The 10 Best Window Cleaners to Buy 2020

The 10 Best Window Cleaners to Buy 2020

While window cleaning is one of those tedious household chores that we try to avoid for as long as possible, it is something that we have to perform again and again. After all, anyone with a child or pet in the home can testify that the need to wipe pesky stains and fingerprint smudges  from windows is an ever-present nuisance.

Honestly, it is amazing how dirty windows and glass surfaces can get! However, thanks to the cleaning supply industry, we have window cleaning solutions to ease our troubles. Using the right window and glass surface cleaner can make all the difference, leave surfaces shinier and clearer, and relieve unnecessary daily stress. These types of cleaners easily get rid of dirt, dust, oils, stains, and grease, making your life a lot easier.

To help you find the best window cleaner that would suit your needs, we came up with a list of the 10 best window cleaners available. We will also discuss how to choose the right window cleaner, their types, and the best way to use them in order to truly provide you with the best equipment to go out and eliminate future headaches.

Factors to Consider When Buying Window Cleaners

Type of Window Cleaner

Let’s be honest: window cleaning is not high up on anyone’s list of favorite chores. So, applying a window cleaning product should at least be made as easy as possible. There are three main ways window cleaners are applied: either with a spray bottle, an aerosol can, or pre-moistened wipe. Misting spray bottles are the easiest to use for a full house-cleaning, and wipes are easier for quick touch-ups. Foam sprays are best for precise applications or heavy-duty cleaning. For a full breakdown of window cleaner types, check out our full breakdown of the different types of glass cleaners.

Performance

How well a window cleaner cleans is one of the most important considerations to keep in mind. One that takes a lot of elbow grease or multiple applications to work is only going to stress you out. Even small homes typically have many glass surfaces or windows, so you’ll want a powerful solution to make cleaning easy!

Ingredients

Like any other cleaning solution, window cleaner is made from a variety of chemicals and compounds. Ammonia, butyl glycol, isopropyl alcohol, and harsh fragrances are all common in window cleaners, and though safe when used carefully, some more safety-conscious buyers may want to avoid them altogether. We’ll point out any potentially harmful ingredients that each product contains: but keep in mind that no glass cleaner is safe for consumption, so no matter what steps a manufacturer takes to keep its product safe, only use it as directed.

With all of this in mind, we’re going to get into our picks for the best window cleaners around—but if you’re still not seeing things clearly, feel free to jump down to our full guide to choosing the perfect glass cleaner for you and your family.

Top 10 Best Window Cleaners 2020

1. Best Overall Window Cleaner Windex Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner

Windex Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: Windex is one of the most popular and reputable brands out there. It cleans glass and windows without running or leaving messy streaks, and its ammonia-free formula means its safe and effective on sensitive surfaces.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Liquid spray
Size: 23 fl oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: None

If you want your windows looking crystal-clear, then you simply need a Windex cleaner. It stood the test of time and has proven its effectiveness, being the number one window and glass cleaner for generations. This budget-friendly liquid window cleaner comes in a 23 oz spray bottle with a super easy-to-grip handle.

Windex Ammonia-Free magically removes smudges, dirt, grime, and even fingerprints, and since it’s ammonia-free, it doesn’t leave any unpleasant odors. Instead, it sports that fresh, after-rain smell, and it is probably one of the best smelling window cleaners on our list.

Over the years, Windex cleaning products have become the most favored and reliable window cleaners. It is a perfect cleaning solution for many glass surfaces, including almost all types of windows, mirrors, and even glass furniture. And, since it doesn’t contain ammonia, it’s perfect for car windows. Unless you need to clean glass that’s caked with filth, it should meet the needs of most people. If you like the original Windex formula’s effectiveness but want to avoid as many harmful ingredients.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Effective on most stains
  • Easy to apply
  • Ammonia-free
  • Great on car windows

Cons

  • Not suitable for extremely dirty windows.

