Keeping a home neat and clean is a priority for many people, and for good reason! A home where things are in their place and surfaces like windows and mirrors are clean has continually been shown to both improve productivity and reduce stress and rates of illnesses. The bad news is that some common cleaning supplies can detract from the overall good qualities of a neat and clean home by leaving chemicals on surfaces and VOCs in the air. One great way to enjoy all the benefits of a clean home without any of the disadvantages is by choosing green products or by making your own DIY green cleaning supplies.
When you choose to buy or make green cleaning supplies, you choose a lifestyle choice. This is a choice for products that do less harm to the environment both in terms of the environmental cost of sourcing products and the local environmental harm of using certain chemicals in your home. The solitary step of making your own DIY glass cleaners will have huge environmental-saving properties.
For example, when you make your own DIY glass cleaning products, you will only ever have to buy one or two high-grade plastic or glass spray bottles. When a spray bottle is empty, you fill it back with more of your desired glass cleaning mixture or you make another one. In this way, you won’t be buying new bottle after new bottle, with each bottle requiring its own petrochemical manufacture, packaging materials, and the gas spent shipping that bottle from manufacture to chemical plant where cleaning product is added to retail store and finally onto you.
And that’s just the beginning of how choosing to make your own cleaning products benefits you and the environment. Continue reading to learn more about why you should consider making your own DIY glass cleaning supplies and other green cleaning products:
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3 Reasons to Make Your Own DIY Glass Cleaners & Other Cleaning Supplies
1. You’ll Save Money
Commercially-sold cleaning supplies aren’t cheap, at least not the quality kind and especially if you want a natural and safe glass cleaner. Most store-bought general cleaning supplies will cost between $5 and $20. And that’s just for general all-purpose cleaners! Going into any grocery and hardware store, you’ll also find yourself weaving through aisles packed with specialized cleaning supplies, like glass-only cleaners and granite countertop-only cleaners. Spending over $100 on specialized cleaners just to clean one part of your home is not unusual.
Yet, spending all that money isn’t necessary. With just a few dollars, you can create your own fantastic DIY glass cleaners and general all-purpose cleaners that are safe and effective as well as affordable. The following recipes will go more into details on the specific recipes for some fantastic all-natural cleaning supplies but, in general, if you just pack your pantry or cleaning closet with the following ingredients, you’ll be good to go for most DIY cleaning recipes:
- Baking soda
- Favorite essential oils
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Liquid castile soap
- White Vinegar
2. DIY Glass Cleaners Don’t Trigger Asthma or Otherwise Impact Indoor Air Quality
Most commercial glass cleaners contain problematic chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOC), which are compounds that become vapors and gasses when released, which cause a significant negative impact on one’s indoor air quality. VOCs and other chemical compounds commonly included in commercial glass cleaners are prone to triggering asthma and allergies, making breathing difficult.
In contrast, with DIY glass cleaners and other all-purpose cleaners, ingredients are safe to use and are ones that you commonly use every day and most are food-grade safe ingredients. Ingredients like baking soda and white vinegar aren’t going to off-gas any VOCs or other chemical compounds but they will still deliver that squeaky and streak-free clean that commercial products create. Therefore, in this way DIY all-cleaners are a win-win being both effective at cleaning and asthma/allergy-free.
3. You Control the Scent & Safety Level
With DIY glass cleaners and when making other types of cleaning products, you are in control of the entire process, including the ingredients. This is an incredibly important point if you have young kids or curious pets in the home, such as a cat who loves getting into cabinetry. By choosing to use only safe, food-grade products to use in your cleaning products, you’ll never have to worry about your children or pets becoming exposed to harmful chemicals. And exposure to chemicals in cleaning supplies is a real concern given exposure to household cleaning substances is the second most common cause of pediatric exposures to poison according to U.S. Poison Control Centers.
