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Best Window Cleaners – Best Window Cleaning Products


9 best window cleaners, according to lab testing

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This story was updated in October 2022 to add new picks, based on testing by the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care and Cleaning Lab. We also added information about how we test and answered frequently asked questions on window and glass cleaners.


While you might not even notice a little spot on your carpet or fingerprints on a wall, a smudged, splattered, filmy glass surface, mirror or window can be very obvious and bothersome. A good glass cleaner is a must-have in any cleaning arsenal and it should be one that cuts grime quickly and is easy and neat to use. To find out which glass and window cleaners are best and to produce helpful window cleaning advice and tips, like the common mistakes to avoid when cleaning your windows, our Good Housekeeping Institute’s Home Care and Cleaning Lab experts evaluate multiple brands every year both in the Lab and at home.

In the Lab, we apply the cleaners to black glass panels that we’ve smeared with greasy fingerprints, lipstick marks, household dust and other everyday stains (think the toothpaste that you accidentally squirted on your bathroom mirror). We time how quickly each glass cleaner works, count how many passes it takes to completely clean the glass and — after a maximum number of passes — assess how much residue and streaking is left behind. We use black glass because it makes telltale streaks and smudges easier to see. In our last battery of tests, we wiped more than 300 strokes! Here are our top performing window and glass cleaners for 2022.

Our top picks:

Scroll down to find out more about each of the product recommendations, plus you’ll discover more details about how we test window and glass cleaners and what to look for when shopping for one. Looking for more cleaning content? Check out our guides to the best glass screen cleaners and the best stovetop cleaners, glass and otherwise.

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1

BEST OVERALL WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANER

Invisible Glass

Glass Cleaner

Product Specs

Type Trigger spray aerosol
Size 32 oz.
Scent Yes
Cost per oz. 13 cents
2

BEST VALUE WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANER

Spic and Span

Cinch Glass Cleaner

Product Specs

Type Trigger spray liqud
Size 32 oz.
Scent Yes
Cost per oz. 10 cents
3

BEST SMELLING WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANER

Safely

Glass Cleaner

Product Specs

Type Trigger spray liquid
Size 18 oz.
Scent Yes
Cost per oz. 36 cents
4

BEST STREAK-FIGHTING WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANER

HOPE’S

Perfect Glass Cleaner

Product Specs

Type Trigger spray liquid
Size 32 oz.
Scent No
Cost per oz. 41 cents
5

BEST WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANING WIPES

Windex

Pre-moistened Glass Wipes

Product Specs

Type Pre-moistened wipes
Size 25 wipes
Scent Yes
Cost per wipe 18 cents
6

BEST REFILLABLE WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANER

Brandless

Brandless Refillable Glass Cleaner Starter Kit

Product Specs

Type Trigger spray liquid
Size 32 oz.
Scent Yes
Cost per oz. 19 cents
7

BEST WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANING CLOTHS

E-Cloth

Window Cleaning Kit

Type Microfiber cloths
Size ` 2 cloths
Scent None
Cost per use N/A
8

BEST OUTDOOR WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANING TOOL

Windex

Outdoor All-In-One Glass and Window Cleaner Tool Starter Kit

Product Specs

Type Cleaning pads and pole
Size 1 pole and pad
Scent No
Cost per oz. N/A
9

BEST DISINFECTING GLASS CLEANER

Windex

Multisurface Disinfectant Cleaner

Product Specs

Type Trigger spray liquid
Size 28 oz.
Scent Yes
Cost per oz. 15 cents

How we test window and glass cleaners

In the Good Housekeeping Institute Home Care and Cleaning Lab, we test dozens of surface cleaning products every year, from all-purpose cleaners that tackle messes all around the home to dedicated products like stainless steel cleaners that keep your appliances fingerprint-free and glass and window cleaners. Even DIY cleaners are tested in our Lab (only the safe ones, of course). We evaluate glass and window cleaners in several ways. First, we evenly smear black glass test panels with greasy fingerprints, a dusty/greasy mix and lipstick marks. We use black glass because it’s easier to assess any film or streaks the test cleaners leave behind. Then we apply a measured amount of glass cleaner, wipe it a pre-determined number of strokes and score the thoroughness of cleaning. Finally, we completely clean the glass and count the number of passes required to do so for each test cleaner. Next, we spray the cleaner on a greasy lipstick smear we’ve applied to the glass and time how long it takes for the cleaner to break or dissolve the lipstick. We use weights to control the level of pressure applied with each pass and use identical paper towel sheets for each cleaner. (Of course, we recommend you use microfiber cloths at home!) During our testing, we note any streaking or filminess after cleaning and how difficult it is to remove them. We look at how drippy and messy or neat and convenient the products are to use and dispense, the completeness of the label directions and any safety cautions that need to be included on the label. Then we grade each brand on effectiveness, formulation, packaging, ease of use and clarity of directions. In our latest round of testing, we wiped more than 300 strokes just to assess cleaning performance alone!

What to consider when buying a glass cleaner

✔️Ingredients: Think about what you plan to clean. If ammonia or vinegar are in the ingredients list, keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the product on tinted glass surfaces or granite countertops. If you’re sensitive to scents, consider purchasing a product that doesn’t contain added fragrance.

✔️Form: Liquid sprays are the most common type, but they can also be the drippiest to use. Sprays that dispense as a fine mist are neater. Foams go on heavier and may need extra wiping. Pre-moistened wipes are convenient, but can dry out quickly and are likely more expensive per use than other forms.

✔️Sustainability: A growing number of brands are offering recyclable or reusable packaging and concentrates that you mix with your own water. No matter which brand you purchase, consider using it along with a reusable and washable microfiber cloth rather than paper towels. You’ll get better results and make less waste.

Do glass cleaners kill bacteria and viruses on surfaces?

Not usually. Even though many brands of glass cleaners contain ammonia and alcohol, they aren’t formulated with the ingredients or amounts necessary to sanitize or disinfect surfaces. To know that a cleaner is effective at killing germs, look for an EPA registration number on the label. You’ll usually find it on the bottom of the back label. It’s what we use in the GH Cleaning Lab to confirm that any sanitizing or disinfecting claims have been tested and supported. For instance, one of our picks, Windex Multisurface Disinfectant Cleaner, contains the active ingredient lactic acid and is EPA registered.

Can I use window cleaners on other surfaces?

In some cases, yes. Most window and glass cleaners can safely be used to clean chrome fixtures, laminate countertops, glass cooktops and more. We don’t recommend using them, however, on electronics, wooden floors and table surfaces and certain types of kitchen countertops, like granite, especially if they contain ammonia or vinegar. Check the product’s label to determine where it’s safe to use — and where you should avoid applying it.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?

Carolyn Forté has more than 40 years of experience as a consumer products expert testing all kinds of glass cleaners on windows, glass-top tables, mirrors and a multitude of other surfaces. She has met with and visited the manufacturing facilities of major glass cleaner manufacturers and is a stickler for clean windows and glass in her own home. She loves her gas-on-glass cooktop because it’s so easy to clean, has many glass-front cabinets to clean and has been known to take vacation days from work to stay home to clean her own home windows.

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