woman in white long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans standing beside white wooden framed glass

What is the trick for cleaning glass?

Don’t worry; we have the solutions to all your glass-cleaning woes. Our tricks will surprise you and leave you with windows that sparkle in the sunlight and mirrors that are clear enough to always show your best side. The first step is concocting, with our recipe, a cleaner that is stronger than any you’d have to pay money for.

Key Takeaways

  • DIY glass cleaner recipes can be as effective as commercial products and are often more eco-friendly.
  • Using the right tools, like microfiber cloths and squeegees, can make a significant difference in achieving streak-free glass.
  • Different cleaning techniques, such as S-shape and Z-shape motions, can help in removing dirt and preventing streaks.
  • Avoid common mistakes like using too much cleaner or cleaning in direct sunlight to achieve the best results.
  • Eco-friendly tips, such as using reusable materials and natural solutions, contribute to sustainable cleaning practices.

DIY Glass Cleaner Recipes

top-view artichoke and round orange fruits on piled plates

Vinegar and Water Solution

A simple yet effective glass cleaner can be made by combining two parts water with one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. This solution is not only economical but also free from unknown chemicals. It’s perfect for those who prefer a natural cleaning approach.

Alcohol-Based Cleaner

For a more robust cleaning solution, mix together 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 1 cup of water, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. This mixture evaporates quickly, leaving your glass surfaces streak-free. Isopropyl alcohol and white vinegar together make a powerful cleaner that rivals commercial brands.

Essential Oil Additives

To add a pleasant scent to your homemade glass cleaner, consider adding a few drops of essential oils. Lemon or lavender oils not only smell great but also have additional cleaning properties. Simply add 5-10 drops to your vinegar and water or alcohol-based solution for an extra touch of freshness.

Homemade glass cleaners are not only cost-effective but also environmentally friendly. They allow you to clean your glass surfaces without the worry of harmful chemicals.

Best Tools for Cleaning Glass

black metal frame glass cross decor

Cleaning glass is more about the tools than the elbow grease. With the right stuff in your bucket, you can get your glass streak-free and crystal-clear in no time. Below are some of the best tools to help you achieve that perfect shine.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are a must-have for cleaning glass. They are highly absorbent and can hold a lot of water, making them perfect for wiping down surfaces without leaving streaks. Microfiber sleeves can hold a lot of water, and usually come with scrub pads on the ends for spots that are harder to clean.


Using newspaper is an old trick that still works wonders. The paper and ink act as a mild abrasive, helping to remove grime without scratching the glass. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle old newspapers.


Squeegees are essential for large glass surfaces like windows and mirrors. They help remove excess water and cleaning solution, leaving the glass dry and streak-free. For best results, use a squeegee with a rubber blade and wipe it clean after each pass.

Keeping glass clean around your home can be a challenge unless you have the correct tools and methods to achieve streak-free windows and mirrors. There’s also a bit of an art and a science to glass cleaning, from the direction you wipe dirt away to the type of material you use to clean glass.

Effective Cleaning Techniques

clear glass cup on table

S-Shape Motion

Using an S-shape motion is a highly effective way to clean glass surfaces. This technique helps to cover a large area without missing any spots. Start at the top and work your way down to ensure that any drips are cleaned up as you go.

Z-Shape Motion

The Z-shape motion is another popular method for cleaning glass. This technique is particularly useful for removing stubborn spots and streaks. Begin at one corner and move in a zigzag pattern across the surface.

Circular Buffing

Circular buffing is ideal for giving your glass a polished finish. Use a microfiber cloth and make small, circular motions to buff out any remaining streaks or smudges. This method is especially effective for mirrors and smaller glass surfaces.

Detailing is crucial. Once you’ve completed your big once-over, go back and look at the little spots that you may have missed. Toothbrushes and non-gel toothpastes make for a great spot cleaner.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

clear glass teacup with saucer set on table

When cleaning glass, there are several common mistakes that can hinder your efforts and leave you with less-than-perfect results. Here are some pitfalls to watch out for:

Using Too Much Cleaner

Applying an excessive amount of cleaner can lead to streaks and residue on the glass. You need plenty of cleaner to dissolve and suspend the dirt, but overdoing it can be counterproductive. Aim for a balanced approach to ensure a streak-free finish.

Cleaning in Direct Sunlight

Choosing a sunny day to clean your windows might seem like a good idea, but it can actually cause the cleaner to dry too quickly, leaving hard-to-remove streaks. If the weather won’t cooperate, start on the shady side of the house to avoid this issue.

Using Paper Towels

While paper towels are convenient, they can leave lint and fibers on the glass, resulting in a less-than-perfect finish. Opt for microfiber cloths or other lint-free materials to achieve a cleaner result.