In addition to keeping your family safer, choosing your own ingredients has the other added benefit of getting to personalize your scents. Instead of the lingering chemical stench that frequently comes after the use of commercially bought household cleaning supplies, you can enjoy either a neutral cleaning odor or choose your favorite essential oils to get the exact scent you want.
10 Fantastic DIY Glass Cleaners
Worried that making your own DIY glass cleaner will be too time-consuming? Fear not! Most natural cleaning recipes can be done within 15 minutes. Just check out the following fast and easy DIY glass cleaning recipes and try out your favorite to see how:
1. Rosemary Scented All-Purpose Cleaner and Glass Cleaner
- 8 cups white vinegar
- 8 cups water
- 1 lemon rind
- 3- sprigs of rosemary
To make this fresh-scented all-purpose center, simply combine the above ingredients in a cleaned spray bottle, shake, and then store it in a safe location for a week. This weeklong setting process allows the mixture to properly infuse for maximum cleaning properties. The rosemary with the lemon rinds results in a fantastic concoction that nicely mixes fresh scents with boosted cleaning properties.
Once properly infused, you’ll be able to use the rosemary-scented all-purpose cleaner for a large variety of tasks, including removing hard water stains, wiping away stains and smudges, cleaning trash cans, and much more. Best of all, this natural all-cleaner works great on glass and mirrors, making it easy to get clean away handprints as well as water stains.
Note, because this all-purpose cleaner contains acidic ingredients, it’s important to not use it on granite and other types of natural stone as it can cause undesired etching and staining.
2. The Orange Essential Oil Glass Cleaner
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of white vinegar or cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol (double-check the label to ensure it lists 70 percent concentration)
- 4 drops of orange essential oil
To make the orange essential oil glass cleaner, simply mix these ingredients together with a whisk and then pour it into a spray bottle. Unlike the previous DIY glass cleaner, you don’t have to wait for the ingredients to properly infuse and can instead start using the mixture immediately to clean your windows and mirrors.
For best effects at cleaning glass with this DIY mixture, spray the citrus solution on a soft rag or biodegradable paper towel and then apply it to the windows.
3. The DIY Cornstarch Glass Cleaner
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol
- 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- 4 cups of warm water
When getting the four cups of water, you can either run water from the faucet and use water as it feels warm on your wrist or you can boil and allow to cool to the point that it’s warm but not hot. Pour the warm water into a clean spray bottle and then add the rest of the ingredients. Screw the spray top on and shake vigorously until fully mixed and the cornstarch has dissolved.
This DIY glass cleaner works fantastic on glass, although it’s not so great as an all-purpose cleaner. That said, this mixture is streak-free and will nicely leave your mirrors, windows, and other glass items shiny and spot-free. It also stores well, just make sure you shake well before use each time as the corn starch will settle when left to sit an hour or longer.
4. The Hot & Quick Dish Soap
- Hot water
- 1 drop of dishwashing soap for every 1 cup of hot water
This is a really barebones recipe that is a good choice if you don’t have any other ingredients on hand. It will work well on glass, but you will have to work fast as this DIY glass cleaner recipe is most effective when the water is still hot.
Mix the above ingredients in your spray bottle and then spray the solution directly on the glass. Then, use a newspaper or a high-quality squeegee to wipe the solution away to enjoy a squeaky clean surface. If you have too many streaks, add some more hot water as excess soap is the primary cause of streaking.
5. The Extra-tough Glass Stovetop Cleaning Paste
- One part baking soda
- One part liquid dish soap
If you have a crusty stovetop, then you’ll love this easy but tough DIY glass stovetop cleaning solution. Ideally, you should mix one part baking soda to one part liquid dish soap but if you find that this mixture is too flaky, add more dish soap until you have a paste.
Once you have paste-like consistency, use a dish sponge to apply it directly onto the glass stovetop. Spread the paste over the problem areas and work out the gunk in circles. Use a damp washrag to wipe off the residue and the glass cleaning paste. If you’re still having issues, repeat the process or use a flat razor blade to assist in scrapping the hard-to-clean areas.
