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6 Easy Ways to Clean a Mirror or Window Without Glass Cleaner

6 Easy Ways to Clean a Mirror or Window Without Glass Cleaner
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The cleanliness of the glass surfaces in your house, such as your windows and mirrors, can have a huge impact on how clean your home looks. It always amazes me what a difference it makes when we clean our bathroom mirrors or the slider to our back deck.

We have two kids, two dogs, and three cats at home. I don’t think I even need to mention how many noses, hands, and paws leave their marks on various glass surfaces. As you can imagine, it doesn’t take long for a window or mirror to go from clean to filthy.

While Windex, or any glass cleaner, can get the job done, we don’t always have it around. And even when we do, it’s not something we like to use around our kids and animals.

It’s always good to have options, so in this article, I’m going to give you various ways to clean mirrors and glass without Windex.

How to Clean Glass Without Glass Cleaner

Glass surfaces only look good and serve their intended purpose when they’re clean. After all, how good is a mirror when you can’t see your reflection, or a window when you can’t see what’s on the other side?

The purpose of glass cleaner is to clean the surface without leaving behind any lint or residue. If you don’t have any on hand though, you might have something else that will work just as well to use as a substitute.

The next time you need to clean glass without Windex, give one of the following methods a try.

1 – Water

A cleaning lady wipes glass with a rag and water

The cheapest way to clean a mirror or window without using Windex is to simply use water. While glass cleaner will work better than water at removing built up grime, if you’re the type of person that cleans regularly, you can probably get by with water and elbow grease most of the time.

Not only is this the cheapest option, but it is also the least toxic (although it won’t do as good of a job of disinfecting your glass).

2 – Disinfecting Wipes

Another easy option for cleaning glass that doesn’t involve glass cleaner is to use a disinfecting wipe. Clorox even recommends using them for this purpose on their website. We’ve tried this at home for the really bad surfaces (like our back slider that our dogs put their noses on all the time) and have had pretty good results.

3 – Baby Wipes

Baby Wipes

A simple substitute for glass cleaner that we’re very familiar with in my house is using baby wipes (we’ve switched to these ones recently). We seem to find new uses for these things all the time.

They seem to do a pretty good job of cleaning glass and are definitely less toxic to use than a disinfecting wipe, so we use them if we need to clean a small spot on a window really quickly and we already have one nearby.

4 – Liquid Dish Soap

Cleaning a window with dish soap and a squeegee

A good DIY alternative for glass cleaner is to mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with water. This is a relatively low-cost way to get your windows or mirrors clean and can be pretty effective. Just make sure to use a microfiber cloth or similar material that doesn’t leave any lint behind.

If you want to really go DIY, use a coffee filter instead of a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Coffee filters don’t tear easily, they don’t leave lint behind, and they’re made to hold up when wet.

Best of all, they’re cheap and something you probably already have on hand.

5 – Dryer Sheets

While we’re thinking outside of the box, another DIY way to clean your glass surfaces without glass cleaner is to use a dryer sheet. Dryer sheets are known to work well for this purpose, and many people use them to clean their glass doors in their showers.

Even a used dryer sheet will do the trick, so don’t throw them away after they’ve made the trip through your dryer. This might also be a good use for your dryer sheets if you decide that you don’t want to use them in your dryer anymore.

6 – Vinegar

Last, but not least, another good substitute for glass cleaner is to use vinegar. Simply mix vinegar and water in a 50/50 ratio or less (using less vinegar), then clean as you would with any of the other options above.

This is the go-to solution for many people and works very well as an alternative for Windex.

Final Thoughts

While glass cleaner works well for its intended purpose, there are times where you either don’t have it on hand or simply want to avoid using it. Whatever the reason, just know that there are plenty of reasonable options to choose from when you need a good substitute that will produce similar results.