The best glass cleaners you can buy

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  • There's nothing worse than a dirty window, cloudy mirror, or dirt-spattered windshield. Everyone needs a good glass cleaner to keep those surfaces clean, so we used more than a dozen different glass cleaners to find the best one.
  • Windex Original Glass Cleaner still reigns supreme because it cuts through grime, doesn't leave streaks, and doesn't cost much.

A thorough window cleaning is one of the more thankless tasks on the household chore list, but fortunately, it's one you only have to complete a couple of times per year. To prevent the build-up of stubborn hard water stains on windows, thorough cleaning in spring and fall should do the trick. As for the shower door, that's going to require much more frequent cleaning. So, too,- will mirrors that are regularly exposed to humidity. On close examination, it's amazing how dirty glass surfaces can get, really. Amazing ... and disheartening, unless you have the best glass cleaners at your disposal.

We've tested several glass cleaners over the years, and they all essentially perform the same task: They help you clean glass. Our choices are differentiated not by their efficacy as much as by the unique properties. One is designed to preserve all the helpful microscopic organisms that share your home's microbiome with you and your family, another features an all-natural corn-based solvent, and another is almost as cheap as the dirt it will help remove.

We're sure at least one of these glass cleaners will be a fit for your needs, and in fact, maybe you'll choose to use a couple. Keep in mind that proper glass cleaning technique can be as important as the glass cleaner you're using. If you are cleaning windows with paper towels or rags, make sure to switch out the dirty ones for clean ones regularly to avoid simply moving the dirt around on the window.

Ideally, window, shower door, auto glass, and even mirror cleaning involves a glass cleaner, a squeegee, and a couple of sponges. You should sponge on the cleaner, then use the squeegee to remove as much of the stuff as possible using a downward back and forth S-shaped pattern. Then get the corners and any patches you missed with a clean sponge. Now on to our top picks for the best glass cleaner you can buy.

Here are the best window cleaners you can buy in 2019:

Updated on 04/24/2019 by Les Shu: Updated pricing, links, and formatting. Added related buying guides for cleaning products.

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best glass cleaner overall

The best glass cleaner overall
Why you'll love it: Windex Original Glass Cleaner cuts through grit and grease with ease thanks to its time-tested active ingredient ammonia-D.

Windex Original Glass Cleaner is a classic example of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" maxim. The stuff just works. It does exactly what it's supposed to, creating clear, streak-free glass that is cleaner-looking and largely free of harmful bacteria. People have been cleaning windows, shower stalls, glass shelves, and more using Windex for generations.

Not only is Windex Original effective, it's also affordable. In fact, it's the second cheapest choice on our list. It's also a surprisingly versatile cleaner that's gentle enough for use on eyeglasses and even on many types of screen, like that of your TV or laptop. Don't use it on touchscreens, though, and for any sensitive application like these, it's best to spray the cleaner onto a cloth, not directly onto the surface in need of cleaning.

Guides editor Malarie Gokey uses Windex to handle tough glass cleaning jobs, and it always works like a charm with just a few spritzes and minimal elbow grease.

Do note that while a highly effective cleaner, Windex's "Ammonia-D" formula isn't the safest substance known to humankind. Which is to say, don't get this stuff in your eyes, nose, or mouth, and wear gloves if you have to clean more than one mirror or a few panes of glass, as it's not great for your skin, either.

It's little surprise that this classic cleaner scores a 4.6-star average rating on Amazon. A lady named Trisha left a review praising how Windex Original "cleans with no streaking," while another customer called it "a classic" that always "works well and cleans nicely."

In a customer comment from Viewpoints, Windex Original Glass Cleaner was hailed as an effective cleaner on "anything that is glass," from windows to doors to mirrors to shelving and more. It was even described as working well "in the spring after windows have been left uncleaned [sic] all winter long."

Pros: Effective even on stubborn grime, low cost, trusted for years

Cons: Ammonia can be dangerous if mishandled

Buy a bottle of Windex Original Glass Cleaner on Amazon for $2.91

The best natural glass cleaner

The best natural glass cleaner
Why you'll love it: Method Glass and Surface Cleaner is almost entirely made using ingredients sourced from plants, so it's safe to use around people, pets, and food.

