Windows constantly protect us from weather, but cleaning them is often a chore. Some home windows are easy to clean, like a sliding glass door covered in fingerprints, but others may be difficult to reach. Even our car windows can often use a good scrub. All of these types of windows require a reliable window cleaner!
To avoid a mistake in purchasing a particular window cleaner, we've compiled a list of the 10 best window cleaners available online that will make cleaning a breeze. Windex's Ammonia-Free Glass and Window Cleaner is one of our favorites, as it effectively removes dirt and grime while leaving no streaks behind. Also, we have a buying guide to help you decide which cleaner best fits your needs!
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Choosing a window cleaner takes some consideration, because you want to be sure that the formula works and won't leave streaks! Here's a buying guide explaining the different cleaners available to help with the decision-making process.
Window cleaners come in various forms and require different tools, such as a scrubber or squeegee, for better effectiveness. The most common types are liquids, sprays, or surface wipes.
Spray type cleaners are great for cleaning entire windows or other large glass surfaces. The mist emitted stays in place until you wipe it away, which means less liquid accumulates at the window sill.
This type of cleaner typically lasts longer than a liquid, as the spray pump just uses a little bit of product at a time. You don't have to worry about wasting the product, like with liquid products that can require measuring or mixing. Instead, you can just spray away!
If your window hasn't been cleaned for quite some time and tons of muck has formed, perhaps try a stronger cleaning solution in liquid form that you apply with a sponge. The advantage of this type of cleaner is that it can melt through whatever buildup has settled on your windows, such as grease, dust, or dirt.
Since liquids tend to run downwards, you'll need to be extra quick at wiping to keep the solution in the right area. You may also need to mix the solution into water to dilute it, which can take more time and equipment.
For quick fixes like removing fingerprints from your glass doors because you're expecting guests, you might want some surface wipes. These work much like your typical wet wipes and are mighty convenient for touch ups or lazy cleaning moments.
There are also wipes or pads that attach to a tool and are ideal for hard-to-reach areas. Unlike normal cleaners, these are often less messy to use since the wipes are already soaked with cleaning solutions.
Ammonia is a highly effective cleaning agent that can cut through grime easily. However, it might be irritating to the skin. Also, don't use ammonia on tinted windows, as it's too strong and can lighten or remove the tint.
If you don't want to use ammonia, there are ammonia-free options for you to choose from. Look for isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol. This solvent works by breaking down dirt from the glass surface to leave your windows streak-free.
Vinegar is also effective in cleaning and removing streaks. The acidic properties of vinegar can help dissolve and remove stains, dirt, and streak marks, and will work on new or mild hard water deposits. Plus, it's gentler on your skin compared to ammonia.
Another thing to keep in mind is that residue from cleaning solutions might leave streak marks behind. So look for ones that evaporate fast, like ones with alcohol, and make sure you wipe away the cleaning product completely!
In order to remove grease and grime, you'll need a cleaner with strong solvents that can dissolve all the stubborn oil and grease to leave your glass surfaces clean. Alcohols such as isopropyl alcohol and monoethanolamine (MEA) can effectively break up grease on glass surfaces. Plus, they don't leave behind streaks.
There are also some strong surfactants that can effectively remove dirt, grease, and grime. Some commonly found ones include 2-hexoxyethanol, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, and lauramine oxide.
Some windows, especially on vehicles, benefit from a special cleaner to prevent fog or mist in cold weather. Anti-fog glass cleaners or car windshield treatments may contain hydrophilic substances, which attract water molecules and spread them over the surface to prevent them from condensing on your windows and creating fog.
Others, like Rain-X, are hydrophobic, and cause water to bead up and run down the glass faster. This type may use chemicals like polysiloxanes and acetone.
Chemical agents like ammonia and alcohol tend to have a strong and unpleasant smell. Therefore, products with those cleaning agents are usually scented. Mint is one of the most common fragrances as it's refreshing. There are also floral fragrances like lavender and chamomile. Citrus fragrances such as lemon or lime are light and fresh.
Some manufacturers use synthetic fragrances to scent their products, while some others use plant-based essential oils like eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil. However, if you're sensitive to fragrance ingredients, there are fragrance-free products for you to choose from!
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Windex Glass Cleaner
Best Ammonia-Free Cleaner That Leaves No Streaks Behind
DocaPole Window Cleaning Kit
Best Versatile Product That Works Even on Aluminum, Chrome, and Fiberglass
Best for Dissolving Grease and Dirt
Windex Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes
Best Convenient Wipes That Provide a Quick Clean of Windows
Naturally Smudge-Smacking Glass Cleaner
Best for the Natural and Eco-Friendly Formula
Robot Window Cleaner
Best Alcohol-Based Formula for Tinted Car Windows
Windex Outdoor All-in-One Cleaning Tool
Best for the Foaming Action That Doesn't Drip
Best Glass Cleaner With a Rain Repellent
Glass and Window Cleaner
Best Vinegar-Based Window Cleaner With Natural Fragrances
Reach and Clean Tool Combo Kit
Best for Shortening Your Wiping Time
Windex's ammonia-free formula can effectively remove smudges without leaving streaks. It works on a variety of surfaces, and won't damage tinted glass. The bottle is even made from recycled plastic collected from locations where it was likely to end up in the ocean.
