The Best Window Cleaner ever.
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I’m happy to be sharing The Best Homemade Window Cleaner with you. It has won us over. After years of filmy residue, we can see clearly now. The film is gone.
For years and years, we battled trying to get the exterior of our windows clean. They just never looked crystal clear. A filmy residue and often chalky streaks would remain once the windows dried. We tried a variety of window cleaners from homemade to store bought concoctions, as well as using newspaper instead of paper towels with not much success.
That all changed when we learned about the best exterior window cleaner ever.
We had been working on updating a bathroom and ordered some new mirrors. While the glass guys were here installing the mirror, my husband, Randy, got to chatting with them, as he usually does, about how their business was going. During their conversation he happened to ask them what they use for cleaning glass. Did they have any professional tips or tricks? Yes, they did!
They shared a simple recipe for what they have found to work. They swore by it. We had already tried just using a simple combination of vinegar and water, but they learned a trick from a commercial window cleaner: add a little dish detergent to the vinegar/water mixture. Really? That simple? It was new to us, and it sounded much too easy.
So we tried it (or should I say Randy tried it) right away. Randy set out just to test a few windows and the next thing I knew he had worked all the way around the house, and was already working on some of the upstairs windows as well. There was an immediate difference, and so much easier than what we had tried in the past.
It was so bright inside we had to wear shades. I crack myself up.
The mixture below, is super simple and used with a soft bristle brush and hose. That’s it. No more piles of used paper towels, no ladders, just clarity. I’m planning on trying the same mixture on all kinds of things outside that need de-grungifying.
Keeping the shades on. The future is definitely gonna be brighter around here, y’all. Happy cleaning!
How to Make The Best Window Cleaner
The Best Window Cleaner
This simple mixture will help wash exterior windows to a sparkly clean.
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dish detergent
- scrub brush
- optional extension pole
- water hose
- optional sprayer attachment
- Combine water, white vinegar and dish detergent in a bucket. Increase amounts as needed.
- Using a soft bristle scrub brush on an extension pole handle thingy, dip the brush in a bucket of the solution, and scrub it on the window.
- Before it has a chance to dry, spray/rinse it off with clean water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. A hose fitted with a sprayer attachment is helpful.
The solution could be made and used in a spray bottle, but we found working on lots of windows, the bucket and scrub brush worked great.
To avoid the need for a ladder (because ladders are the most dangerous tool in the box) Randy used an all-purpose extension pole with a threaded end that enables you to attach different brushes, rollers, etcetera. (Similar to this one.)
Use a soft bristle scrub brush. A sponge mop may also work.
This definitely works for outside windows, where you can safely rinse with water. I have yet to try it indoors, but if you do, make sure you can rinse with plenty of water. Perhaps one spray bottle of solution, and a separate spray bottle of clean water?
Again, be sure to rinse thoroughly, and before the solution has a chance to dry on window. It’s helpful to avoid windows directly in the sun, so they are not hot and don’t as quickly.
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And that is the basic blue dawn. Not the other types. If you over pour the dawn it will get too thick and streak the windows just like the others.
you are using more soap than needed , for 99% of windows no rinse is needed. clean squeegee action puts all the dirty water down. wipe bottom if neede.
I have seen formulas like this one & the one I use is 1 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup white vinegar & 2-3 drops dishwashing liquid. I use it on mirrors & glass, inside & out. I do use it on car windows but am careful when I spray. It also makes a great stainless steel cleaner, which I use on my bathroom & kitchen fixtures. It keeps them sparkling new!
I used this today and it left spots on the bottom part of the windows.
oops, I forgot: use the cascade in the final rinse water with a bottle attached to the hose. Spray well and let it drip dry. There should be no water spots.
How does this method work in a hard water locale, vs soft water?
With hard water you want to make sure to hand dry the windows instead of letting it air dry, the minerals in the water residue will show up. If you use the commercial windes spray, this is nothing to worry about.
I love the content on your site.
The dish detergent with vinegar technique is something we can suggest to our clients for at home cleaning.
Thank you so much for the recommendation and insight!
You have solved one of the main problems in my house. Thanks for this article.
I have used this for eons and swear by it.
To my 16.9 oz spray bottle, I add 3 T ammonia and 1 T white vinegar. To avoid foaming, slowly add water. Swirl to mix and ready to use. I have 2 soft rags I use to clean my windows/mirrors. One to wipe off spray and the 2nd to dry. No streaks…crystal clean. Good luck!
The couple I bought my house from left some ammonia behind so I’m trying out the ammonia/vinegar mix & the first ‘test’ window is definitely spotless. I made a half-bottle as a tester & will keep on w/ this. Thanks for sharing!
We tell people all the time that they do not need to purchase the most expensive and supposedly industry leading window cleaner out there on the market. All you need to properly and effectively clean your windows is probably already under your kitchen sink! Vinegar, water, dish soap, DONE. Windows will look squeaky clean
This worked wonderfully! Thank you. My sliding glass doors are shiny and bright.
Wow. This is FABULOUS. We live in an upper duplex with combination windows. We remove all the windows, wash them with this solution in the bath tub, rinse with our shower head, then dry with (those great Costco) microfiber towels. Not a streak anywhere! Thank you so much for sharing this!
I used the window cleaner mix; and used a squeegee. However, I totally did not see until re reading the directions, that I should have rinsed the windows. I only did the outside windows. Today I noticed they all looked so nice and clean. However, do I still need to rinse them? Thanks! 🙂
If they are to your liking, you’re good to go.