Homesteading hacks: Non-toxic DIY glass and window cleaner
01/29/2021 // Virgilio Marin // Views

Many commercial surface cleaners contain harmful chemicals like ammonia and phthalates that are too toxic for use around the house. They can irritate the skin and lungs and even cause permanent damage.

While commercial cleaning products are undeniably effective, the harm they can cause is simply too steep a price to pay. When it comes to safety, it's better to take matters into your own hands and make your own glass and window cleaner yourself.

How to make a non-toxic glass and window cleaner

Getting rid of that tough window stain does not require the use of costly and harmful store-bought products. You can produce a top-grade, non-toxic cleaner right at the comfort of your home just by mixing common homesteading items. You only need the following things: (h/t to

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 10 drops of essential oils like tea tree and eucalyptus oil (optional)
  • Mason jar

This DIY cleaning product is super easy to do. You just need to:

  1. Pour all of the ingredients into the jar and stir.
  2. Cover the jar and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
  3. Use your all-natural cleaning solution for glassware, chrome and ceramic surfaces and window screens.

Using either rubbing alcohol or vinegar works well, but using both of them together works even better. The resulting mixture is a non-toxic, streak-free glass and window cleaner that is as effective as commercial cleaning products.


Though optional, adding cornstarch can enhance the mixture because cornstarch is extremely useful for cleaning beveled or decorative glass. It helps break down water bonds and prevent spotting and streaking. It can reveal the hidden dirt in glass surfaces that look squeaky clean at first glance. (Related: Prepper basics: Effective and natural cleaning products.)

Storage and usage tips

This DIY cleaner is as easy to store as it is to make. Simply put it in a cool, dry place and keep it out of the reach of children and pets. It should remain potent for a minimum of four weeks.

Before use, transfer the solution to a spray bottle and give it a shake. Spritz generously and immediately wipe the surface clean, then allow it to dry thoroughly.

Some stains are tougher to remove than others. If you're dealing with these, check out the following cleaning tips: (h/t to

  • Choose a dry, cloudy day. Cleaning on a hot, humid day will dry out your solution before you get to wipe it off.
  • Remove dirt and dust first. Before spritzing your solution like crazy, sweep the surface first with a brush or vacuum it up to prevent dirt from turning into a muddy mess. If you're dealing with something especially grimy, wash with hot, sudsy water and a soft brush, then rinse and let dry.
  • Use a microfiber cloth. Besides being absorbent and washable, microfiber cloths leave the glass shiny and streak-free.
  • Skip the squeegee. A squeegee gives glass surfaces a good shine, but it has drip factor that can leave a huge mess. Avoid using one especially if you're cleaning just small window panes.

Maintaining your homestead does not require the use of toxic commercial cleaning products. Using only readily available homestead items, you can make a safe alternative that gets the job done.

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