2. Best Premium Window Cleaner Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner

Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner is a powerful cleaner that can work on nearly any surface, including cooktops and electronic device screens. While high-priced, its excellent performance and multi-use formula makes it a practical luxury.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Liquid
Size: 67.6 oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: None

Whenever you are tasked with choosing a cleaner for windows and glass surfaces, the deal-breaker usually comes down to whether the product leaves streaks. Perfect Glass has a powerful formula that effectively dissolves grease, fingerprints, and grime, leaving the surface crystal clear. Perfect Glass is so powerful that it would be an ideal product for heavy-duty cleaning.

Hope’s Perfect Glass is also ideal for cleaning smartphone and tablet screens, and even photo lenses. So if you were looking for a professional glass cleaner for your devices, this cleaner would be a neat solution! Over the past few years, this window cleaner has been highly rated by both homeowners and professional house cleaners alike. It also doesn’t contain ammonia, so there’ll be no worries about harsh smells and harmful chemicals that can affect your health. While the formula itself is effective, the bottle can easily spill, sometimes even during shipping.

Tip: Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner comes in a large bottle meant to be used to fill your own bottles, so you won’t get a spray bottle with your purchase—you’ll need to buy one seperately.

Pros

  • Ammonia-free formula
  • Pleasant scent
  • Safe for screens
  • Safe for tinted windows

Cons

  • Can spill easily
  • No included spray bottle

3. Best Window Cleaner for Car Windows Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner

Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: The easy-to-use Invisible Glass Glass Premium Cleaner releases a fine mist of foam, resulting in a less messy foam that’s perfect for cleaning caked-on grime from car windows.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Foam
Size: 19 oz each, 3 cans
Potentially harmful ingredients: None

This Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner is a multi-purpose window cleaner that cleans house windows, glass, mirrors, and car windows. The product comes in a 19-oz aerosol can, and the formula is a no-drip fine-mist foam spray. Like Windex Ammonia-Free, it’s formulated without ammonia, meaning there is no harsh odor. So even though it’s fragrance-free, it has only a light chemical smell which evaporates pretty quickly. It also doesn’t contain any soap or dye, making it safe to use on multiple surfaces, including tinted windows.

Overall, the Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner is a particularly effective and powerful cleaning product. It easily removes smudges, grease, oils, and fingerprints – without dripping! This makes it fantastic for cleaning the inside of your car’s windows without getting the cleaner on the interior.

While this cleanser is a bit expensive, it leaves you with crystal-clear glass with no haze, streaks, or residue. This is particularly important for car windows, since visibility is a safety issue. The lack of mess and its overall effectiveness truly makes your cleaning experience much more enjoyable, but be though that the canister can be hard to grip, making it easy to drop it during use.

Pros

  • Ammonia-free
  • Unscented
  • Tint-safe
  • Unique foam cleaning formula

Cons

  • Slightly high price
  • Canister can be hard to grip

4. Best Window Cleaner Wipes Windex Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes

Windex Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes

Why we like it: Windex Original Glass Wipes are pre-moistened, which makes them very convenient and easy to use. These wipes are ideal if you're in a rush or on-the-go, but need to clean those little fingerprints or dog nose prints on your window.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Wipes
Size: 28 wipes each, 3 packages
Potentially harmful ingredients: Ammonia

Windex Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes are a bit of a different product than the ones we have discussed earlier. These wipes are not a cleaning solution, so they are not designed to be used for cleaning all the windows in your house. Instead, they should be utilized for removing smaller stains or fingerprints on windows, or simply whenever you need a quick touch up-and-toss on a window or glass surface.

These Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes come in a pack of three with 28 pre-moistened wipes in each and are great for cleaning on-the-go since the flat-pack of these wipes can easily fit in a backpack or purse. The formula used for these wipes is precisely the same as any other the original Windex, so you can trust their effectiveness.

