Here's What You Can Substitute For Window Cleaner

If you're trying to switch to greener cleaners, want to know what goes into the products you use, or are tired of buying bottles of the blue stuff, consider making your own DIY window cleaner. Many people are surprised when they realize how many items made of glass are in their home — from picture frames to windows to shower doors, we've all got a lot of it!

Unfortunately, glass is also known for streaking and accumulating dust far too often. Dusting regularly and installing window screens can help, says the Air & Water Expert, but you'll need the help of an efficient cleaning agent to both clean and add shine to your glass.

Making your own window cleaner is easy; we'll even provide a few options for you to try. The recipes on this list are composed of household items you probably own already, making our window cleaner substitutes affordable and accessible. You should note that each window cleaner requires two essential supplies: a spray bottle and a microfiber towel.

Try this cornstarch recipe

One of the best recipes for a DIY window cleaner is Alvin Corn, which comes highly recommended by Apartment Therapy. You'll need 2 cups of warm water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. 

The alcohol in the recipe will allow the cleaner to dry quickly while the vinegar cuts through the grime. If you're unsure about using cornstarch as a cleaner, you'll be happy to know that just like baking powder, it's naturally abrasive and boosts cleaning power, per ScienceDirect. So, expect this household product to polish your windows to a gleaming shine! Before use, make sure to shake well to distribute the granules of cornstarch evenly when pouring.

Apart from your windows, you can spray this cleaning solution on any item made of glass. Not only will it work on a myriad of glassware, but also glass shower doors, mirrors, and showerheads. When you spray Alvin Corn on showerheads, let it sit for a few minutes to allow the vinegar to remove any residue left behind by hard water. 

A 3-ingredient window cleaner

If you're looking for a super-quick, easy window cleaning solution, you'll appreciate this recipe from The Spruce. It's a simple mixture composed of 1/4 cup of white vinegar, 2 and 1/2 cups of water, and a few drops of your favorite dish soap. You may want to use scented dish soap and perhaps, essential oil if you dislike the overwhelming odor of vinegar. Only remember that a little goes a long way!

If you plan to use this cleaner on your windows, you'll want to wipe it with a squeegee as it runs down rather quickly. For items with small surfaces, like glassware, spray the cleaner directly onto the microfiber towel to prevent wasting the product. Then work in the cleaner with your microfiber towel either in circles or in "Z" motions to avoid streaking.

Our favorite thing about this DIY cleaner is that it works on almost every surface in the home. So, don't worry about trying it out on countertops and other items — the vinegar will do a fine job of cleaning and shining, and the dish soap will cut through any grease and dirt.