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Wednesday, September 09, 2015

DYI: Mom's glass cleaner

I find this recipe a little over the top since  mom's 2 cups of water with one cup of vinegar seems to work just fine as long as you wipe it off with a dry cloth. If you must, a few drops of essential oils can help reduce the fresh vinegar smell. Steve

Here is a more elaborate version I found:

Homemade Window Cleaner


1/4 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar will work as well)
1/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
1 Tbsp cornstarch (the cornstarch reduces streaking — anyone know why?)
2 cups water
8-10 drops essential oil of choice (optional.Lemon, orange, or another citrus would be my choice here, but lavender or others would be nice as well.)


1.  Combine everything in a spray bottle (You can reuse the container you already have from your store bought glass cleaner.  I had to buy one at a dollar store since we haven’t used glass cleaner in years :-)!)

2.  Shake well to mix.

3.  Spray onto glass surface and wipe clean.


– Shake well before using since the cornstarch might clog up your spray nozzle otherwise.

– Allergic to corn?  I’m sure other starches like tapioca or arrowroot will work as well.

– You can use microfiber cloths or rags to wipe your surfaces clean.  I prefer either those options or newspaper to paper towels since paper towels leave lint and are more wasteful.

– Make sure to label your bottle so as you make more and more non-toxic home cleaners you will know what is what :-).

– Another great tip from a reader:  Add food coloring (natural or artificial) to the bottle so kids will know it’s not water.  Beet juice (from canned beets) is one  inexpensive natural color.

– This handy dandy Chalkboard Contact Paper is great for label making.

– Update 3/15: I heard from a reader that vinegar can damage marble, so be careful using this around / on marble surfaces.

– To read more about the essential oils company I recommend (it’s a fairly dicey series), start here.)

What Does the Cornstarch Do?

You’re wondering that too, aren’t you?

I sure was.

Well, this update is just in today (Sept. 13, 2013) from a reader who is “in the know.”  Here is her answer:

On a microscopic level, glass is not perfectly smooth. When you spray water on it, the water molecules get caught in the pits on the glass surface. Water also clings to itself through hydrogen bonding – the hydrogen atoms from two molecules cling together. Water stuck in the glass + water stuck to more water = streaking. Cornstarch (or dish soap or oil-even a couple drops of essential oil) disrupts the hydrogen bonding, thus preventing streaks!