Windex wipes are really a pleasure to use because all you have to do is to peel back the plastic cover, pull out a wipe, and start cleaning. Make sure you reseal the package; otherwise, the wipes may dry out. While Windex wipes are truly exceptional and very convenient, one major downfall is that they contain ammonia. It might not be a big deal for most of us, but we wouldn’t market this product as kid-friendly, and you can’t use these wipes on electronics, car windows, or other sensitive surfaces.

Pros

  • Very convenient
  • These wipes have the classic Windex strength
  • Provides streak-free shine
  • Fresh fragrance

Cons

  • Won't work for a deep cleaning
  • Not suitable for sensitive glass
  • Contains ammonia

5. Best Eco-Friendly Window Cleaner Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Better Life Natural Streak Free Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: This window cleaner is not tested on animals and contains all-natural plant-based ingredients. It provides peace of mind for those looking to incorporate safe and environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions into their cleaning routine.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Liquid spray
Size: 32 oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: None

Better Life Natural Glass Cleaner is a unique brand that was created by two dads with a mission. They longed to develop a cleaner that would be safe for kids, pets, and the planet overall. Are you’re sensitive to chemicals, have pets, or just want to have the safest possible and plant-based window cleaner? Then you’ll love their result: Better Life’s Natural Glass Cleaner.

This window cleaner not only does an excellent job of cutting through messes, but like Aunt Fannie’s glass cleaner, it’s non-toxic! It’s made with plant-derived agents like coconut and palm kernel, which also means there’s no harsh scent. And it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals like ammonia, alcohol, or added fragrances. Plus, it was never tested on animals, which is a pretty nice addition that keeps your animal-loving conscience clear.

Overall, Better Life’s Natural Glass Cleaner is a great product that you can feel good using around pets. However, there are a few drawbacks. The nozzle doesn’t consistently spray the formula well, and the cleaner can leave a film behind on surfaces. Still, if animals are your passion, it may be worth a little extra effort to clean!

Pros

  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Safe for kids and pets
  • Eco-friendly production

Cons

  • Harder to find in everyday stores

6. Best Professional Window Cleaner SprayWay Glass Cleaner

SprayWay Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: This fantastic window cleaner has a fresh and clean scent that feels homey, but its professional-quality heavy-duty performance really sets it apart.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Foam
Size: 19 oz each, 12 cans
Potentially harmful ingredients: Alcohol

The Sprayway Glass Cleaner is a foaming cleanser that’s safe for windows, windshields, mirrors, and other glass surfaces. While this window cleaner is a bit more expensive, especially if you purchase just one can, it’s worth the cost. The ammonia-free spray foam sticks well to a vertical window surface, so you don’t have to worry about any dripping. In fact, the foam stays in place about as well as Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner’s foam. And even though it doesn’t contain ammonia, this product is still a very powerful window and glass cleaning solution. However, it can leave streaks or a haze, so make sure to wipe it off completely. It does contain alcohol, so you’ll want to be careful with this product, but it’s not the low-grade alcohol that most low-quality window cleaners contain so you shouldn’t have much to worry about as long as you use it as directed.

Another nice feature of this particular cleaner is that Sprayway cans are made of recycled steel. So, unlike with many modern cleaning solutions, you can clean your windows and save the environment at the same time! The initial purchase price is admittedly high, but you get twelve cans per purchase, so when you break it out over time the cost is about average.

Tip: Be extra careful not to use this product on tinted glass or anything that’s a part of sensitive electronics, as alcohol can harm these types of glass.

Pros

  • Ammonia-free
  • The can is made from recycled steel
  • Very powerful
  • Clean and fresh fragrance

Cons

  • Expensive at first
  • Can leave a haze or streaks
  • Contains alcohol

7. Best Budget Window Cleaner Glass Plus Glass Cleaner

Glass Plus Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice clean windows. This is a budget-priced multi-surface cleaner that is ideal for everyday cleaning.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Liquid spray
Size: 32 oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: None

Glass Plus Glass Cleaner is a multi-purpose and very affordable option that actually works. While it works well on windows and glass, it can handle way more than that around your house. Its formula can clean stainless steel, stovetop surfaces, plexiglass, and clear plastic. And, like our premium pick, Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner, it can clean computer screens!

