Homemade Window Cleaner

Guess what? We do windows! And you can, too! Don’t be afraid of this stereotypical chore… with a few tips it’s easier than you think. And washing your windows twice a year – spring and fall – makes a huge difference in your home. Sparkling clean windows brighten your rooms and make any space feel bigger.

We were lucky to be raised by a Dad who felt everyone should know how to clean windows. And he didn’t believe in using any blue-colored cleaning liquid you could buy at the store. Oh, no. The recipe for homemade window cleaner is easy:

2 tablespoons ammonia
½ cup rubbing alcohol
1 teaspoon dishwashing detergent
2 cups water

You can use this in a spray bottle just like a store-bought cleaner. Spray on the window and wipe with paper towels. Or you can multiply the quantities, mix it in a small bucket, and use it with a sponge and a squeegee. (This really does create the very cleanest windows.)

A few helpful tips:

  • Wipe one side of your windows with vertical strokes, and wipe the other side with horizontal strokes. When you find streaks, you’ll be able to tell if they’re on the inside or the outside.
  • Wash windows on a cloudy day. It doesn’t have to be cold, you just want to avoid direct sunlight. Bright sun causes the cleaner to dry before you have a chance to wipe, which causes streaks.
  • After the initial wipe with cleaner, polish the glass with a soft t-shirt or, like old-tme professionals, use crumpled newspapers. (It really works!)
  • Lay a towel on the windowsill before spraying cleaner on the glass indoors – this will protect your woodwork and paint.
  • Use a long-handled squeegee to wipe tall windows, especially outside. Try to avoid climbing a ladder to clean windows – it can be dangerous to balance on a ladder while wiping back and forth.

While fall days are here, try washing a few of your windows, inside and out. You’ll love the difference it makes in your rooms, all fall and winter long.