The scent didn't sit well with some users. On a positive note, many buyers loved that it can be used on tinted vehicle windows due to the lack of material-damaging ammonia. Reviewers noted that the product keeps windows and mirrors looking sparkling clean.
If you're looking for a versatile cleaning solution that works for multiple surfaces, this product from Glass Plus might be a good choice! It works great for windows, but can also be used on stainless steel and granite surfaces. On top of that, it doesn't contain ammonia and is safe for tinted windows as well.
A couple of buyers said the bottle was defective, causing the solution to leak out. Still, most complimented that the cleaning solution cleaned their windows and eliminated streaks very well. After using the product, many said their windows looked shiny and no longer cloudy. They also liked that the scent wasn't strong like that of products formulated with ammonia.
Sometimes an extra dirty window needs extra help. When it comes to removing hardened dirt, grime, or grease, you need professional strength. The product is made without ingredients that harm the environment, and the soap is biodegradable and ammonia-free.
Some buyers reported that the product left streaks, but others recommended using a squeegee for optimal, streak-free results. The majority said this solution could handle tough stains and grease on windows. They said that it worked for handprints from kids, smudges from pets, and residue from the weather.
These Windex wipes are serious about leaving absolutely no streaks. They're excellent for eyeglasses and very handy in getting those dog nose prints off the window. The packaging stays sealed tight to keep the wipes fresh.
A couple of buyers disliked that the wipes left lint behind. But most reviewers said that they cleaned windows, car windshields, screens of electronic devices, and other glass surfaces really well. They also liked that the wipes were easy and convenient to use. Another plus point for reviewers was that these wipes didn't leave behind any streaks.
This "smudge-smacking" cleaner is made with plant-derived cleaning agents, but is still powerful enough to remove dirt from your windows. At the same time, it's gentle on the environment and safe around kids or pets. You won't find alcohol, petroleum solvents, synthetic dyes, or ammonia in the formula.
A couple of buyers complained that this window cleaner left behind some streaks. Nonetheless, the majority loved the natural formula, and also liked that it had no scent. Many buyers further mentioned that this product cleaned well without requiring much elbow grease.
This window cleaner is alcohol-based and can easily break down grease, fingerprints, and pet smudges. Since alcohol evaporates quickly, it won't leave any streaks on your windows. What's more, the product is biodegradable and free from ammonia. It works for glass windows, tinted windows, mirrors, and many other surfaces.
A few buyers complained that the sprayer was defective. Meanwhile, most reviewers said this product did a great job in cleaning their windows. They did suggest using a cloth towel or microfiber cloth for the best results. Many reviewers praised the alcohol-based formula as it dried quickly.
This window cleaner is formulated with 2-butoxyethanol, which is a strong solvent that can effectively remove dirt, grease, and grime. Moreover, it has a foaming action that doesn't drip or run off the glass. You won't need to rinse your windows afterwards, plus, the formula is free from ammonia and is suitable for tinted windows as well.
A couple of buyers didn't like the scent. However, the majority were happy with the strong cleaning properties of this product and further mentioned that it left their windows shiny and streak-free. They said besides windows, it worked for mirrors and stainless steel as well.
This window cleaner cleans and shines glass surfaces without leaving a residue upon drying. Moreover, it's formulated to repel rain, snow, and ice from your car's windshield. This cleaning solution works on all types of surfaces, including tinted windows.
Many buyers found this window cleaner effective in cleaning their car's windshield while repelling rain and preventing fog from forming. Many were pleased that it didn't leave behind visible streak marks, and some use it for anti-fogging on their bathroom mirrors.
This natural window cleaner contains zero ammonia and no harsh chemicals. It removes smudges, fingerprints, rain spots, oil, and grime from your windows using a formula made with vinegar and sugar surfactants that received the highest safety score from the Environmental Working Group.
A few reviewers noted that there was a bit of lingering smell due to the vinegar. Even so, the majority confirmed that it cleaned really well and left them with a clear window. They were also pleased to know that it was non-toxic and safe for everyone and pets.
Hope's window cleaner is ammonia-free and formulated with strong solvents such as isopropanol and propylene glycol butyl ether to dissolve dirt and grime quickly without requiring a lot of wiping. It doesn't streak even in direct sunlight. Besides glass windows, you can also use this solution on light fixtures, glass TV screens, or tabletops.
Many reviewers were happy with this product's cleaning ability, and further noted that it cleaned glass without leaving behind any streaks. But some buyers did recommend using lint-free paper towels or microfiber towels for best results. They also liked that it's unscented.
If you're in the mood to tackle other areas of the house that need cleaning, check out these suggestions! Whether you need to vacuum out your car or tackle a dirty toilet, these highly recommended products will get the job done.
If you haven't found the right product for you after reading our list of favorites, check out Amazon's bestselling window cleaners!
No. 1: Windex｜Windex Glass Cleaner
No. 2: Glass Plus｜DocaPole Window Cleaning Kit
No. 3: Ettore｜Squeegee Off
No. 4: Windex｜Windex Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes
No. 5: Better Life｜Naturally Smudge-Smacking Glass Cleaner
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