If you want a budget glass cleaner that’s for the whole house, then Glass Plus would be the right choice. However, while this product is ammonia-free, the smell can still be problematic. The added fragrance is a bit cloying and can seem overwhelming.

The other drawback is that it’s not meant for harsh cleaning, so Glass Plus doesn’t cut through stubborn grease and stains. Instead, Glass Plus Glass Cleaner works best for light, everyday cleaning or quickly wiping up recent fingerprint smudges. Overall, it’s a product that would work for any home and won’t break your cleaning budget.

Pros

  • Ammonia-free formula
  • Could be used on multiple surfaces, including stainless steel
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Doesn't cut through stubborn grease
  • The added fragrance is overwhelming

8. Best Heavy-Duty Window Cleaner Spic and Span Cinch Glass Cleaner

Spic and Span Cinch Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: Cinch Window Cleaner is one of the best products to remove stubborn grease and dirt from both outside and inside windows and glass surfaces. It dries very quickly and leaves no annoying streaks, which require more cleaning!

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Liquid spray
Size: 32 oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: Butyl glycol

Cleaning heavily-soiled windows and glass surfaces were never as easy as with Cinch by Spic and Span. Thanks to its impressively tough formula, it takes very little effort to remove the most stubborn stains, grease, and dirt. Simply spray a small amount of product, then wipe with a rag or cloth. For the best results, you will want to change the cloth frequently – more than with a standard cleaner. But the pay-off is worth it; you’ll be left with a streak-free shine and no hazy film!

The best part is Cinch Window Cleaner works on multiple surfaces, including granite, so it’s a great option for countertops. It can’t be used on aluminium, though. The Cinch Window Cleaner is as powerful as Windex Ammonia-Free, and has a clean, enjoyable smell. One downfall of this product is that it is not as cheap as its competitors. However, if you regularly have tough messes to contend with, it’s certainly worth it.

Unfortunately, it does contain butyl glycol. While this solvent does allow the product to provide a streak-free clean to giant messes, you should extra take care to only use Cinch in a well-ventilated area.

Pros

  • Ammonia-free formula
  • Very effective against stubborn grease
  • Very handy bottle that is easy to use

Cons

  • Contains butyl glycol
  • Requires frequent cloth changes

9. Best All-Natural Window Cleaner Aunt Fannie's Glass & Window Vinegar Wash

Aunt Fannie's Glass & Window Vinegar Wash

Why we like it: Aunt Fannie's Glass and Window Vinegar Wash cuts through grease and grime, but at the same time doesn't contain any harsh toxic chemicals.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Liquid spray
Size: 16.9 oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: None

Many window cleaners are dangerous to use around children. But Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Glass Cleaner is an option parents can feel safe with. Like Better Life Natural Glass Cleaner, it is free from chemicals that you can’t pronounce and contains only natural ingredients.

Thanks to only using organic ingredients – including vinegar, sugar surfactant, and rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils, this cleaner’s incredibly wholesome. And these natural ingredients smell wonderful! If you have ever made your own window cleaner at home, Aunt Fannie’s cleaner is the closest thing to it.

But unlike most homemade cleaners, it very effectively cuts through smudges, dirt, and smears. However, it can still leave some streaks behind, especially on heavily-soiled windows. You might need to use a bit more of Aunt Fannie’s Vinegar Glass Cleaner than you would a less-natural product like Cinch. But it performs just fine when sprayed on with a thick layer, and many parents would agree the extra cleaner is worth their peace of mind.

Pros

  • Free from harsh chemicals
  • Streak-free finish
  • Safe for kids and pets

Cons

  • Not effective on stubborn stains

10. ZEP Foaming Glass Cleaner

ZEP Foaming Glass Cleaner

Why we like it: ZEP is one of the best foam options among professional window cleaners. Just a tiny bit leaves even the grimiest windows sparkling and clean.

