Alcohol Vinegar Corn Starch Glass Cleaner

2 Posted by - March 9, 2014 - DIY & Crafts, Home Decor

About a year ago I switched from cleaning my bathroom with 409 to cleaning it with vinegar. This tends to work pretty well except for a few unfortunate side effects: 1) My bathroom smells like a Captain D’s for a little while after I clean it. 2) My husband gets pissed when he steals the bottle of 409 that I appropriated for the vinegar and realizes it’s not 409. Oops.

I haven’t switched from using Windex on my mirrors, though– mostly because I still had some left in the bottle and was too lazy to find something else to use. Happily, Pinterest always has a solution.

Image from Crunchy Betty

Image from Crunchy Betty

The recipe is a combination of rubbing alcohol, cornstarch, water, and vinegar (my favorite).

glass cleaner ingredients

For this one, I appropriated an old Windex bottle, but I’m thinking it won’t really be a problem, since the resulting mixture looks nothing like Windex. But you never know. Colorblindness is an oft-used excuse in my household, for things like why it’s hard to sort laundry into lights and darks and why it’s ok to run red lights. (Oh it was red? My bad. Colorblind.)

new windex

I decided to give it a whirl in the front bathroom, mostly because the back bathroom was too disgusting even to post a “before” picture on the internets. (I have some pride.) The front bathroom was none-too-clean either. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but there are smudges on the mirror, I promise.

smudgey mirror

I sprayed with abandon (heh heh) and, I have to tell you, I was not immediately convinced that this would work. Windex somehow gets unstreaky really fast, like there’s this super-powered evaperatory mechanism or something in the chemicals. A mixture of alcohol, cornstarch, vinegar, and water does not have this mechanism, apparently, and leaves things streaky as you are wiping. (Heh heh.)

However, there is a happy ending (heh heh) to this story, for while the streaks do not immediately disappear like they do with Windex, the mirror does still get clean, and the streaks do go away– they just take like a second-and-a-half longer than Windex streaks.

Overall? I’d say this is a winner, mostly because now I don’t have to brave Wal-Mart for more Windex.


Alcohol Vinegar Corn Starch Glass Cleaner
Article Name
Alcohol Vinegar Corn Starch Glass Cleaner
Pintester makes her own glass cleaner, which is not the same as Windex, but still works, and also means not having to go to the store, so even if it didn't work too well, she'd probably use it anyways.


  • Caitlin March 9, 2014 - 8:12 pm Reply

    Is it sad that it took me reading the entire post and then staring at the original pin’s picture for a solid 3 minutes before I realized why the bottle was labeled “Alvin Corn” glass cleaner?
    …………………actually, don’t answer that I know I’m a tad bit slow today. We’ll blame it on that

    • Ashley H. March 10, 2014 - 12:18 am Reply

      Caitlin, I just thought whoever invented this concoction was named Alvin Corn. It wasn’t until I read your comment that I realized it could possibly be anything else. From there it was like solving a logic puzzle, and I got way too excited when I got it. I guess I’m a tad bit slow every day.

      • Kbullet March 10, 2014 - 2:54 am Reply

        I was excited too. It’s nice to know I’ve found my home of puzzle geekery and swear words used with wild abandon.

    • The Fake Gourmet March 10, 2014 - 9:34 am Reply

      Excuses for why I still don’t get the “Alvin Corn” thing —
      1. It’s Monday.
      2. It’s morning.
      3. I’m still looking for the hour I lost yesterday.
      4. I haven’t finished my coffee yet.
      5. Google doesn’t know either.

      I’m totally okay with feeling stupid this morning, so just TELL me! 😛

      • Brenda March 10, 2014 - 11:39 am Reply

        Luckily in Arizona we didnt lose an hour lol. I think Al is for alcohol Vin for vinegar and corn for cornstarch now im gonna go have some coffee have a great day.

  • whiterose March 9, 2014 - 8:54 pm Reply

    Did I miss the amounts of each ingredient?

  • disqus_l1XviBKxi2 March 9, 2014 - 9:33 pm Reply

    Who knew ass was cheap?

  • Von March 9, 2014 - 11:01 pm Reply

    I don’t understand the addition of cornstarch. Does it have some miracle properties of which I am unaware? I use a synthetic chamois and hot water to clean my mirrors and windows; it seems to do fine. Maybe I’m just not fussy enough. And here I always thought I was a fastidious cleaner.

  • Ashley H. March 10, 2014 - 12:16 am Reply

    Not all ass is cheap my friend. Way to be discriminatory.

  • Jill March 10, 2014 - 12:28 am Reply

    Does it work better than just plain vinegar? Is there a benefit to the addition of corn starch? (I can see the benefit of adding alcohol)

  • Katie March 10, 2014 - 11:41 am Reply

    Alcohol, vinegar, and cornstarch???? Worst Cocknails ever! 🙂

  • ChickieD March 10, 2014 - 1:05 pm Reply

    put a drop or two of lavender essential oil in there and it’ll smell much better and it adds to the cleaning ju ju.

  • DigitalChick March 11, 2014 - 11:16 am Reply

    I also gave up on 409 and Windex (waiting literally years for those bottles to run out… what does that say about my frequency of cleaning?). And I, too, have had a bit o’ bitching from my husband about what is and what is not in the bottles. But my glass cleaner is easier… it’s just 1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar. And it works great. An even lazier way for you to try…
    Also, the resulting smell reminds me of dying Easter eggs. A happy smell…

  • Tiffany March 15, 2014 - 5:04 pm Reply

    Love the shout out to Captain D’s. I was a cashier there for 4 months for my very first job ever! Main thing I learned: I didn’t want to work at Captain D’s for the rest of my life! Or even for the rest of 11th grade! 🙂

  • L. Elizabeth Hewitt March 21, 2014 - 8:43 pm Reply

    I’m in favor of using air freshener to polish one’s glass. This is because my son-in-law adores the stuff, and comes home lugging gallons of it. I understand why he does it, as we have three cats, two dogs, and two twenty-something meat-eating males in the house (as well as one stinky ol’ mother-in-law), but somehow, coming from the windows and mirrors, it’s sort of pleasant and subtle. Better on glass than up my nose, I think.

  • Gwyneth May 2, 2014 - 11:25 pm Reply

    OMG! Am I really that stupid? I know I’m old, but seriously? I had to
    read all the comments before the explanation sunk in…AL-VIN-CORN…I
    need to go back to bed. Yeah, what’s with the cornstarch? Vinegar works
    just fine…not that I ever clean with it.

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