Method Glass and Surface Cleaner is not 100% natural, but it uses mostly natural ingredients. The "chemicals" you'll find listed on the bottle include potassium citrate, which Method derives from corn sugars, and ethanol, derived from sugar beets.

Method Glass and Surface cleaner isn't misleading you about its multi-surface capabilities, either. This stuff works well on glass, but it's also great for other hard surfaces, including granite, quartz, and tile. It is equally effective whether used on windows, countertops, walls, and more. The fresh mint scent is pleasant and even invigorating, too.

For eco-friendly folks, the bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable. Guides editor Malarie Gokey also uses this Method cleaner to wipe down less stubborn stains that don't require the aid of Windex. It's also great for cleaning a number of tile surfaces in her home.

With more than 100 reviews posted, Method Glass and Surface Cleaner has a commendable 4.4-star rating at the time of this writing. One very satisfied buyer says it both "cleans and smells wonderfully," while another loves that its non-toxic formula is ideal for "using [the cleaner] near the kids."

A writer from Good Housekeeping said Method did a fine "job cleaning glass" and "other test surfaces," but did note occasional streaking issues.

Pros: Effective on myriad surfaces, safe and natural formula, pleasant scent

Cons: Leaves occasional streaks

Buy the Method Glass and Surface Cleaner from Target for $3.29

The best glass cleaner without ammonia

 The best glass cleaner without ammonia
Why you'll love it: Glass Plus Glass Cleaner is a versatile and effective cleaning product with many applications, plus, it's affordable.

As for efficacy, Glass Plus Glass Cleaner is more than adequate for most household and light commercial glass cleaning needs. As it's free of the harsh ammonia featured in other glass cleaners, it can be safely used on a wide variety of materials, including plastics, fiberglass, vinyl Plexiglas, and many more. You can even use this stuff on washable wallpaper without worrying about it corroding the surface.

While Glass Plus doesn't cut through stubborn grime, grease, or stains quite as effortlessly as certain harsher products, it's great for those light, frequent cleanings or for dealing with one-off messes, like a toddler's handprint or a countertop spill. And again, that price. You can use squirt after squirt of the stuff and not worry about breaking your household cleaning budget.

With nearly 200 reviews posted, Glass Plus Glass Cleaner has a solid 4.4 out of five-star rating. A gentleman named Tom appreciated the "streak-free finish" and that it "dried fairly quickly" after use, while a customer named Amy called it a "great value."

A product tester from WiseBread said Glass Plus is effective on a variety of "indoor and outdoor surfaces, like glass, mirrors, stovetops, and stainless steel and granite surfaces."

Pros: Very low price tag, works on myriad surfaces, ammonia-free formula

Cons: Not as effective as other options for stubborn grease or stains

Buy a bottle of Glass Plus Glass Cleaner on Amazon for $3.47

The best glass cleaner for hard water stains

The best glass cleaner for hard water stains
Why you'll love it: Hard water stains are notoriously difficult to remove, but Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover is a commercial-grade product that makes short work tough buildup.

Hard water stains are those whitish-grayish spots, patches, and streaks that you probably have marring the surface of your shower doors, the side windows of your car, and likely the exterior panes of residential windows, too. These so-called stains are actually built up mineral deposits of calcium, lime, and rust. When you try to clean a hard water stain with a standard cleaning agent, it will often appear to be remedied right after the cleaning, but it will reveal itself again as soon as the surface dries. You can't just wipe them away, you need to break them apart.

And that's what Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover does: It breaks up rust and mineral deposits so they can be wiped away once and for all. Despite the fact that this is a powerful cleaner with a tough job to do, it's a remarkably safe product. In fact, it is made with ingredients that are non-toxic and eco-friendly, so you don't have to feel guilty as it swirls down the drain of the shower or into the gutter as you wash your car.

Also, it can remove that scaly buildup from much more than glass alone. Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover can clean tile, porcelain, steel, polished stone, and much more. It won't damage decorative fixtures or sensitive surfaces like plastics or high-shine metals.

More than 350 people have left reviews on Amazon about Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover, and it has a fine 4.2-star average rating. One user speaks for many when he calls it "pure magic" and relates trying all sorts of products on his home's hard water stains, never finding one effective until this "extremely highly recommended" cleaner.

Just note that for best results, you may have to attack stubborn stains several times, and there will be some scrubbing.

