My homemade glass cleaner rivals shop-bought solutions – and it only contains 3 ingredients

This simple glass cleaner made from vinegar is a must-have for your cleaning supply cupboard

Wooden dish brush and spray bottle with an organic cleaner and two natural toned rooms with large windows
(Image credit: Dan Duchars / victoriya89 via Getty Images / Future)

A few weeks ago, I started noticing that my store-bought glass cleaner just wasn’t cutting it anymore. No matter how much I scrubbed, streaks were always left behind on my windows and shower doors. Plus, I wasn’t exactly thrilled by the strong chemical odor that lingered after its use.

I did a little research and discovered that vinegar is not only great for cleaning windows but also non-toxic and eco-friendly. So, I decided to try making my own DIY glass cleaner using vinegar and simple ingredients that were already in my essential cleaning supplies cupboard.

To my surprise, it worked just as well as any store-bought cleaners. Here's how I made it:

What you need

This DIY glass cleaner is so simple to make, you probably already have most of these ingredients at home:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 cup of distilled water
  • A spray bottle
  • A few drops of essential oil

How to make it

I poured one cup of white vinegar into a clean spray bottle. Then, I added one cup of distilled water and a few drops of lavender essential oil. The essential oil is optional, but I highly recommend it if you’re not a huge fan of the vinegar smell. After securing the spray nozzle, I gave the bottle a good shake to mix everything together.

Putting the cleaner to the test

Once the spray was made, I headed to the nearest window to test it by spraying a generous amount onto the glass and wiping it down with a clean cloth. Surprisingly, the vinegar solution worked incredibly well, removing grime and fingerprints and leaving my windows crystal clear.

Keen to know if the solution worked on other glass surfaces, I tested it on a variety of spots around my home:

Mirrors: It can be difficult to clean a mirror, especially in bathrooms, as they often get splattered with water spots, toothpaste, and all sorts of daily grime. But when I spritzed my homemade solution onto my mirror and wiped it with a microfiber cloth, I was pleased to discover that it left behind a spotless, streak-free reflection.

Glass Shower Doors: Next, I cleaned my glass shower doors, which had built up some soapy residue since it had last been used. All I needed to do was generously spritz the spay over the doors and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing it with a sponge. The results were honestly quite impressive.

Picture Frames: Finally, I used the DIY cleaner on the glass fronts of my picture frames. Dust and fingerprints were no match for the vinegar solution, and soon enough, all my framed pictures looked as good as new.

How it works

Experts often clean with vinegar because of its naturally acidic nature. It effectively breaks down grease and grime, which is why it’s perfect for cleaning various glass surfaces throughout your home.

I used distilled water rather than standard tap water because tap water can leave behind mineral deposits, which might cause streaks.

I wouldn't recommend using undiluted vinegar, as it might be too harsh to use on your surfaces every day. Essential oils are also an important addition to help mask the strong vinegar smell.

My Top Tips

After using my DIY glass cleaner for a few days, I’ve learned a few helpful pointers:

  • Microfiber cloths are your friend. These cloths are gentle on glass and help to avoid scratches and streaks. When I used a fluffy hand towel, I didn't achieve the same results. You can buy a pack of 12 microfiber cloths for only $12.99 at Walmart.
  • Don’t over-spray your solution. A little goes a long way, and too much liquid can lead to drips and streaks.

Alongside a DIY glass cleaner, I've also started using white vinegar in my laundry to help brighten whites and keeping a bowl of vinegar by my stove to absorb unpleasant kitchen smells.

Gabriella Dyson
Head of Solved

Gabriella is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design, often found antiquing or browsing the aisles of her local hardware store. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and is in the process of renovating a Victorian coachhouse in the British countryside. 

For much of the past decade, Gabriella has worked as a freelance writer, crafting copy for national publications and renowned homeware brands. Most recently, she worked on Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, focusing on case studies for the magazine and website, as well as writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.