Why You Should Stop Using Window Cleaner Immediately

If you've been using window cleaner to polish away any streaks or smears, chances are that you've been splurging unnecessarily. As it turns out, window cleaner can be replaced by a couple of cheap household goods that are probably already in your pantry. To be fair, we get that it feels much easier (and perhaps fancier) to buy a cleaning solution that's specially formulated for windows. If you only buy a bottle once in a while, who cares about the extra cost, right? Well, you might start to care sooner than you'd imagine.

While it may be easy to justify splurging when money is not a problem, inflation is currently skyrocketing. According to CNBC, current rates are the worst they've been in over four decades. With such a rough financial outlook, it's more important than ever to cut down on unnecessary expenses, and it's becoming harder to justify pouring (or spritzing) away the extra dough.

Swapping window cleaner for a DIY solution

Fortunately, if you're in need of a new bottle and ready to part with expensive store-bought formulas, it's easy to make your own window cleaner. According to The Maids, you can mix a number of household goods with water to clean windows, including a small amount of dish soap, ½ cup of white vinegar, or a combination of 3 tablespoons of vinegar and ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol.

Regardless of the cleaning agent that you use in your DIY detergent, it's important to mix it with distilled water. Unfiltered water generally contains minerals in it. Even though tap water may be safe to drink, the minerals in it can still build up on your windows according to Fab Glass and Mirror, ultimately creating stubborn, unsightly stains. Fortunately, they further note that you can use vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, or other home staples to eliminate the stains, so you won't necessarily have to buy a specialty cleaner if you accidentally use regular tap water.

Getting a streak-free finish

While the newfound savings might leave you excited, let's be honest: persistent window streaks are a real pain. Since commercial window cleaners are designed with glass and other window pane materials in mind, they are formulated to remove streaks. Fortunately, homemade alternatives won't necessarily cause streaking issues either. In fact, homemade cleaners generally won't contain ammonia, which, according to Pella Windows and Doors, can leave a film on your windows that causes them to get dirty faster. In other words, your homemade cleaner may be more effective than its store bought counterpart!

You'll still need to take a couple of steps to ensure that you don't leave streaks everywhere. When cleaning windows with diluted vinegar for example, it's important to wipe away any excess solution to prevent it from drying and forming unsightly lines. That being said, make sure that you only use high-quality paper towels or a clean microfiber cloth. Lower quality paper towel may leave specks of paper and dust behind, while a dirty microfiber cloth may contain particles that could scratch your windows.