A good and basic recipe for window washing liquid combines one part hot water and one part white vinegar. Alternatively, recipes may add in liquid dish detergent or alcohol.
Homemade window washing liquids protect against the toxins and chemicals that exist in commercially available products. Additionally, the recipe is often cheaper than the store-bought cleaners.
Vinegar is an acidic disinfectant and is usually enough to remove the grime commonly found on windows. However, the addition of 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent to the basic window washing liquid recipe enhances the cleaning power. The detergent helps to remove grease and dirt that is not removed with vinegar alone.
For a streak-free shine, alternative recipes incorporate rubbing alcohol and/or ammonia. One example of this recipe combines 1 cup 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, 7 cups water, 1/4 cup ammonia and 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent. Alcohol and ammonia washing solutions are particularly harsh on rubber and silicon window sealants. The solution can dry out the sealants and shorten their lifespan.
Window washings done later in the day or at a time when windows are not in direct sunlight produce the best cleaning results. Additionally, if windows are being cleaned in conjunction with other cleaning tasks, the windows should be cleaned last. Doing so prevents the dust from other cleaning from sticking to the freshly washed glass.