How I made the best homemade window cleaner – using only two ingredients

This homemade window cleaner is both eco-friendly and super simple to mix

A window over a kitchen farmhouse sink with a black tap, flanked by beige glass front cabinets filled with dinneware
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Washing windows is not a fun task by any stretch so finding products that make it quick and easy is essential.

With my windows covered in sand and dust after recent construction work in and around my home, I needed something to help me clean a window without streaks both inside and out but I wasn't in the mood to go to the store. 

Luckily, I had some Castille soap to hand and managed to make the best homemade window cleaner I have ever tried – with the added benefit of it being eco-friendly too. 

The best homemade window cleaner

While there are several homemade window cleaner recipes out there, including using baking soda to clean windows, I was looking for something quick that would not only the outside of my windows, but the interior too – preferably without cleaning with vinegar to avoid acrid smells and make my home smell nice.  

window bench with cushions and large houseplant

(Image credit: Future)

My solution was to turn to Castille soap, a strong yet gentle cleaning agent that is also perfect for making homemade kitchen cleaner, or even natural stain removal

Following a recipe by Lisa Bronner, green cleaning expert at Dr. Bronner and founder of Going Green with Lisa Bronner, I mixed up a convenient window cleaner with one tablespoon of Castille soap in one liter of distilled water, pouring them into a clean spray bottle, from Amazon, and giving them a gentle shake to combine. 

I chose to use the almond-scented soap from Dr. Bronner for a festive touch at the end of the year and make my home smell like Christmas, but you can customize the scent. I loved this approach because I didn't need to add flammable essential oils that might have streaked against the glass if I accidentally added too much – making it the perfect cleaning tip for those of us who aren't fans of measuring everything perfectly (me included!)  

Dr. Bronner Almond Pure-Castile Soap | View at Amazon

Dr. Bronner Almond Pure-Castile Soap | View at Amazon
I love how this soap smells so much like Marzipan. It is perfect for use as an all-purpose cleaner around my home for a festive fragrance that gets me a step closer to my home smelling like a bakery.

The process from there was simple, I simply sprayed two sprays on the window before wiping it down with a wet cloth and using a window vac, such as this from Amazon to remove suds and water for a streak-free shine – you can also use a humble squeegee too.  

Karcher WV 1 Plus Window Vacuum Squeegee |View at Amazon

Karcher WV 1 Plus Window Vacuum Squeegee |View at Amazon
My window vacuum/squeegee won't just help you vacuum away condensation, it can also be used to clean windows, eliminating streaks speedily.

The best thing about this window cleaner is the fact it is multi-purpose, meaning I could also use it to clean the window tracks, frames, and my windowsills both inside and out all with the same product. Other commercial cleaners could risk damaging the surface, meaning I would have to swap them out for each section. This approach made the process ten times simpler – perfect for cleaning without feeling overwhelmed.  

Lisa Bronner
Lisa Bronner

Lisa Bronner is the granddaughter of Dr. Emanuel Bronner, the founder of Dr. Bronner's Soaps. She is now a consumer advocate and speaker on health and green lifestyle issues.
Lisa also recently published her ultimate green-cleaning guide with her book Soap & Soul, available at Amazon, where I found this window-cleaning recipe.

FAQs

What happens if you mix Castile soap with vinegar?

Although mixing Castile soap and vinegar may sound like it would make a superior eco-friendly cleaner, the two products will curdle when combined due to the alkaline nature of the soap and the acidic vinegar. Keep these products separate to avoid a cleaning solution that will do nothing more than leave a sticky white film behind on your surfaces.  

What is the difference between Castile soap and dish soap?

The main difference between castile soap and dish soap is the pH level. Castile soap is often more alkaline than other soaps and detergents, usually around 8.9 putting it level with Baking soda, but not as strong as chemical cleaners like bleach. This gentle alkaline solution therefore makes it an effective cleaning product for a huge range of tasks from household chores to washing your hands.  


There is more to perfectly transparent glass than using the right cleaning products – there are several window cleaning mistakes such as using too much product, cleaning on a bright sunny day, or applying too much pressure that can all ruin the final look of your windows.  

Chiana Dickson
Writer

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.