After nearly 40 hours of reading, researching, spraying and wiping, we determined that Windex is the best window cleaner available. It’s powerful enough to break up grease and food stains on a variety of surfaces without leaving behind spots or streaks. Windex outperformed seven other glass cleaners by consistently eliminating blemishes and impurities and producing crystal-clear views and reflections. For a glass cleaner window cleaning that attacks grease — like on your microwave — Weiman proved a star performer.
How we selected finalists to test
We started by reading user reviews, marketing materials, consumer reports, and homecare blogs. Then, we dove into the science and debate about chemicals, exposure, safety, and do-it-yourself alternatives.
We looked at subreddits, like /r/homemaking, /r/diy, and even /r/autodetailing to find out what consumers think about the best glass cleaners on the market. With this information, we whittled our field down to six brands that represented the different methods of cleaning glass window cleaning ny
We opted to try one homemade recipe, one plant-based product, two cleaners containing ammonia, two aerosol sprays and one of the most well-known window-cleaning brands. We tested these products for their ability to eliminate dirt and germs on a variety of glass and other surfaces while leaving a streak-free finish.
Compare the best glass cleaners
Windex – Original
Glass Plus – Glass Cleaner Trigger
Weiman – Glass Cleaner
Seventh Generation – Free & Clear Glass & Surface Cleaner
Zep – Streak-Free Glass Cleaner
Stoner – Invisible Glass Premium
Your Best Digs – Homemade Glass Cleaner
glass cleaner straight on group shot
When you need to use window cleaners
Window-cleaning products became popular because they don’t leave behind the streaks that soap and other common cleaners often leave. A window or mirror looks clean when the oils and dirt are removed to reveal a crystal-clear view or reflection. But when glass is obstructed by streaky residue, it can be an eyesore.
You don’t want glass surfaces to just look clean, you want them to be disinfected and completely free of germs. Each one of our top seven products have ingredients that specifically disinfect surfaces.
While ammonia alone may kill many germs, like salmonella and E. coli, it isn’t recognized as a disinfectant by the FDA. Even when combined with isopropyl alcohol — as in Windex — it is not an effective defense against staphylococcus and other dangerous bacteria.
Other chemicals commonly used in glass cleaners offer more protection against germs, but if used improperly, they can cause irritation to the skin and respiratory system. Vinegar is a great natural antibacterial disinfectant, but many find the smell offensive, and it sometimes fails to thoroughly clean tough jobs.
When you shouldn’t use glass/window cleaner
While window cleaners are great products for many jobs around the house, they need to be kept away from certain tasks. For the most part, window/glass cleaners are not intended for use on automobile surfaces and tinted glass because common ingredients will damage them.
Many manufacturers of glass cleaners offer separate products for automobile use, but Stoner does claim that their glass cleaner spray is safe for car surfaces.
Safe on Car Surfaces: Stoner — Invisible Glass
Unique since the company says it’s safe for car surfaces, this product also performed well in our glass and microwave tests.
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Televisions and computer monitors shouldn’t be cleaned with glass-cleaning solutions. Unlike televisions from 20 years ago, modern TVs aren’t made of thick glass but of extremely thin layers of plastics, adhesives, display elements, and other materials.
When liquid penetrates these delicate layers, the monitors are ruined. A dry microfiber sheet should easily alleviate smudges, smears, and fingerprints from any modern monitor or display.
Another common mistake is using glass cleaner to scrub eye glasses. Yes, “glass” may be in the name, but eyeglasses are covered with a coating that’s unique to the prescription and ensures proper vision. Soap and warm water are best.
The best way to clean windows
Professional window washers tend to use soapy water and a squeegee for commercial jobs. While this is an effective technique for large outdoor projects, it’s not a practical solution for most indoor home cleaning.
Inside smudges and fingerprints are caused by oily residue that must be cut by something other than water and soap alone. In addition, the squeegee technique can be messy: each stroke creates an excess of water that must be deposited somewhere and inevitably ends up on window sills and floors.
Particularly indoors, you want to use a fabric that collects the liquid that’s sprayed on the glass — but which fabric?
While paper towels are useful to keep around the house, we found through our research that they’re not ideal for cleaning glass. First, they are made with dyes and adhesives that actually bind sheets together to make rolls of two-ply. These substances will leave streaks of their own, separate from those left by any residual cleaning liquid. Paper towels also leave behind lint, and they’re not the best choice for the environment or your wallet.