How to Make a Heavy-Duty Window Cleaner

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Sparkling Window
Sparkling Window (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Whether you purchase an older home, lease to tenants or heat with wood, you may encounter windows dirty enough to defy standard window cleaners. Before you throw up your hands in despair, try mixing up a batch of heavy-duty window cleaner. With a couple of common household cleaners and a bit of elbow grease, you'll soon have those windows sparkling like new.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup ammonia
  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/2 teaspoon dish soap
  • 1-gallon bucket
  • Latex gloves
  • Rags
  • Paper towels

Pour 1/2 gallon (2 quarts) hot water into a bucket.

Add ammonia, rubbing alcohol and dish soap; mix well.

Dip a rag into the solution and wring out until it's not dripping. Wash the window using a circular motion, taking care to reach the corners. If the window is heavy with grime, you may need to soak the cloth several times.

Rinse the rag in the bucket and wipe all dirt residue off the glass; if it's very dirty you may need to change the window cleaning solution.

Polish the glass dry with several crumpled paper towels.

Tips & Warnings

  • This process works well on glass fireplace doors and wood burner windows. Put some window cleaning solution in a spray bottle for quick maintenance cleaning. Newspapers work great for polishing glass. Drape the window cleaning rag over a squeegee for outdoor windows.
  • Do not breathe ammonia vapors.
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