How to Clean Glass Without Windex: Expert Guide with DIY Solutions

Updated byPenny
How to Clean Glass Without Windex: Expert Guide with DIY Solutions

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Keeping your glass clean can be a challenge, especially if you’re trying to avoid using commercial glass cleaners like Windex.

In this guide, I’ll share household items, homemade solutions, and professional secrets that will help you achieve a streak-free shine on your bathroom mirror, windows, and other glass surfaces.

So let’s dive in and learn how to clean your glass surfaces and get clean mirrors without Windex!

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How to clean glass with household items

When it comes to cleaning glass, you don’t need to run to the store for expensive products. You may already have everything you need right in your own home.

Here’s how to clean glass with household items and make it sparkle!

No time to read? Check out this super-short video.

Choose the right cloth

First off, let’s talk about cloths.

The best type of cloth for cleaning your class surfaces is a microfiber cloth.

Microfiber cloths won’t scratch your glass surfaces or leave behind lint. At the same time, they are effective at picking up dirt and grime.

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, Non-Abrasive, Reusable and Washable, Pack of 24, Blue/White/Yellow, 16" x 12"
Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, Non-Abrasive, Reusable and Washable, Pack of 24, Blue/White/Yellow, 16" x 12"

Simple household items you can use instead of Windex

Now you have the right cloth, here’s a list of all the things you can use to clean your glass instead of reaching for a chemical cleaner.

Just water

Yes, you can clean glass with just water!

While this may not be the most effective option for extremely dirty glass, it’s a great starting point for a quick clean.

Simply use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down your glass surfaces, and then finish with a dry cloth.

Keep in mind that using tap water may leave streaks or spots, especially if you have hard water in your area. So it’s best to use distilled water to avoid this.

Liquid dish soap

Add a few drops of your favorite liquid dish soap to a spray bottle of water.

Simply spray on, and then wipe off dirt and smudges with a microfiber cloth.

Distilled white vinegar and distilled water

A vinegar-based glass cleaner is not only effective, but can also remove hard water marks from glass.

Make up a spray bottle of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.

Spray the vinegar solution onto your glass and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth or cotton pad for a streak-free shine.

If you have hard water marks, let the vinegar sit for a while before wiping off.

Rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol alone may not be effective in removing visible dirt and grime on glass surfaces.

To get good results with dirty glass, I recommend including vinegar. This makes the cleaner able to cut through the grime on dirty glass.

Make up a spray bottle of 1 part rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, 1 part distilled white vinegar, and 4 parts water.

Shaving cream

Shaving cream works particularly well for cleaning mirrors in shower rooms.

You’ll find that glass doesn’t mist up when you take a steamy shower.

Simply spray the shaving cream on your glass surfaces and wipe it away with a clean cloth for a streak-free shine.


cleaning a window with newspaper

A time-tested favorite is, of course, newspaper. It’s an oldy but a goody, but it really works!

All you do is scrunch up one sheet, spray the window with some water, or a mixture of water and vinegar, and then wipe.

The great thing about this is that you get a clean, streak-free finish.

Make sure you use the right kind of newspaper though!

Here’s more: how to clean your windows with newspaper.

Homemade glass cleaner recipe

homemade glass cleaner ingredients

With just a few household items, you can make your own natural cleaner for glass that works just as well as any commercial brand.

The simplest and most effective DIY glass cleaner for cleaning glass is made with liquid dish soap, white vinegar, and distilled water.

To make your homemade glass cleaning solution, simply mix 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar, 3 drops of liquid dish soap, and 1 cup of distilled water.

Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle and use it to clean your glass surfaces.

For a pleasant scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the solution. This will leave your windows smelling fresh and clean.

Can't get motivated?
#10 works every time I use it!

Professional window cleaner’s secrets

professional window cleaner cleaning glass

Professional window cleaners have their own tricks and techniques to make their job easier and achieve sparkling results.

Here are some of the secrets that the pros use:

Professional cleaning solution

You may be surprised, but a lot of professional window cleaners use plain dish soap to clean windows.

The soap provides enough cleaning power to break down grease and grime, but not enough to leave streaks on the glass.

Professional tools

Professional window cleaners often use specialized tools such as squeegees, microfiber cloths, and extension poles to clean windows effectively.

Squeegees allow them to control the flow of cleaning solution and remove it in a single swipe, while microfiber cloths and extension poles help them reach even the toughest spots.

Professional techniques

Another trick that professional window cleaners use is the fanning technique. This helps to prevent streaks and get a spotless, streak-free finish

They do this by wiping the window with a squeegee in a fan-like motion, starting from the top of the window and moving down.

In this video, a pro window cleaner spills the beans on how he gets achieves spotless windows:

More tips for cleaning glass

cleaning window glass

Here are some additional tips to help you achieve the best results when cleaning glass:

Cleaning very dirty glass

The best way to clean dirty glass is to first remove any loose debris, such as cobwebs or dust, with a dry cloth.

Then spray your cleaning solution onto the glass and wipe clean with a microfiber towel or a lint-free cloth.

Getting glass to sparkle

To make your glass sparkle, start by using a circular motion when cleaning.

This will help to loosen and remove any dirt or grime from the surface.

After wiping the glass clean, buff it with a dry cloth for a streak-free shine.

Getting a streak-free finish

To get streak-free glass, make sure to use a lint-free microfiber cloth or a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any cleaning solution.

Avoid using paper towels or dryer sheets, as they can leave behind lint and streaks.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use dryer sheets to clean glass?

While dryer sheets may seem like a good option for cleaning glass, they are actually not recommended.

Dryer sheets contain fabric softeners that can leave a film on your glass surfaces, making them look hazy and unclear.

Stick to a microfiber towel or dry microfiber cloth for the best results.

Can you use toothpaste to clean glass?

Toothpaste can be used to clean glass, but it may leave behind toothpaste stains.

If you do use toothpaste, be sure to rinse the glass thoroughly with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Can you clean glass with bicarbonate of soda?

Bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda) can be used to clean glass, but it may not be as effective as other DIY solutions.

To clean glass with baking soda, mix it with water to form a paste and scrub the glass in a circular motion.

Rinse the glass thoroughly with water and dry with a clean cloth, to avoid white marks.

Can you clean glass with just water?

Yes, you can clean glass with just water. For light cleaning or for removing surface dirt, using just water can be very effective.

For more stubborn grime or for a deep cleaning, you may need to use additional cleaning products or methods.

Can you use white spirit to clean windows?

White spirit is not recommended for cleaning windows as it can be harsh and can leave streaks on the surface.

It’s also flammable and has strong fumes, which can be hazardous when used indoors.

It’s better to use a cleaning solution specifically designed for windows or a homemade glass cleaning solution.

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Sparkling Penny

Penny | Sparkling Penny

Penny’s expert cleaning advice has been featured repeatedly by Homes and Gardens Magazine, and also at wikiHow, The Daily Express Newspaper, and Glam Magazine to name a few! was founded in 2019 and has since helped millions of people achieve a cleaner living space.

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Get the best results with my expert guide on how to clean glass without Windex. Learn how to use household items, DIY solutions and professional secrets to achieve a streak-free shine on your bathroom mirror, windows, and other glass surfaces.