6. The Quick Mirror Cleaning
- 1 cup of rubbing alcohol
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
This recipe is similar to one above but is a lot simpler, and more ideal for situations like cleaning the mirror of hairspray and similar bathroom gunk and dust build-up or cleaning the hard water spots off your vehicle’s side-view mirrors. Simply mix the ingredients together in a clean spray bottle, shake thoroughly, spray, and wipe off with a clean rag.
Note, you’ll probably have to use a bit more elbow grease when cleaning then you might with a more conventional glass cleaner or one of the tougher recipes on our lists, but you’ll still enjoy a great clean.
7. The Sweet-Smelling Essential Oil Cleaning Buster
- 2 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of borax
- 1 teaspoon of liquid castile soap
- 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap
- 4 drops of lemon essential oil
- 4 drops of lavender essential oil
- 8 drops of orange essential oil
For this more complex glass and general all-purpose cleaner, start by mixing the borax, dish soap, and castile soap in a spray bottle. Shake and add the two cups of warm water (if possible, used distilled water.). Shake again and then add the essential oils before shaking well for the final time.
This all-purpose general cleaner is wonderful for a whole mix of tasks and the different essential oils are ideal for leaving a fresh and citrusy scent. For example, this glass cleaner and general DIY natural cleaner is great for cleaning windows, kitchen counters, and bathtub.
8. The Baking Soda Glass Scrubber
- 1 1/2 cups of baking soda
- 1/2 cup of castile soap
- 10 drops of tea tree essential oil
Start this DIY baking soda glass scrubber by mixing together the baking soda and castile soap in a mixing bowl. Stir or whisk it thoroughly until what you have is a paste, thicker in consistency then clam chowder. If necessary, add water or castile soap until you reach that consistency. Then add your essential oils and whisk again to ensure they are thoroughly saturated in the paste. Store the mixture in an airtight container until it dries.
Once Dry and you’re ready to use, simply add a small bit of water and apply the baking soda glass scrubber with a sponge to those hard to clean glass areas, such as at edges of your windshield or window. Clean by scrubbing in circles and wash away with a rag.
Note that this is a heavier-duty scrubbing mixture and not a mixture to use when you want to quickly clean off light water spots or similar grime. You’ll also likely want to follow this mixture with one of the sprays on this list.
9. The Disinfectant Glass Cleaner
- 2 1/2 cups of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 gallon of warm water
- 3 teaspoons of dish soap
Mix the above ingredients together and pour into your desired spray bottle. You can then spray this mixture directly on the surface of your choice. Wipe away with a soft microfiber cloth.
This glass cleaning mixture is an excellent choice if you’re concerned about bacteria as well as getting a nice squeaky clean. That’s because hydrogen peroxide does a wonderful job as both a cleaner and at killing bacteria. Peroxide nicely kills germs and then naturally decomposes into water and oxygen, thereby leaving no toxic or otherwise harmful residue behind as similar strength commercial cleaners would.
10. The 5 o’clock Somewhere Glass Cleaner
- 1/4 cup of vodka (go ahead and be cheap, the bottom of the barrel is fine for this purpose)
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 2 cups of hot water
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
Mix all the liquids together first and then add in the cornstarch, shaking thoroughly until it is completely dissolved. Then pour the glass cleaner into your favorite spray bottle. Spray your windows with the 5 o’clock Somewhere mixture generously, allow to stand for 30 seconds to a minute, and then wipe away with a microfiber cloth or newspaper. When finished, any leftover cleaning spray in a cool and dark place, such as a less frequently used kitchen cupboard.
Vodka is the perfect window cleaning ingredient when you want something cheap and don’t have rubbing alcohol around the house. In fact, you might find this vodka-based recipe more preferable to the aforementioned rubbing alcohol one as vodka doesn’t leave the strong odor of rubbing alcohol in its wake. Vodka works just as well as rubbing alcohol as it has ethanol, which is great at nixing dust and dirt without leaving streaks.