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How to Make a Window Cleaning Solution with Vinegar

Woman cleaning window

​Dirty windows can ruin the look of the home, but for some reason, few of us prioritize them during our daily cleaning routine. 

Maybe it’s because windows feel separate from the other cleaning chores. They require different cleaners, different tools, and a different approach. By the time you’ve finished with the rest of the house, tackling windows can feel like too much effort.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get sparkling windows with the same cleaner you use for the other surfaces around your home?

We’ve shown you how to clean with vinegar throughout the house, and conveniently enough, that all-purpose miracle also makes an impressive homemade window cleaning solution! With your vinegar cleaner, there’s no reason to skip the windows during your next deep clean. Simplify your routine by using this homemade glass cleaner today!

How to Make a Homemade Window Cleaner with Vinegar

We love the idea of transitioning seamlessly from wiping down a counter to cleaning a window with a single solution. The all-purpose vinegar cleaner that works on kitchen, bathroom, and living room surfaces is a convenient option when dealing with smudges, grime, and dirt on glass. Here’s a refresher on how to make it:

  • 1 part distilled white vinegar
  • 1 part water

With a glass cleaner, it’s a good idea to upgrade from tap water to distilled water. Distilled water lacks the minerals that leave marks and stains, which stick out even more on glass. 

Mix the two ingredients in a clean spray bottle, and you’re all set! Your DIY cleaner will work on windows, shower glass doors, mirrors, and other glass surfaces around the house, but it also serves as a perfect all-in-one solution for numerous everyday cleanups.

DIY Window Cleaner with Vinegar and Soap

Does your DIY window cleaner need a boost? Film from previous window cleaners and gradual grime buildup turn glass surfaces into a challenging chore. A basic vinegar solution can bust through much of the dirt that accrues over time, but grungy windows might require an added kick.

Upgrading your glass cleaner with a couple of drops of mild dishwashing liquid can do wonders for those intense window cleaning projects. Working alongside the vinegar, soap can help cut through grease and other stuck-on material, giving your window cleaner a powerful 1-2 punch. Add the soap to your vinegar cleaner spray bottle, and shake it well to combine the ingredients.

Be careful to include only 1–2 drops of dish soap for every few cups of vinegar solution. Soapy suds can leave spots and streaks, so you may end up doing more harm than good if you add too much dish liquid.

For the best results, it’s wise to take on extra-filthy windows with your dish soap solution and follow up with your standard vinegar and water mixture to wash away soapy residue.

DIY Window Cleaner with Vinegar and Rubbing Alcohol

Adding rubbing alcohol to your vinegar window cleaner improves its ability to evaporate, and it becomes more effective at killing microbes. Fewer spots and fewer germs mean cleaner windows. The great news is that it’s also a practical household cleaner for numerous other surfaces, just like your standard vinegar cleaner!

The measurements don’t have to be precise, but the general combination is as follows:

  • 1 part rubbing alcohol
  • 1 part distilled water
  • ½ part distilled white vinegar

Pour the vinegar and rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.

Although rubbing alcohol is accessible and generally safer than the average commercial cleaner when you use it, it’s crucial to remember that it is still a poisonous substance. Label your glass cleaners and store them away from children to prevent accidents. If safety is a concern in your household, stick with the more basic solution of vinegar and water.

Essential Window Cleaning Tools

You’ll need the proper window cleaning tools to get gorgeous glass with your DIY window cleaner. Prepare to clean your windows with these essential pieces of equipment:

  • Squeegee
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels
  • Vinegar glass cleaning solution
  • Vinegar-soap window cleaner (optional)

Large or outdoor windows may require additional window cleaning equipment. If you have a squeegee, you may be able to fit it to a universal multi-purpose extension pole to reach upper-story windows. Many extension poles also accommodate scrubbing heads to loosen stuck-on grime before you use the squeegee.

