My Unexpected DIY Window Cleaner
Some people like spring cleaning. Not me. I like fall cleaning. During the summer months I’m very prone to blowing off the house cleaning and can always think of something else that sounds better to do. Summer is short, I say. Enjoy the sunshine! Go to the beach! Take a walk! Float in the pool! The dusting and scrubbing can wait.
But when fall rolls around, I’m ready to get back at it. The weather is cooler, the humidity is gone, and I’m ready turn my attention back to the home front and getting prepared for the winter hibernation. Yes, I like fall cleaning much better than spring cleaning.
This fall there was one item in particular that was in desperate need of my cleaning attention – my windows. There were several strong windy rains for us this summer that left my windows spotted but the event that really made a mess of my windows was a small tornado that went through our neighborhood a few weeks ago.
The EF-0 Tornado
On that particular day it really didn’t seem like tornado weather aside from the fact that it was super duper humid. Hubs and I had a little Saturday lunch, then we both sat down to read our books and promptly dozed off. It was a cloudy day with a gentle rain falling . . . a perfect day for a nap.
But shortly into our nap we were rudely awakened by the loud noise of my phone weather app alert going off. What the heck? I rubbed my eyes and grabbed my phone to find an alert message saying there was a rotation in the clouds, probably a tornado, spotted a little southwest of us, moving toward our city, take cover. And then the civil service tornado sirens starting blaring too. OK, this is the real deal, we decided, and we headed down to our basement to take cover.
And maybe because we were still only half awake, or because realizing a tornado is nearby kind of rattles your nerves, we never lowered any of our windows. I had them open really far that day too because as mentioned earlier, it had been very humid and I was trying to catch any little bit of breeze. By the time it dawned on me, we could hear the wind and rain really whipping around and Hubs told me not to be foolish, just stay in the basement, we can mop up any water afterwards. Plus, you’re supposed to leave windows a little open during a tornado to keep them from blowing out during the changing air pressure.
We were fortunate that our street was not impacted too badly. We had several power lines down, many large tree limbs down, and fences blown over. But just a couple blocks away from us many, many large trees had been uprooted and blown over, some of them landing on people’s homes and vehicles. We felt blessed that we escaped any damage to our home or property. We just had to lots of leaves to scoop out of the pool, and we joined the other neighbors who were out seeing who needed help dragging tree limbs out of the way.
And I did indeed have water to clean up in my house around EVERY window – north, south, east, and west. This is when you know it’s not just straight line winds that have come through. Every window on every side of the house had been pelted with rain, every window sill was soaked, and the flooring and/or furniture that was nearby any window for probably a good three feet in had gotten wet.
The National Weather Service ruled the event an EF-0 tornado, the lowest on the Fujita Tornado Scale. I can hardly imagine the devastation that must happen when a larger tornado comes through a town and my heart goes out to anyone who has had to live through that kind of event.
Oh Those Dirty Windows
So even though my fall cleaning urge was starting to kick in, I was still procrastinating on cleaning those windows. I had been looking at the post-tornado spotted mess for a couple weeks and trying to get myself motivated. C’mon Bev, get with it! Stop just looking at those spots and do something about it!
And all this has been a long winded story to tell you about my unexpected homemade window cleaning solution that worked like a charm and finally kicked my butt into gear to get those windows cleaned.
I was spraying my shower one morning with my homemade daily after-shower spray and thinking again how nicely it has worked for me. I was pondering that I think the Jet-Dry in the mixture really helps, and how it even keeps the glass block window in the shower from getting too spotted.
Hey wait . . . not spotted . . . Jet Dry helping . . . I wonder if I can use my Daily Shower Spray as a window cleaner ??
Suddenly I had my motivation. The window cleaning began!
Finally – Clean Windows!
Whenever I test out one of my bright ideas, I’m always very very curious and kind of excited to see if it will work, but also just a little nervous because I don’t want to do anything stupid and make a bigger problem.
