3 Methods For Cleaning Glass Without Windex

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Finding the right glass cleaner is the key to maintaining that natural shine on your mirrors, windows, and glass tabletops. But sometimes, you don’t want to use commercial glass cleaning products. So, how do you clean glass without Windex?

One way to clean glass without Windex is by using water and liquid dish soap. You can also use rubbing alcohol or distilled white vinegar. Spray the product on a dry microfiber cloth and wipe the glass from top to bottom. Rinse off the residue and dry the glass with a clean, lint-free cloth.

With homemade cleaning solutions, you’ll save money in the long run and create a less toxic environment in your home. However, you must label the containers correctly and keep them out of reach of children and pets. Let’s get started so you know how to make and use these eco-friendly Windex alternatives.

Why Clean Your Glass Without Windex?

Young woman cleaning window glass at home

Many people prefer to clean their glass without Windex because there are cheaper, safer, and more eco-friendly solutions like water and vinegar.

Windex does a great job cleaning windows and mirrors, thanks to the ammonia in it. Ammonia is a powerful chemical with enough abrasive properties to remove dirt from your glass without scratching it. But it can also irritate your skin and eyes. 

It even becomes more dangerous to keep ammonia or products containing it near pets and small children. So people opt for safer and more effective alternatives with water, vinegar, and isopropyl alcohol.

DIY Solutions for Cleaning Glass Without Windex

Unless you’re ready to mix your DIY glass cleaners each time you need them, you’ll want to prepare and store them safely in advance. Follow these tips:

  • Use a new spray bottle for your homemade glass cleaners so the solutions don’t pick up traces of leftover chemicals in used bottles.
  • Clearly label the bottle contents with a marker pen and masking tape for safety and convenience.
  • Keep the chemicals away from pets and small children.

These are the three DIY solutions for cleaning glass without Windex:

Water & Dish Soap Method

Since most commercial glass cleaners use water as a solvent, you can make a simple product with distilled water and liquid dish soap. Don’t use tap water because it may contain lots of minerals and particles that will scratch or leave streaks on your glass. Follow these steps:

  1. Pour two quarts of hot distilled water into a clean bucket. Squeeze in a generous amount of dish soap and mix to lather.
  1. If you’re dealing with an outside window, give it a quick, gentle rinse with your garden hose.
  1. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the homemade cleaner and wipe down your window or mirror.
  1. Wring out the microfiber cloth and dampen it with distilled water.
  1. Gently rinse the soap residue from the glass surface with a fresh microfiber cloth.
  1. Dry the glass with a lint-free cloth to give it a sparkling finish. You could also polish it with a crumbled newspaper sheet.

Vinegar Method

Distilled white vinegar makes an excellent disinfectant, fungicide, and natural cleaner. In addition, its acidic properties mean it will dissolve hard water mineral deposits on your glass, ultimately removing those ugly streaks. 

You can safely use it for cleaning ceramic surfaces and glass at home. Here’s how to clean glass using the vinegar method:

  1. Mix a cup of distilled white vinegar with two cups of distilled water.
  1. Put the solution in a clean, well-labeled spray bottle.
  1. Shake the bottle well and spray the cleaner on a dry microfiber cloth.
  1. Wipe the glass from top to bottom using the microfiber cloth.
  1. Use a fresh lint-free cloth to buff the glass to a dry, sparkling shine.

If you’re uncomfortable with the smell of the vinegar solution, you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to get a refreshing scent. Strawberry, vanilla, lavender, and lemon oil work great without compromising the cleaning power of your homemade glass cleaner.

Rubbing Alcohol Method

Isopropyl alcohol, or “rubbing alcohol” as often called, is an excellent Windex alternative because it evaporates more quickly, leaving no spots or streaks. And besides its effectiveness at removing tough stains and sticky messes, it gives you a disinfecting boost.

Using rubbing alcohol is pretty straightforward, and it’s not a must that you make a complex cleaning solution. Instead, spray the alcohol on a cotton pad or lint-free cloth and gently wipe down the glass surface.

For large glass surfaces or multiple windows, you’ll realize it takes plenty of rubbing alcohol for a thorough cleaning. So if you don’t have as much of it, you can make a glass cleaner that combines vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and distilled water. Here’s how to make and use it:

  1. Mix ¼ cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup distilled water, and 3 tablespoons white vinegar in a sizable spray bottle.
  1. Shake up the contents of the bottle well.
  1. Spray the solution onto the glass surface and wipe from top to bottom using a dry microfiber cloth.
  1. Lightly dampen a fresh microfiber cloth with distilled water and use it to rinse off any residue.
  1. Dry the glass with a lint-free cloth for a sparkling shine. For best results, scrub it gently with crumbled newspaper.

This is the best method if you have stubborn spots like dried toothpaste stains on your mirror.

Process for Cleaning Glass (Without Streaks)

Follow these steps to clean your glass surfaces without leaving streaks:

Step 1: Spray the Cleaner on Microfiber Cloth, Not Glass

Spring Clean out

Experts often recommend you spray your glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth instead of applying it directly on the glass. This will help you avoid unnecessary drips, which dry into noticeable streaks if you don’t wipe them quickly.

Spraying directly on the glass also means using more cleaning agents than you need. For example, if you use the water and soap dish method and produce too many suds, you’re more likely to leave behind streaks. 

Therefore, mix the ingredients in the proper ratio and apply just a reasonable amount to the microfiber cloth. You also want to be careful with mirrors and windows that have wooden frames. If the product drips onto the wood over time, it could warp and get damaged.

Step 2: Wipe from Top to Bottom

Wiping from top to bottom is one of the best glass cleaning tips you can ever learn. The upside of this method is that if the cleaning product drips, you can still wipe it efficiently as you clean your way down. 

Moreover, you can easily dislodge dust and grime that may float down and stick on the glass surface. Best of all, it’s fast, and you don’t need to spend extra time on this task.

Step 3: Use Light, Fast Strokes to Buff Out Streaks

Whatever method you choose to clean your glass won’t always come out perfectly. Even if you use a microfiber cloth and a small amount of product, you may still notice streaks. 

So to get rid of them, buff them out with a dry cloth. They’ll quickly disappear if you use light, fast strokes over the span of the window, mirror, or glass tabletop.

Step 4: Gently Scrape off Sticky Substances with Plastic

At times you find sticky substances like bits of chewing gum or pastry clinging to your glass surfaces. Using a glass cleaner alone isn’t the best idea in these situations. Instead, use a plastic scraping tool to remove the substances before cleaning.

You should use plastic, not any other material because it won’t scratch the glass. However, the sharp edge of a plastic paint scraper or an old credit card may be helpful. And if you find stubborn messes, dab them with a bit of liquid dish soap before attempting to scrape them off.

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