Using Your DIY Glass Cleaner

Cleaning lightly soiled interior windows is easy, generally only requiring your basic vinegar cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. Follow these basic steps to refresh your window glass:

  1. Spray the window’s entire surface with glass cleaner
  2. Buff out smudges with a lint-free cloth
  3. Wipe down the window with a dry lint-free towel

Using Homemade Window Cleaner and a Squeegee

You can also approach the job with a squeegee and sponge. Rather than mixing your homemade window cleaner in a spray bottle, combine 1 part vinegar with 1 part hot water in a bucket, and follow these steps to clean your windows:

  1. Soak a sponge in the cleaning solution
  2. Dampen the window with the sponge, but don’t drench the glass
  3. Wet the blade of your squeegee to prevent skipping across the window pane
  4. Run the squeegee from top to bottom along the window, starting from one corner of the pane
  5. Repeat the process as you move from one side of the window to the other, making sure to overlap each stroke slightly
  6. After squeegeeing down the entire window, run the squeegee along the bottom of the pane to remove pooled liquid
  7. Dry the window sill with a clean cloth or paper towel

How to Clean Windows with Your Vinegar-Soap Solution

When it’s going to take a slightly stronger vinegar solution to clean windows around your house, bring out your vinegar and soap combination. Use this cleaner for larger windows or upper-story outside windows that accumulate a lot of dirt. 

For exterior windows, you may be better off whipping up a batch of the vinegar and soap mixture in a bucket. You can then attach a soft scrub brush to an extension pole and dip it in the cleaner. Scrub the windows clean, and use a hose with a sprayer attachment to rinse them off.

You can also use these cleaning solutions on interior windows. But while hosing down outside windows might be allowable, you’ll have to take a more delicate approach to rinse the soap and vinegar window cleaner off indoor panes. After window washing with your vinegar and dish liquid solution, use your standard homemade glass cleaner or plain water in a spray bottle to rinse away leftover residue.

Tips for Cleaning Windows with Vinegar

  • Wipe down dusty glass surfaces with a dry microfiber cloth for faster cleaning
  • Use a microfiber towel or newspapers instead of paper towels for lint-free cleaning
  • Try straight vinegar instead of a diluted mixture if you need more grime-busting power
  • Clean windows on an overcast day to prevent the cleaner from drying too fast and leaving streaks
  • Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your vinegar spray for a scented boost
  • Use a baking soda and water paste for cleaning window tracks, frames, and seals
  • Label your vinegar cleaning sprays appropriately to protect your family and prevent misuse
  • Keep multiple dry, lint-free cloths on hand to buff away random streaks after washing your windows

What Is the Best Homemade Window Cleaner?

Several homemade cleaners can work effectively to leave sparkling glass. But for convenience and safety, the simple solution of white vinegar and distilled water is the best DIY window cleaner. It’s non-toxic, unlike most commercial cleaners, and versatile enough for several cleaning projects around the house. Plus, it’s arguably the cheapest cleaner you can find!

Is Vinegar a Good Cleaner for Windows?

Distilled vinegar is effective at cleaning glass because of its acidic composition. While many people exaggerate the mild disinfectant properties, the primary reason it helps with cleaning windows is its ability to cut through dirt and film. It breaks down hard-to-remove gunk and evaporates quickly without leaving any residue, exactly what you want from a quality glass cleaner!

Skip the Work, Book with Anita’s!

Cleaning windows with vinegar can make an irritating task as easy as possible. Take your vinegar cleaning solutions to your home’s glass surfaces and much more as you make quick work of a whole-house deep clean. With these tips, you’ll love how convenient it can be to make streak-free windows part of the standard around your home!

Making your own window cleaner can save you time (and even a little money), but sometimes it isn’t enough to free up your schedule so you can give your house the complete cleaning it needs. 

Whether you need to clean your windows or your whole house, Anita’s is here to help when you’ve got a lot on your plate. It only takes a few quick clicks to customize your service with a local cleaning expert through our simple booking system. Give yourself a break from the stress, and book with us today!


Anita's Housekeeping Editors