DIY Window Cleaner


We are mid-summer right now and you know what I can’t avoid at this point?  My dirty windows.  I washed them inside and out this spring but you know what spring weather is like…rain, rain and more rain along with some birds who have bombed our windows.  So my windows are dirty…again!

You might be thinking, “Big deal! Get over it.”  But have you ever noticed the difference when you have clean windows?  First of all, from the curb your house looks cleaner and more put together.  I’ll never forget an older woman, who was related to one of my neighbors, went out of her way to compliment me on my clean windows.  If I didn’t have motivation then, I sure did after her compliment.

Okay, second of all when you are inside doing dishes and you’d much rather be outside enjoying the great Montana summer, isn’t it better to have a clear view of the landscape than dirt, grime and water stains?  I love looking out my windows and since they are a major part of our house, I am committed to keep them clean or at least attempt to keep them clean.

Homemaking Biner

My homemaker binder predates Pinterest.

Years ago I stumbled across a little window cleaning tip in a magazine.  I tested it out and was so thoroughly impressed by it that I cut the article out and now it has a prominent place in my Homemaking binder (yeah, it’s Reality Pinterest).

I have referred to this method of washing my windows for years.  I’d prefer to only have to use it twice a year but I’m afraid that with colder, wetter springs and now with the forest fires which produce smoke which in turn produces icky grime on the windows, I’m looking at increasing my window washing regimen.

But this method makes it super easy and completely worthwhile.  Plus, since it uses ingredients that most homes have and these ingredients are super cheap, then it really has stolen my heart.  If you haven’t read all my frugal cleaning blogs then I need to mention that every frugal home needs to have the following items on hand at all times: rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and Dawn dish soap (super cheap at the drugstores when matched with a coupon).  With these items you can create a variety of cleaners including this Outdoor Window Cleaner.

This cleaner only used ammonia and Dawn dish soap.  Fill a bucket with hot water then pour just a splash of ammonia in along with a drop of dishwashing soap.  That’s it.  Use a rag to wash the window down and then use a cloth diaper to dry it off.  This method leaves the windows sparkling and streak-free without very much effort!

Easy DIY window cleaner

A bucket of hot water, ammonia, dishwashing soap and a cloth diaper–all the ingredients you need for clean and shiny windows.

I love that this homemade version uses old cloth diapers.  After three kids, I have a stack of them and am delighted to use them in such a useful and effective way.  If you don’t have them, old t-shirts would work too.  But I love the way the diapers absorb the water off the window and once your done you just throw them into the washing machine and they are ready to use again.

I have a few second story windows which are hard to clean.  Years ago I bought a bottle of Windex Outdoor Window Cleaner which you attach to your hose and spray on the window.  Well, I still have the empty bottle so this week I am going to fill it with my homemade concoction and tackle those upstairs windows.  Brilliant, huh?  Who needs to spend $5 or more for a commercial cleaner?  I won’t be able to dry the windows but I’m pretty sure they’ll look lots better!

After all the pollen floating in the air, birds dropping bombs and now the smoke, you should take a look at your windows.  It might be time to try this simple and frugal method for improving your outlook on life!


 Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.


Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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