Goodbye, residue.

By Kaitlyn Wylde
Updated April 07, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

Though all-purpose cleaners are technically safe for most surfaces, your windows, mirrors, and screens deserve some special attention with their own specialized solutions. The best glass cleaners wipe away grime, residue, and smudges that cloud reflections, block light, and keep your home from sparkling in the way it should after a deep clean. Unlike other cleaning solutions, glass cleaners have a multifaceted job cut out for them, so it's important to use brands you can trust and that have good reputations, not just convincing labels.

A good glass cleaner removes soil, polishes surfaces, and dries without leaving any streaks or residue. A great glass cleaner, on the other hand, leaves the glass in better shape than before, reducing the amount of grime that can stick to it in the future and minimizing the work you’ll have to do on the next cleaning. All glass cleaners may claim they can handle the job, but the reality is that a lot of them wipe away dirt and smudges only to leave other films and residues behind.

To limit the amount of contaminants that can cling to the surfaces you’re treating, you should clean glass regularly with a high-quality product, like any on our list below. This will make a huge difference in how much natural light comes through a window and limit fingerprints and smudges decorating your screens.

From kid-safe and fragrance-free to all-natural and industrial-strength, there’s a wide range of glass cleaners on the market. Remember to read each product’s instructions carefully to ensure you’re getting the most out of it because each solution has different requirements to be fully effective.

Read on to discover the best glass cleaners for all parts of your home.

amazon.com

1

If your arsenal of cleaning products is filled with old-fashioned, tried-and-true solutions and you like to steer clear of chemicals that you can’t pronounce, this is the glass and window cleaner for you. Aunt Fannie’s Glass and Window Vinegar Wash is toxin-free, made with only vinegar, rosemary oil, lavandin grosso oil, eucalyptus oil, orange oil, peppermint oil, and sugar surfactant. It’s as basic as the DIY vinegar cleaner you could make at home, without any of the unpleasant smells left behind.

To buy: $8; amazon.com.

amazon.com

2

Rebel Green’s All Natural Sparkling Glass Spray in peppermint and lemon will leave your windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces shiny and sweet-smelling—without any faux fragrances or artificial ingredients. The all-natural peppermint and lemon essential oils linger long after the cleaning is done, which makes this an especially great product for kitchens and bathrooms.

To buy: $25 for a pack of 4; amazon.com.

amazon.com

3

When it comes to the mirrors you use every day and the windows you look through the most, products that leave streaks are deal breakers. Perfect Glass has a powerful formula that dissolves grime and oily fingerprints, effectively cleaning glass surfaces without leaving any marks behind. Because this product is so powerful, it will help your glass surfaces stay clean for longer, which means less frequent cleanings. This is a must-have in your arsenal of heavy-duty cleaners. 

To buy: $16 for a pack of 2; amazon.com.

homedepot.com

4

Eliminate the risk of drips or smears entirely with a hardcore foam cleaner. Zep is a trusted brand that’s safe to use on tinted windows, plexiglass, and mirrors. When sprayed on glass surfaces, the cleaner dissolves dirt and grease immediately, so you just have to wipe it away without putting too much elbow grease into the process. This product is also great for car windows because you can spray it into hard to reach areas without worrying about it dripping onto the interior. Reviews applaud how a little puff of this product goes a long way and say one lasts for many, many cleanings. 

To buy: $3, homedepot.com; $49 for a case of 12, amazon.com.

bedbathandbeyond.com

5

If you’re sensitive to scents and prefer to use plant-based products, you’ll appreciate Better Life’s Naturally Smudge-Smacking Glass Cleaner for two main reasons. Not only do reviewers tout its epic streak-free capabilities, but they also love that it’s made with plant-derived agents like corn, coconut, and palm kernel. Plus, it’s ammonia- and alcohol-free and uses no artificial fragrances. This spray has the power of a hardcore product sans any of the hardcore chemicals or smells.

To buy: $6; bedbathandbeyond.com.

amazon.com

6

Windex has been a top glass cleaner since 1933, so if you’re looking for a product with a convincing record, the top-selling original formula is it. The main ingredient, Ammonia-D, starts dissolving dirt, grime, and grease before you even wipe them away. Happy reviews claim that not only does this product clean glass surfaces and leave them streak-free, but it also creates a lasting shine, especially on windows. This feature is particularly useful if you’re using Windex to clean glass picture frames or other glass decor pieces. 

To buy: $3 (was $4); amazon.com.

amazon.com

7

Shower doors get a lot of action, constantly getting sprayed with water, soaps, oils, and more. To return glass shower doors to their original clarity and luster, you need a product that can blast away soap scum and hard water stains. Magic not only gets rid of all of the bathroom grime, but also helps your glass shower doors repel water so that future cleanings are easier.

To buy: $11; amazon.com.

staples.com

8

For quick touch-ups when you don’t have the time to wipe down a surface with a cleaner and a cloth, or for small or hard-to-reach surfaces, clear reflection wipes are key. Even if you already have a spray or foam glass cleaner in your cabinet, these cleaning wipes are a worthy addition. Scrubs are industrial strength, safe to use on mirrors, windows, windshields, display cases, tinted glass, monitors, and even fine lenses. The cleaning solution is residue-free, and the wipes are lint-free, so you don’t have to worry about fuzz, dust, or streaks being left behind. Why take two steps when one with these easy-to-use wipes will get the same results? 

To buy: $7 for a pack of 6; staples.com.

amazon.com

9

If you have a glass cooktop and you’ve been using a multi-purpose kitchen cleaner on it, you’ll be amazed at what a difference the Weiman Glass Cook Top Cleaner can make. This non-abrasive product lifts burnt food, discoloration, and stains without much scrubbing effort. With just a small amount of the cleaner, grime you’ve gotten used to seeing will finally wipe away. You can also use the formula on your glass cookware and other glass surfaces, like a microwave tray or oven window. Stop using a basic kitchen spray on the glass you eat off and swap in this product to up your game.

To buy: $7; amazon.com.

petco.com

10

When it comes to your cleaning practice, one way to go minimal is to opt for natural-based products. Another is to reduce the amount of products you rely on. Method’s Glass + Surface cleaner is a natural corn-based solvent that obliterates dirt, dust and fingerprints. And it’s not just safe to use on all surfaces, it’s actually effective on all surfaces. What’s more, the bottle is made of 100 percent recycled plastic, and the formula was not tested on animals, so you can feel good about using and reusing it.

To buy: $4; petco.com.