Cleaning windows might not be your favorite thing to do, but it can also be super satisfying to look out those spotless windows. The best window cleaners don’t leave streaks while cutting through dirt and grime without potentially damaging ammonia, but the best product for you will depend on the task at hand.
Speaking of ammonia: Ammonia has been a staple in many cleaning products, particularly glass cleaners, but it offers some drawbacks. If your home or car has tinted windows, for example, it would be best to avoid cleaners with ammonia since over time, ammonia can cause tints to bubble and become hazy. And it's definitely an ingredient you don't want to use on your television and other electronics. Moreover, using ammonia-based cleaners in small spaces without proper ventilation can be irritating to your respiratory system, eyes, and throat. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to ammonia that are just as effective (if not even better) without the drawbacks.
Scroll on for the best picks to clean your windows inside and out. I’ve even thrown in a no-wipe outdoor window cleaner and a great pick for cleaning car windows, as well as a scrubber and squeegee set to make wiping a breeze.
1. The Overall Best Window & Glass Cleaner
Hope’s Perfect Glass cleaner is a multipurpose work horse you can use on a variety of surfaces in your home including windows, mirrors, tabletops, glass cooktops, shower enclosures, and even TV screens. The no-residue, ammonia-free formula is streak-free and cleans windows and glass without leaving a haze behind. According to the manufacturer, Hope’s glass cleaner is safe for car tints as well as phone and tablet screens. Choose from packs of one, two, six, and 12.
One happy reviewer wrote: “I use Hope's on all my windows, both house and car. Love it - no streaks!”
2. The Best Natural Glass Cleaner
Don’t let the fact that Better Life’s glass cleaner is plant-derived fool you, it’s still powerful enough to clean tough dirt and grime off glass, windows, mirrors, and chrome. This eco-friendly cleaner is cruelty-free and devoid of ammonia, dyes, and alcohol. And while there is no ammonia to be found in among the ingredients, this glass cleaner still cleans to a streak-free shine.
One happy reviewer wrote: "This is a great window cleaner. I can rest assured that I’m not using any potentially dangerous chemicals around my family. No perfume smell, which is great for people with fragrance sensitivities. I would even argue that it works better than the leading brand, truly streak free cleaning."
3. A Budget Squeegee Glass Cleaner For Extra Tough Dirt & Grime
For tough dirt and grime that may require a little more power than a paper towel, try this Squeegee-Off window cleaner by Ettore. To use this, you will need to mix the formula with water (you only need two tablespoons per gallon of water so each bottle will last you a long time), “mop” it over the window, and squeegee it off. Ettore’s concentrated squeegee-off formula is ammonia-free and biodegradable. Some users have noted that it works incredibly well on shower doors to remove soap scum buildup and hard-water stains, too.
One happy reviewer wrote: “Amazing cleaner! We had hardwater stains and bug spray residue on all our windows, and this cleaner took it all right off. Not really any scrubbing, just rubbed it on there, and squeegeed it off. Windows look crystal clear!”
4. The Best Glass Cleaner For Outdoor Windows
For outdoor jobs that tend to feel a little larger than life, try this outdoor window cleaner by Windex. This no-wipe window cleaner is packaged in 32-ounce bottles that are equipped with hose attachments, so you can easily spray on the solution, rinse it clean, and let it dry to a gorgeous streak-free finish. This outdoor glass cleaner also works on patio furniture and decks, and the ammonia-free formula won’t harm siding, BBQ grills, or even plants and trees, according to the manufacturer.
One happy reviewer wrote: “Was doubtful at first. But once I hooked up the hose and cleaned my Riverfront Windows. It was amazing. So easy to use. so quick to clean the windows. All the bird poop and dust was easily washed away with this product.”
5. The Best Glass Cleaner For Cars
According to hundreds of reviewers on Amazon (and my husband), Invisible Glass is the best window cleaner for cars. The residue-free formula is distributed in a no-drip, fine-mist spray, and it’s ideal for cutting through the haze that can build up inside of your windshield. According to the manufacturer, this ammonia-free formula is safe for tinted windshields, and users have noted that it works well on household surfaces like shower doors, glass cooktops, windows, and mirrors, too. However, some customers say that it works better on cool windows than hot ones.
One happy reviewer wrote: “I have used Stoner Invisible Glass for years and years. In the past I worked at a Automotive Customization shop that tinted windows. It was important to have a glass cleaner on hand that was "tint safe" (no ammonia) and also left customer cars looking great for when they picked them up. Now years later I still use it for everything. There is a can in my bedroom for the TV and Computer screens, a can in the glovebox of my car, a can in my desk at work. It is my go-to cleaning product. I often find myself using it to clean up messes that aren't even on glass, simply because its low odor and works well!”
Also Great: A 2-In-1 Scrubber & Squeegee Set
The next time you have to clean the windows, this scrubber and squeegee set could give you an easy assist to make the job exponentially faster. The scrubber wets (and cleans) the surface, while the squeegee removes any excess water or cleaning solution. Available in 6-, 10-, 14-, and 18-inch widths, this squeegee set can be used as it is or attached to a telescoping pole (sold separately) to extend your reach. The scrubber is even machine washable.
One happy reviewer wrote: “I cannot believe I have lived 60 years on this planet without this! My professional window washer could not fit me in his schedule for [two] months, so I thought I would try doing my windows myself. [...] I have streak-free sparkly windows in just minutes.”