A single window pane replacement costs American homeowners anywhere between $200 to $1,800.
They’re an investment you want to take care of. Other glass household items, like coffee tables and mirrors, usually don’t come cheap either.
It might not be possible to protect your windows from stray baseballs your kids throw around the yard. But you can make sure you keep your windows and other glass items free of those dreaded streaks with regular cleaning.
Do you find glass streaks impossible to get rid of? We’re here to help with this list of streak-free glass cleaner recipes anyone can make at home.
wHY Does Glass Streak?
Believe it or not, there are a few reasons why streaks appear when cleaning glass, from using hard water to cleaning windows on a hot summer’s day.
Shockingly, over 80 percent of homes in America have hard water. Hard water is full of minerals, in particular, calcium and magnesium.
Say you use soap and water to clean your windows. With hard water, these minerals are left behind on the glass, leading to streaks.
The solution? Use purified or distilled water instead.
It’s best to avoid cleaning your windows on a sunny day. This may seem counterintuitive but think about it for a minute.
Most cleaning solutions contain alcohol or ammonia. This is mixed with a liquid base. As you wipe the product over your warm, sun-soaked windows, the heat quickly evaporates the liquid.
The alcohol or ammonia doesn’t evaporate as quickly. So you’re left with a streaky residue.
Using the Wrong Tools
When it comes to cleaning glass without streaks, your mum or grandmother probably told you to use vinegar and a scrunched-up sheet of newspaper.
Well, they’re right about one thing. Vinegar is great!
The newspaper? Not so much.
The ink bleeds out of the newsprint and leaves stains on the glass. A kitchen towel isn’t much better. It leaves fibers and dust behind after each wipe.
Instead, use a microfiber cloth paired with your best glass cleaner to clean your windows, mirrors, framed pictures, and glass tables.
Leftover Cleaning Solution
Some traditional cleaners contain wax polish. This, however, is disastrous for glass. The wax builds up over time, creating streaks that are impossible to get rid of.
Other times, people simply use too much cleaner each time they wipe, leading to build-up. Try to limit the amount of cleaner you use to a quick spritz now and then.
Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipes
If you’re keen to make your glass cleaner at home, we’ve got you covered. These recipes will cut through grime, grease, and dust in one determined swipe.
Basic Glass Cleaner
This is the most straightforward recipe on our list and makes an excellent substitute for commercial cleaners. It contains vinegar and isopropyl alcohol, which both cut through grease and kill bacteria.
Simply mix one cup of alcohol and water and add a tablespoon of vinegar. Add the mixture to a spray bottle, and you’re good to go!
This cleaner works on any glass surface, from your windows to the lenses in your glasses.
Vinegar-Based Glass Cleaner
If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, you can use white vinegar (or any vinegar, actually) by itself. Add two tablespoons of vinegar to two cups of tap water–or distilled water if you live in a hard water area–and mix well in a spray bottle.
If you don’t like the vinegar smell, add up to ten drops of your favorite essential oil.
This solution is ideal for cleaning glass that regularly gets grimy, like shower doors or your car windows. You can even use it for your computer keyboard!
Citrus Enzyme Glass Cleaner
If you want to go ultra-DIY, then this cleaner is for you.
Instead of buying alcohol or vinegar, you can make a grease-cutting ingredient yourself… from scratch! The process is somewhat similar to making kombucha but even more effortless.
Collect your citrus peels (lemon, orange, mandarin, tangerine, or lime) in a container in the fridge or freezer. Once you have about two cups, you’re ready to make your citrus enzyme.
Put the peels in a large plastic bottle. Add about half a cup of sugar and around half the plastic bottle full of water. You can use a teaspoon of yeast to speed up the process or leave it out for a slower ferment.
Leave the bottle lid untightened in a dark, warm place for up to one month. Just be sure to “burp” the bottle from time to time to avoid the gas building up and the bottle exploding!
Once finished, drain the liquid from the peels. Use it like vinegar in your cleaning solutions.
Streak-Free Glass Cleaner
If you’re intent on finding out how to clean glass without streaks, try this specialist cleaner.
Put two cups of distilled water into a spray bottle. Use a funnel if it’s messy. Add a quarter cup of apple cider or white vinegar, a quarter cup alcohol, one tablespoon cornstarch, and five to ten drops of essential oil. (Try citrus, tea tree, eucalyptus, or cinnamon EOs.)
Shake to mix well and use on your glass household items immediately.
The addition of cornstarch sounds strange, but it works like magic. Best of all, these ingredients are probably already in your kitchen cupboards.
Stovetop Glass Cleaner
A few glass household items are extra tough to keep clean, and glass stovetops are one. While they’re great to cook on, food sticks to them like glue and seems impossible to get off.
No matter how tempting it might be, you should never scrape this type of stovetop with abrasive cleaners or metal implements.
Instead, mix some baking soda and enough liquid dish soap to create a smooth paste. Work the mixture into the stovetop, leave it for a bit, then remove it with water and a microfiber cloth. This solution also works the inside of glass oven doors.
When to Call in the Professionals
Of course, DIYing your streak-free glass cleaner isn’t all roses. There are some clear downsides, too. Namely, the time it takes out of your probably hectic weekly schedule.
Thankfully, for the overloaded among us, there’s a clever solution. Hire a reputable, professional housekeeping service to keep those windows streak-free for you.
If you’re curious to learn just how much time a housekeeping service will buy you, request a booking with Anita’s Housekeeping today.