This all-natural, non-toxic homemade glass cleaner contains two unexpected ingredients that clean amazingly well: vodka and cornstarch! Learn more about these green cleaning ingredients and how they get glass sparkling clean.
A solution of water and plain white vinegar has been my go-to green cleaner for windows, mirrors, and other household glass surfaces for years. However, this simple vinegar cleaner was no match for sticky-fingered kids leaving prints on our glass door and dogs who love to watch our yard but leave slobbery streaks on the windows.
I decided to try making a more powerful on-toxic homemade glass cleaner and started to hunt for DIY glass cleaners online. I stumbled on this glass cleaner experiment by Crunchy Betty that tested an unusual ingredient (cornstarch) and had interesting results.
Corn starch in glass cleaner… sounds strange, doesn’t it? I decided to give the recipe a try, but to make the cleaner even more non-toxic I tried substituted vodka for rubbing alcohol.
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Homemade Glass Cleaner with Alcohol
Homemade glass cleaners often use alcohol as a key ingredient to help dry windows quickly and streak-free. Alcohol is a highly effective cleaning agent for several reasons:
- Alcohol evaporates quickly and leaves behind a streak-free shine.
- Alcohol is a solvent that can dissolve grease, oils, and other stubborn residues on glass surfaces
Isopropyl Alcohol vs Ethyl Alcohol
Both isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol can be toxic to humans in high concentrations, but isopropyl alcohol is generally considered to be more toxic than ethyl alcohol.
- Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, is a common ingredient in household cleaning products, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants. In high concentrations, it can cause skin irritation, respiratory distress, and other health problems. It is also flammable and should be stored and used with caution.
- Ethyl alcohol, on the other hand, is commonly found in alcoholic beverages such as vodka and is generally considered safe for human consumption in moderation. Of course, excessive alcohol consumption can have negative effects on the body, including liver damage, heart problems, and a weakened immune system.
Note: It’s important to use caution with both isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol to minimize any potential health risks. I prefer using vodka in my cleaners because it is safe for human consumption and has less of an scent than rubbing alcohol.
Which Alcohol Makes the Best Homemade Glass Cleaners?
The test: I made two batches of window cleaner, one using rubbing alcohol and one using vodka. Both cleaned glass well, removing dirt and grime. However, the rubbing alcohol-based glass cleaner left the smell of rubbing alcohol in the house. The vodka-based glass cleaner was virtually odorless.
The verdict: Cheap vodka is my new favorite glass-cleaning ingredient! I have spotless windows and mirrors with no funky odors floating about the house.
I dubbed the cleaner “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere Homemade Glass Cleaner” because of the vodka in the recipe. (Yeah, I’m a nerd!)
Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe
This homemade glass cleaner used vodka (ethanol), white vinegar, water, and a bit of cornstarch to get glass sparkling clean. The vinegar aids in the removal of mineral deposits, the water washes dirt away, and the vodka helps you get streak-free windows.
1.Combine in a glass spray bottle:
- ¼ cup of vodka (use a cheap, bottom-shelf brand for cleaning)
- ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 2 cups of warm water (warm water helps the cornstarch dissolve)
2. Shake well.
3. Store any leftover cleaner in a cool dark place (like under the sink), shake the mixture to combine before each use. The cornstarch with settle and the cleaner does not contain any thickening chemicals to keep it suspended.
*Learn to make my upcycled glass spray bottle for cleaning here.
Eco-Friendly Glass Cleaning Tips
- Spray the glass lightly and wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. I use a cotton towel or microfiber cloth, both leave less lint than paper towels.
- For an eco-friendly buff, many cleaners swear by newspaper. Use a sheet of newsprint (the black and white pages) crumpled into a ball for the finish dry.
- You can add scent to the cleaner by adding a few drops of essential oil. Be sure to shake before spraying. I prefer orange or lemon.
- You can boost the power of this glass cleaner by adding a bit of liquid dish soap.
- Want to learn more about the ingredients in glass and window cleaner? Check out my post about cleaning windows. It will help you make the best homemade window cleaner for your home!
Homemade Glass Cleaner Cost
Green cleaning doesn’t have to cost a lot of money! Homemade glass cleaner is downright cheap!
- $0.26 an ounce for the vodka (buy cheap vodka, about $9 a liter )
- $0.18 an ounce for the vinegar
- $0.05 for the cornstarch.
Total cost = $0.93 for 21 ounces or $0.04 an ounce.
The cheapest commercial natural glass cleaner available is $4.00 for 32 ounces or $0.12 an ounce.
More Vodka Based Cleaners to Try
I love using vodka to naturally clean and deodorize my home. It’s a natural disinfectant with very little odor. These easy all-natural DIYs all use vodka to clean your home:
- Non-Toxic Spray Starch (3 easy recipes)
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