Pros: Breaks up stubborn mineral deposits, safe for use on multiple surfaces, eco-friendly formula

Cons: Multiple applications often required

Buy a bottle of Bio Clean Hard Water Stain Remover (20 ounces) on Amazon for $19.85

The best health-conscious glass cleaner

The best health-conscious glass cleaner
Why you'll love it: Aunt Fannie's Glass and Window Vinegar Wash cuts through grease and grime, but it doesn't kill off all the helpful microorganisms with which we share our home.

You know that not all microscopic organisms are bad, right? In fact, many of the minuscule little creatures with which we share our homes, offices, and even our own bodies are beneficial to the point of being a necessary part of our microbiome. So you know what is bad? Killing them all off. If you use a harsh, chemical-heavy glass cleaner every time you clean your windows, counters, mirrors, and more, then you may be slaughtering billions of little critters that were actually playing an important role in your life.

So use Aunt Fannie's Glass and Window Vinegar Wash and leave that microbiome intact while still cutting through smudges, lifting dirt, and leaving no streaks behind. This cleaner can be applied directly to glass surfaces in liberal quantities, then wiped down with a sponge, squeegee, or cloth or paper towel. It will leave the glass looking crystal clean to the naked eye and still safe for microorganisms for whom a microscope would be required.

Also, as it's made using vinegar, a sugar-based surfactant, and natural essential oils, it's perfectly safe for use around all people, even infants and those with compromised immune systems, as well as around pets, plants, and foodstuffs.

I can tell you from plenty of firsthand experience with this very glass cleaner that this stuff works. You might need a few more spritzes of Aunt Fannie's Glass and Window Vinegar Wash than you would with Windex, but it works just fine when sprayed on thick.

A writer from UnboundWellness said Aunt Fannie's Glass and Window Vinegar Wash had a "pleasant smell" that was not "overpowering" and that it left the "windows streak free."

Pros: Protects microbiome organisms, free from harsh chemicals, streak-free finish

Cons: Not effective on stubborn stains or buildup

Buy a bottle of Aunt Fannie's Glass and Window Vinegar Wash on Amazon for $8.49

Check out our other guides to the best cleaning products for your home

Check out our other guides to the best cleaning products for your home
The best bathroom cleaning products you can buy

Your bathroom always needs a good cleaning, and having the right tools on hand is essential if you want it to be squeaky clean. We've tested tons of cleaners to find the best bathroom cleaning products you can buy.

Our bathroom cleaning product recommendations include:

The best dish soap you can buy

A top-quality dish soap has a pleasant scent if it has a scent at all, cleans the most stubborn pots and pans, and is eco- and hand-friendly. Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap is our top pick because it's effective on grease, safe for the environment, and gentle on your hands.

You might also like the Dawn Dish Soap Platinum Power Clean Dishwashing Liquid, the Seventh Generation Dish Liquid, the Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds Biodegradable Cleaner, and the J.R. Watkins Liquid Dish Soap.

The best paper towels you can buy

Paper towels are one of the most underappreciated commodities of modern life. they help out with everything from kitchen cleaning to car washing to personal hygiene to baby care. You might not think about them often, but you'd miss them if they were gone. The Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels are our top pick because they're absorbent and tough, yet soft enough for delicate tasks.

You should also consider the Seventh Generation Unbleached Paper Towels, the Plenty Ultra Premium Paper Towels, the Brawny Full Sheet Paper Towels, and the Kleenex Hand Towels.

The best disinfecting cleaners you can buy

The world can be a germy place and as we interact with others, we share bacteria. Some bacteria are actually good for our body systems but other, viral strains like measles, flu, and colds can be dangerous. And, fungal infections like athlete's foot, while not life-threatening, are pretty uncomfortable.

To help combat against them, there are products available that do a great job of killing bacteria. Disinfecting cleaners come in many forms and you are sure to find one that fits your needs. After research and testing, these are our top picks to disinfect nearly every surface and fabric in your home.

The best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances you can buy

How can you demand that your appliances perform at their best if they are dirty? Expecting fresh, clean clothes from a smelly washer or sparkling plates from a dishwasher crusted with hard water minerals is a fool's errand. All you'll get is frustration and chronic disappointment.

Luckily, there are easy-to-use products available that can restore appliances back to their prime. Here are the best cleaning products you can buy for kitchen and laundry appliances.

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