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No Streak Homemade Glass Cleaner without Vinegar

What’s the first thing I do when Spring cleaning? Clean the windows! Usually cleaning mirrors and windows is such a chore because of the annoying streaks left behind from glass cleaner. That’s why I have to share with you this Windex substitute I made! It’s an amazing no streak homemade glass cleaner without vinegar.

Green spray bottle filled with glass cleaner with crate of oranges behind on the table

How to Clean Glass Without Windex

That’s right. I said it. A DIY glass cleaner that doesn’t use vinegar – so no vinegar smell. It’s a miracle!

I haven’t used traditional glass cleaners in what feels like forever. First of all, I think the shocking colors of some glass cleaners are reason enough to worry about the chemicals in them.

Second, the smell of normal glass cleaners tends to make me sick and feel bad, anyway, because of a chemical sensitivity to the artificial fragrances.

So I had been trying to clean windows without Windex for years. Without good results.

Which meant that I just avoided cleaning windows. Pretty easy answer, huh?

Except when you actually DO need to clean windows because of all of the dirt and grime that build up with normal life.

green spray bottle with oranges beside on wooden table

I’ve used spray bottles of vinegar on windows as my primary method of cleaning windows. And I’ve never been very happy with the result. Even when I use newspaper to wipe the windows.

I have been VERY happy with the E-Cloth Glass and Polishing Cloth (I first found out how well it worked on my car windows) but I know that many of you would rather DIY a glass cleaner for a few cents rather than buy a new cleaning tool.

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So that’s why I’m happy to share this no streak window cleaner without ammonia.

Plus, it’s totally customizable with your selection of essential oils.

green spray bottle on wood table with box of oranges and white cloth behind it

Essential oils not only help to create natural aromatherapy in your home while cleaning, but they can boost cleaning power, too.

This DIY homemade glass cleaner uses orange essential oil since it is highly effective at cutting through grease. Lemon essential oil is believed to be great at killing germs and bacteria. Feel free to use whatever fragrances you enjoy to make your chores more enjoyable for you!

No Streak Homemade Glass Cleaner without Vinegar


green spray bottle blue measuring cup measuring dishes on white countertop



1. Pour water into measuring cup.

2. Add rubbing alcohol to the measuring cup.

3. Add cornstarch to the water and rubbing alcohol in the measuring cup. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients until they are combined well.

small bowl of cornstarch being poured into blue measuring cup

4. Add lemon essential oil and orange essential oil.

5. Stir the mixture again with a whisk.

blue measuring cup with cloudy white glass cleaner mixture inside and measuring cups surrounding on white countertop

6. Pour into a spray bottle.

blue measuring cup pouring liquid into a green spray bottle

NOTE: Always be sure to shake the bottle well before each use. Otherwise, the cornstarch can start thickening up and will clog your spray bottle nozzle. Shaking the window cleaner solution will distribute the cornstarch through the liquid and make for easier no streak cleaning.

ALSO NOTE: You must rub the glass cleaner spray until the liquid is completely gone. Leaving the liquid residue behind will allow a cornstarch film to remain on your windows.

The Secret to No Streak Windows

We have all heard about how vinegar won’t cause streaks when cleaning your windows.

I can tell you from personal experience that is a lie.

We have heard that newspaper will prevent streaking on your windows, too.

green spray bottle oranges on wood slat table

Again, I have found that is not true, either. (At least not today’s modern newspapers.)

The weird answer to cleaning glass without streaks is to use cornstarch.

Yep, the same ingredient that you use in cooking. And costs just pennies per use.


green spray bottle with measuring cups on table around it

Cornstarch disrupts the way that water behaves on a window. Windows aren’t entirely flat and smooth, even though they appear that way. When you spray any cleaner on a window, small droplets will accumulate in those tiny pits all throughout the glass.

When you spray cleaner on the window and then try to wipe away, the water in the glass cleaner bonds with the water hiding in the pits of the glass (it’s actually a hydrogen-bonding issue, to get all scientific and technical). And that causes streaking.

Cornstarch stops that bonding. Which means that the water won’t stick to the other water droplets hidden in the glass.

And you get streak-free windows.


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Tuesday 5th of October 2021

I tried your formula without the essential oils since I didn’t have them, and I loved the results. I’ve never been impressed with the results I got from vinegar. Thank you.

Kimberly Button

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

Thank you, Rhonda! So glad to hear this.

Linda Gerrity

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Just a note do not be using this on a wooden cabinet with glass , the alcohol will ruin the wood finish .


Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

While I love finding new recipes for cleaning, I do use vinegar mixed with water and essential oils. I have never had streaks on mirrors or windows.

Kimberly Button

Thursday 7th of May 2020

Thank you for the tip!


Saturday 11th of January 2020

We live in the mountains and our window exteriors are 30 feet or more above the ground. we paid $300 last year to have our windows done inside and out! I asked the man what his secret ingredient was in his cleaner.... He told me he uses water, few drops Dawn and a good splash of RAIN-X. - for car windshields. but that JET DRY for dishwashers should work as well


Tuesday 8th of October 2019

I wonder how many people who use vinegar to clean their glass and get streaks are using apple cider vinegar, smoke in their home, or have lots of candles/air fresheners in use. I have none of those and use straight up distilled vinegar on all my windows & mirrors with a cheap & simple microfiber towel. No streaks. Ever. 1- apple cider vinegar leaves streaks, especially the unfiltered kind 2- any time you've got lots of smoke or other particles in the air, they get on glass surfaces and then usually pushed around when cleaning is attempted. Unless you have something that will cut it. 3- do NOT use fabric softener on your cleaning towels ... it coats them with stuff that gets smeared around on your glass when you attempt to clean with it.

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Wednesday 10th of July 2019

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