Editor’s Rating:

Type: Foam
Size: 19 oz
Potentially harmful ingredients: Butyl glycol

ZEP is a trusted brand that produces one of the best professional-strength, ammonia-free window cleaners. It’s powerful enough that just a small amount can get the job done, so one bottle can really last. Since it is a somewhat pricey option, this helps make the cost more reasonable. Even when dealing with the harshest grease, just one quick spray is enough to clean a whole window. Plus, ZEP Foaming Glass Cleaner provides a crystal clear, streak-free finish, even with minimal product applied.

The no-drip foam formula is safe for many types of windows and glass surfaces, including tinted windows, mirrors, and plexiglass. However, it may leave streaks on some surfaces. And if you’re particularly health-conscious or have little children in the house, be aware ZEP Foaming Glass Cleaner contains butyl glycol. While effective, it’s one of the most harmful chemicals found in household cleaners. If you want to avoid that concern, Better Life Natural Glass Cleaner may be the better pick for your home.

Pros

  • Professional-strength formula
  • Works on tinted windows
  • Ammonia-free formula
  • No-drip foam formula

Cons

  • Contains 2-butoxyethanol
  • Expensive
  • May leave streaks on some surfaces

The Complete Guide to the Best Window Cleaners


Do you have questions after reviewing our rankings of our favorite glass cleaners? We’ve gathered everything you need to know about windows cleaners and how to use them below!

What Are the Different Types of Glass Cleaner?

All window cleaning products come in three basic forms: liquid, foam, and wipes.

  • Liquid. This is probably the most familiar type of window cleaner for everyday use. Most liquid window cleaners are sold in spray bottles, ranging anywhere from 19 to 32 oz in size. These should be stored right side up to avoid liquid running down and dripping. The best way to clean windows with liquid cleaner is by misting it onto a cleaning cloth (preferably microfiber). If you need a simple yet effective liquid spray window cleaner, the Windex Ammonia-Free is an excellent choice.
  • Foam. Usually, foam window cleaners come in aerosol cans. Foam cleansers are extra-strength products that are specifically designed to effectively tackle the hardest glass grunge. With a foam window cleaner, you don’t need to worry about the cleaner dripping down and leaving nasty streaks. This allows you to spray the product directly onto the glass. The Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner is a great heavy-duty foam glass cleaner.
  • Wipes. Window cleaning wipes are the product that would be ideal for a light and fast household cleaning. Because wipes are a use-and-toss product, they are very convenient for quick touch-ups. However, window cleaning wipes are definitely not as effective as other forms of cleaners for greasy and dirty surfaces. Our runaway choice for the best glass cleaning wipes are the Windex Glass and Multi-Surface Cleaning Wipes.

What Ingredients Should I Look Out for in Glass Cleaners?

Like any other cleaning solution, window cleaner is made from a variety of chemicals and compounds. Because these chemicals have different health effects and cleaning effectiveness, it might be a good idea to learn a bit about these substances before choosing a window cleaner. After all, it’s important to make well-informed decisions when it comes to your home and family.

Also, since windows are a surface that is cleaned very frequently, it is essential to understand what goes into window cleaning products since you’ll be exposed to them regularly. Here are a few of the potentially dangerous in window cleaners:

  • AmmoniaAmmonia is one of the most popular chemicals in the US, used anywhere from agriculture products to water purifiers. Because ammonia evaporates fairly quickly while preventing any streaks, it is included in most cleaners that we use at home. However, ammonia is very toxic, and overexposure can cause respiratory irritation as well as many other allergic reactions. It is dangerous to the point that it will require professional medical care if it comes in contact with the eyes. Most of the products on this list, including our top overall pick, are totally free of ammonia.
  • Butyl Glycol / 2-Butoxyethanol 2- Butoxyethanol is one of the primary ingredients in many window cleaning products. It is a solvent that has a sweet odor, no color, and is extremely effective at removing any and all stains. However, as with any other chemicals, excessive exposure to butyl glycol is dangerous to people and was linked to anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and kidney damage. Most products we recommend are free of butyl glycol, but some of the heavy-duty glass cleaners do contain this chemical—if you are using something with butyl glycol, be extra careful to work somewhere with plenty of airflow and try to avoid breathing in the fumes or touching the foam without gloves.