Avoiding these common mistakes can make a significant difference in your glass cleaning efforts, leading to clearer, streak-free windows and mirrors.

Eco-Friendly Glass Cleaning Tips

assorted garbage bottles on sandy surface

Reusable Cleaning Materials

Switching to reusable cleaning materials is a simple yet effective way to reduce waste. Microfiber cloths, for instance, can be washed and reused multiple times, unlike paper towels that contribute to landfill waste. Additionally, using old newspapers can be a great alternative for a streak-free finish.

Natural Cleaning Solutions

For an environmentally friendly glass-cleaning solution, mix vinegar with warm water. This combination is not only effective but also nontoxic. Avoid using cleaners that contain ammonia or are alcohol-based, as these may leave streaks or light films that attract more dust down the road.

Water Conservation Tips

When cleaning glass, it’s important to be mindful of water usage. Use a spray bottle to apply your cleaning solution, which helps in controlling the amount of liquid used. Also, consider using distilled water instead of tap water to avoid mineral deposits that can leave streaks.

By adopting these eco-friendly tips, you can achieve sparkling clean glass surfaces while also being kind to the environment.

Special Tips for Different Types of Glass

man cleaning white building

Cleaning Mirrors

When cleaning mirrors, it’s crucial to use a lint-free cloth to avoid leaving behind fibers. For the best results, research your specific glass type before you begin work. A mixture of vinegar and water can be very effective. Spray the solution onto the mirror and wipe it off using an S-shaped motion to prevent streaks.

Cleaning Windows

Windows often accumulate more dirt and grime than other types of glass. Start by dusting off any loose debris. Then, use a mixture of water and a few drops of dish soap. Apply the solution with a sponge and wipe it off with a squeegee, working from top to bottom. This method ensures a streak-free finish.

Cleaning Glass Tabletops

Glass tabletops can be prone to smudges and fingerprints. Use a microfiber cloth and an alcohol-based cleaner for the best results. Rub the glass with a slightly damp, lint-free cloth to remove any remaining streaks. For stubborn spots, a mixture of baking soda and water can be used as a gentle abrasive.

Remember, cleaning glass is more about the tools than the elbow grease. Using the right materials and techniques will make the job much easier and more effective.

Maintaining Streak-Free Glass

open window glass

Buffing is a crucial step in achieving streak-free glass. After cleaning, take a clean, dry microfiber cloth and lightly buff the glass. This ensures any very fine streaks or residue are removed. Rotate your microfiber cloths to a clean side regularly to maintain effectiveness. If the cloth gets too wet, swap it out to avoid streaking issues.

Proper drying methods are essential for maintaining streak-free glass. One effective technique is to clean from the top to the bottom. This way, gravity helps the cleaner drip into areas you haven’t washed yet, preventing drips on already cleaned surfaces. Additionally, using a squeegee can help remove excess moisture efficiently.

To prevent future streaks, always use clean tools and avoid cleaning in direct sunlight, as it can cause the cleaner to dry too quickly, leaving streaks. Also, consider using distilled water in your cleaning solution to minimize mineral deposits that can cause streaks.

For a streak-free finish, make sure to get into the corners and edges of the glass, as these areas often harbor hidden dirt and residue.

Maintaining streak-free glass can be a challenge, but with our professional window cleaning services, you can enjoy crystal-clear views all year round. Our Edinburgh-based team ensures your windows are spotless, from Leith to Morningside. Visit our website to learn more and get a free estimate today!


Cleaning glass can often seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and tools, it becomes a breeze. By making your own cleaner, using materials like newspaper and coffee filters, and avoiding direct sunlight, you can achieve streak-free, sparkling glass every time. Remember, the key is in the details—buffing with a microfiber cloth, using the right motions, and ensuring thorough coverage. With these tricks up your sleeve, your windows and mirrors will always be crystal clear, reflecting your best side and letting the sunlight in without any streaks or smudges. Happy cleaning!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best homemade glass cleaner recipe?

A mixture of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water is highly effective. For tougher dirt, you can increase the amount of vinegar.

Can I use newspaper to clean glass?

Yes, newspaper is a great tool for cleaning glass. It helps to scrub away dirt and leaves the glass streak-free.

Why should I avoid cleaning glass in direct sunlight?

Cleaning in direct sunlight can cause the cleaner to dry too quickly, leading to streaks and spots.

What motion should I use for cleaning glass?

Using an S-shape or Z-shape motion is recommended for thorough cleaning and to avoid streaks.

Are there eco-friendly ways to clean glass?

Yes, using natural solutions like vinegar and water, and reusable materials like microfiber cloths or newspaper, are eco-friendly options.

Why is distilled water better for cleaning glass?

Distilled water doesn’t contain minerals that can leave deposits and streaks on the glass.