When I first squirted my homemade daily shower cleaner on one of my windows and started rubbing it around, there was a little of that nervousness because it looked a bit “soapier” than other window cleaners. However it rubbed off very nicely and left the window looking super nice and clean. *whew* I was pleased and encouraged and wasn’t feeling so nervous anymore. It was working!
In fact as I kept cleaning my windows I realized the windows were ending up cleaner and less streaked than with any other method I could remember using!
I didn’t take much, just a few squirts on each window and a good rubbing off with some paper towels and I was rewarded with some very clean windows. I was having so much fun I even got on my little step ladder and cleaned my big picture window out front!
Only on one window that had very direct sunlight coming in the next day did I see some residual “cloudiness”. I just took a dry paper towel and gave it one more wiping and it took care of it with no problem.
What’s In the Homemade Daily Shower Cleaner?
So what ingredients are in my daily shower mixture that I grabbed for the window cleaning? Here’s what I mix together (and a printable recipe is at the end of this post too):
½ cup hydrogen peroxide
½ cup rubbing alcohol
1 teaspoon liquid dish soap
1 tablespooon dishwasher rinse aid
3 cups water
I guess it’s understandable that this worked for window cleaning because my favorite homemade eyeglass cleaner (that I also use as a glass and mirror cleaner) is a mixture of water, rubbing alcohol, and dish soap, three of the ingredients in this mixture too. However I think the tablespoon of dishwashwer rinse aid was the helpful ingredient that left my windows looking especially good.
And the peroxide? I’m not sure on that one. I’ve also probably lost some of the peroxide power in this mixture as time has gone on because I don’t have my daily shower spray in a dark bottle (however I do keep it in a dark closed cupboard). Hydrogen peroxide can break down in the light which is why it is always sold in those dark brown bottles. So I’m not sure how much peroxide power was left in this mixture as I walked around in the daylight cleaning my windows. If I was to actually re-formulate this mixture as a window cleaner, I would probably leave the peroxide out.
Try It – You’ll Like It
The homemade daily shower spray works great for the shower and you might want to make it for that reason alone. If you already have some made, just grab it and give it a try on your windows. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and find that it does a wonderful job. Or you can also look at the ingredient list above and design your own “Make Your Own” idea for window cleaning.
The bottom line is that this method gave me impressive window cleaning results that were too good not to share with all of you.
Try it . . . you might like it too!
See more – – > Homemade Cleaning Recipes
Unexpected Window Cleaner (a/k/a Daily Shower Spray)
- 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1/2 cup Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)
- 1 tsp Liquid Dish Soap
- 1 Tbl Dishwasher Rinse Aid
- 3 cups Water
- Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle of at least a 32 oz size.
- To use as window cleaner, spray on window glass and then wipe dry with a cloth or paper toweling.
Hi! I love your story of getting the motivation to clean your windows. And as usual, I’m looking forward to giving this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing!
Hi! I enjoyed your article as I am one of a select few who actually likes to wash windows!! I use a mixture of water, some ammonia and a small amount of Dawn liquid. I use an old 3-M teflon scrubber to scrub the window then I squeegy it off and wipe any leftover with an old towel. Do you think I could add the rinse aid to my mixture or do I risk a chemical reaction!? Thank you!
I couldn’t find any clear answer on any possible reaction between ammonia and rinse aid. (However, I do know that you should never mix bleach and ammonia). Because ammonia is already a quickly evaporating substance that helps to leave windows streak-free, I think the rinse aid would probably not be necessary to add as the ammonia is serving the same purpose in your mixture.
Try apple cider vinegar dry with news paper.
I tried your concoction and it left my windows cloudy! Ended up having to re-do the windows. Plus wasted my money on your recipe for window cleaner.
I’m sorry you had the experience and I’m not sure what caused the cloudiness. This mixture worked very well for me!
I use Turtle wax quick and easy wax and dry spray. Does a beautiful job!! 😎😍
What a great idea, Bev! I already have some of the shower cleaner that I made from your recipe. Unfortunately, I now have no more excuses left not to clean my windows. 🙂
I also like Mandy’s idea to mix it up in a bucket and use a long-handled brush.