What Glass Surfaces Might Need Special Cleaners?

Usually, you can safely use any type of window cleaner on different types of windows and glass surfaces. However, some might require you to look to special-formula cleaners.

  • Outside windows – For cleaning the outside of your windows, we recommend heavy-duty foam glass cleaners. The best product for this scenario is the Sprayway Glass Cleaner, but do note that its prone to streaking, so you may want to go over it again with a spray cleaner after you get the grime off.
  • Tinted windows – Tinted windows absolutely need extra care. Since ammonia can discolor tint, it is important to choose a cleaner that does not contain any. Invisible Glass Premium Glass Cleaner is one great option.
  • Gadgets’ screens – Many people use window cleaners to clean the screens of electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. However, today, many electronics have screens that are made of plastic and not glass. These screens could be easily damaged by most cleaning products. So, to avoid discoloration, go with window cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia or isopropyl alcohol. Instead, use products that specifically indicate they are safe for removing dust from electronic devices, like Hope’s Perfect Glass Cleaner.

Should I Use a Microfiber Cloth or Paper Towel With My Window Cleaners?

Paper towels are simply not the best thing to use when cleaning your windows. They can leave behind streaks and lint, making them inefficient and counter-productive.

The best thing you can use to clean your windows and other glass surfaces is a microfiber cloth. They are very absorbent, easy to clean after use, and more importantly, they prevent streaks. Another great thing about microfiber cloths is that they are very inexpensive and completely reusable!

How Do I Use Window Cleaners?

The way to use a product would depend on the specific cleaner that is being used. So if you are going with a spray bottle (the most popular form of window cleaner), then follow these steps:

  1. First of all, before you even start cleaning, increase ventilation as much as possible. You can simply open the windows to let in the fresh air, or turn on fans to provide air circulation.
  2. Read the instructions carefully.
  3. Then, simply spray the solution directly on the surface or onto a soft microfiber towel. If you are using a towel or cloth, do not soak it in the cleaner.
  4. Let the solution rest. Wait a few seconds and then gently rub the cleaner, without too much pressure. Then remove any residue left behind by wiping again or rinsing with water.

If you’re a visual person, you may prefer to watch a video that goes through good window cleaning practices in detail.

Contact a medical professional immediately if any cleaner makes contact with your eyes or mouth, or if you experience any alarming symptoms after using the cleaner.

How Do I Avoid Streaks When Using Window Cleaners?

Even with the best possible window cleaners, you might end up with streaks. Here are a few suggestions that will help you reach the best possible results:

  • If using a liquid window cleaner in a spray bottle, try to stay at least ten inches back. If you spray directly on the surface, use even with layers of spray.
  • When you begin spraying, go for two to four sprays, moving evenly from left to right. Then, with your microfiber cloth, start wiping the solution left to right. Next, go back to clean one more time, this time going up and down. That second clean will help you to go over any missed spots.
  • It is also a good idea to have two cleaning cloths: one for cleaning and one for drying. Also, keep in mind that for the best possible results, your cloth should always be dry. So, if you notice that the cloth is getting damp, it is best to get another one.

Now You’re an Expert on the Best Window Cleaners

You may have thought that that all-purpose cleaners are safe for any kind of surface, but your windows and any glass surfaces need to be treated with care and specially-formulated products. Now, you’ve got all the info you need to give your windows the best treatment possible, and maybe even turn window cleaning into your favorite, least-stressful household chore!