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Window cleaner buying guide

The best ways to keep your windows streak-free.

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Window cleaning can be easy and hassle-free if you have the right cleaning solution for the job. We’ll help you choose between sprays and wipes and examine the difference between all-natural and ammonia-based formulas. We’ll also offer some practical tips for getting your windows spotless and streak-free.

Compare some of the best window cleaners

Name Avg. price
(USD)
Type Size Ammonia-free? Purchase
Windex Glass Cleaner $3 Spray 23 fl oz No Shop now
Method Glass Cleaner + Surface Cleaner $4 Spray 28 fl oz Yes Shop now
Glass Plus $3.50 Spray 32 fl oz Yes Shop now
Windex Original Wipes $3 Wipes 28 wipes No Shop now
Windex Outdoor Window Cleaner $19.50 Spray 2 32-oz bottles No Shop now
Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner $5.50 Spray 67.6 fl oz Yes Shop now
Invisible Glass $16 Spray 2 44-oz bottles Yes Shop now
Data obtained April 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Do I need a window-specific cleaner?

Not necessarily. Most all-purpose or multi-purpose surface sprays are generally fine to use on your windows. Using a multi-purpose cleaner is practical because you only need one product for a variety of cleaning jobs. However, window cleaners are specifically formulated for the task at hand and have been designed to reduce streaks and ensure that glass is shining and spotless.

When should I hire a professional?

If you need to clean windows that are two stories off the ground or higher, consider hiring a professional.

The cost of hiring a professional window cleaner depends on the following:

  • Number of windows
  • Window size
  • Height
  • How clean they are
  • Type of glass
  • How easy the windows are to access

How safe are window-cleaning products?

While they’re generally safe to use, window cleaning liquids can be harmful if consumed. Window cleaners should be kept out of the reach of children and animals. Many window cleaner bottles are designed with an off switch or a lock function that should be engaged when not in use.

Most window cleaners come with a material safety data sheet (MSDS), often available on a manufacturer’s website. This contains information on the composition of the spray, dangerous substances in the formula and any potential health and safety impacts. MSDSs also provide suggestions on appropriate storage and disposal.

Is ammonia dangerous?

Ammonia is a colorless gas that dissolves into water and makes for an effective glass cleaner. Some people prefer to avoid it, as there have been reports of people experiencing dry eyes, headaches, nausea and dizziness when using this ingredient. However, ammonia is generally considered to be safe if used correctly in ventilated areas.

If you’re concerned about the dangers of ammonia, look for an ammonia-free formula or consider an all-natural alternative. Window cleaners should state clearly on the bottle whether or not they contain ammonia.

What are natural window cleaners?

Natural cleaners are often made of a vinegar mix or a combination of vinegar and bicarbonate soda — both of which are biodegradable cleaning agents.

You can purchase all-natural cleaners in-store, online or mix them yourself with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. They’re particularly helpful for people who struggle with allergies or are sensitive to chemical smells and substances. However, they may not produce the same streak-free results as a typical window cleaner and it may take some trial and error to find the best formula.

What types are available?

Window cleaners come in two forms: sprays and wipes.

  • Sprays. Sprays are more effective than wipes across large surfaces. They’re also less wasteful and more cost-efficient in the long term. Many brands sell cleaners in large containers that you can then pour into your reusable spray bottle to avoid making regular trips to the store.
  • Wipes. Wipes are convenient for quickly cleaning small smudges, but they’re less effective since they’re usually single-use and disposable.

How to compare window cleaners

When purchasing a window cleaner consider the following features:

How to prevent streak marks on windows

Even the best sprays can leave behind streak marks, but by using specific tools and techniques, you can have streak-free windows for good.

Here are our top tips to prevent streaks when cleaning your windows:

  1. Don’t go too heavy on the spray. Many of us make the mistake of thinking the more spray we use, the cleaner the window will be. But this is a mistake. The extra liquid and foam can leave behind streak and drip marks if not entirely soaked up, so only use what you need.
  2. Don’t use paper towels. This is another common mistake. Although convenient, paper towels can disintegrate quickly and often leave behind pieces of lint. Try a microfiber cloth or a squeegee if you have one.
  3. Buff it out. If all else fails, a good old-fashioned buff with a clean, dry cloth should nix those remaining streaks.

Bottom line

If you’re looking to clean your windows faster and keep them clean for longer, start comparing window cleaners today.

How did we choose these products?

We compared the type, size, price and effectiveness of each product to create our list of the top window cleaners. We also conducted our own online research and took into account third-party product reviews.

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