“Windex Outdoor All-in-One Cleaning Tool Starter Kit”
is the best beyond every DIY I have seen.
(No offence to this one)
I bought a home with stained water spots on my windows, with this receipt work on hard water stains?
You might want to try straight vinegar on hard water spots that have been on a window for some time.
If you cannot remove hard water marks with vinegar try toilet bowel cleaner. Just take a paper towel add a bit of the cleaner rub the cleaner on the windows, then clean as usual. Some bowl cleaners don’t work either. If you have the right one it works great. .
Thanks! You have inspired me to make a batch and go attack my dirty windows!
Thanks for the tip. It works well!
Question: I have an understanding that alcohol can be destructive when used on acrylic (plexiglass). What experiences have you had with your mixture? Thanks.
Thank you for this mixture.. .. my sister tried telling me this last year. (For my windows). She said you don’t use anything but the spray. It did not work,, I am trying your method today..
I love this for my shower, use it every time, I lost my copy, so I had to look it up, thank you. I have been using this for year, should have known the ingredients by heart, well I did just not the measurments, now I know.
Couldn’t find any Shower Cleaner I guess people were cleaning their showers more due to the Covid-19. . Tried this and it works fantastic. Used it my front door and no streaks. Wonderful!! Will continue to my windows. I used any empty bottle of Shower Cleaner and put it in there as it was not clear.
Hi” Bev, i am going to try this method for my shower and windows, the only bad thing is that in Phoenix, AZ all the stores are out of alcohol, will this work without the alcohol?
The alcohol is very helpful for a homemade window cleaner because of its quick evaporation. If you can’t currently find rubbing alcohol, I would suggest substituting vodka which can also be used in homemade cleaners.
Better yet dry drinking some of the vodka first and your windows will look brand new! LOL
I wash windows with something like this solution. But I make enough to go in a bucket and swish it on with a long handled brush that lets me work from the ground without climbing on a ladder. I got the brush from an automotive supply store. It’s actually a car washing brush. The solution I use doesn’t need rinsing but car washing brushes can be attached to a garden hose if needed.
I had to correct a couple of typos here. Originally my posting talked about “cat washing brushes”. I’d need a VERY long handle for one of those, say about ten feet long.
That sounds like a good method Mandy. And you’re right that we would not want to use “cat washing” brushes! haha 🙂
could I add vinegar to this solution since I have hard water?
You could add some vinegar, however I would then leave the peroxide out.
I will definitely try it on both my shower and windows. Thank you for the tip. Blessings!
Hi, you said you noticed a cloudy residue on your window when the sun shined through. Do you suppose you could spray you solution on the window, wipe it around with a paper towel to clean off/loosen the dirt, the spray the window with the hose and let the water evaporate? (This method would only be for the outside of window, for obvious reasons.) Since your glass blocks stayed spot free in the shower when you aren’t wiping them, why wouldn’t the window do the same?
Does it make shower tiled floors slippery?
No, the daily shower spray will not make the floor of the shower slippery.
Is there a substitute for the dishwasher rinse aid?
I don’t really think so. The rinse aid is what’s very helpful in getting the solution to dry nicely after it is sprayed on.
Are all those ingredients safe on marble shower walls?
Yes, this should be safe on marble shower walls because there is nothing acidic in the mixture. (If there is vinegar or lemon juice in a mixture for instance, then you don’t want to use it on soft stones like marble or granite).
Very informative thanks for sharing just the thing i was looking for.
Do you think this is a significantly better than vinegar cleaners? I ask because I have a lot of windows and a lot of vinegar – 1/2 gallon of 99% strength. As you can imagine it dilutes to a huge amount of regular strength vinegar.
I think the rinse aid in this mixture did make a difference for the better when used as a window cleaner. I also prefer a rubbing alcohol/water mixture for my windows if I’m not using this shower spray rather than vinegar. Perhaps if you have extra vinegar to use up you could just it for general cleaning around the house (using a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water in a spray bottle).
I live in an old house that is always dirty not because I don`t clean it`s because of all the dirt that settles. How can I keep it down?