not only provides you with a clean and germ-free environment but also makes your home more aesthetically pleasing. You can hire professional cleaners, but that can be costly. Prepare one or more of these glass cleaning solutions and see the results for yourself.