Updated on September 6, 2023
Glass surfaces, mirrors, and windows with smudges, splatters, or films are easily noticeable and can be quite irksome. It’s essential to have an effective glass cleaner in your cleaning toolkit, one that swiftly tackles dirt and offers a hassle-free application. Our Window Cleaning Specialists in Toronto annually assess various brands to identify the top-performing glass and window cleaners and provide valuable insights on window cleaning, including common blunders to steer clear of.
To test these products, we apply them to black glass panels smeared with common household stains like greasy fingerprints, lipstick traces, dust, and accidental splatters (like that unexpected toothpaste squirt on your bathroom mirror). We measure the speed of each cleaner’s effectiveness, tally the number of swipes needed for a spotless finish, and after a set number of swipes, we gauge the remaining streaks and residue. The choice of black glass for testing is deliberate, as it highlights streaks and smears more prominently. Here’s our list of the standout window and glass cleaners for home .
Cinch Glass Cleaner – BEST VALUE
- Excels at tackling grease compared to other glass cleaners.
- Versatile: Suitable for granite and stainless steel surfaces.
- Some users mentioned the fragrance is somewhat overpowering.
For those who frequently cook at home, encountering grease splashes on your stove, oven, and microwave doors is almost inevitable. While many standard glass cleaners struggle with persistent grease (especially if it’s been there for some time), Cinch Glass Cleaner proved its mettle in our laboratory evaluations by effectively cutting through it. Our team appreciated its multi-surface compatibility, making it ideal for stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Originally introduced as a glass and multi-surface cleaner, Cinch was designed to combat grease and leave glass streak-free. Even though it’s now primarily marketed as a glass cleaner, its efficacy remains unchanged. While some users felt its aroma was more potent than other brands, our team didn’t find it particularly noticeable.
Safely Glass Cleaner – BEST SMELLING
- Offers a refreshing and delightful aroma.
- Effortlessly and swiftly wipes away.
- Comes in subtle packaging.
- Pricier per ounce compared to several other brands.
Imagine the fusion of a premium candle’s fragrance with the efficiency of a top-notch glass cleaner; that’s precisely what Safely, co-founded by Kris Jenner, brings to the table. Its unique formulation, enriched with coconut oil and mineral salts, swiftly tackles dirt and grime on glass surfaces. Our evaluations revealed that, when used as a spray, it’s less prone to dripping compared to other liquid cleaners. Additionally, it can be dispensed as a stream for precise application. The outcome? Sparkling, streak-free glass with minimal effort. Even though Safely is on the pricier side compared to some competitors, our reviewers believed it offered value for money.
HOPE’S Perfect Glass Cleaner – BEST STREAK-FIGHTING
- Achieves faster cleaning and results in fewer streaks compared to several other brands.
- Suitable for tinted windows.
- Tends to be pricier per ounce than various other brands.
HOPE’s Perfect Glass truly stands by its name, delivering a gleaming finish to windows and other glass surfaces with fewer swipes than many brands we’ve assessed. The magic ingredient? Alcohol. It dries up swiftly, eliminating the need for excessive buffing and preventing streaks. Moreover, it’s a safe option for sprucing up the glass screens of monitors, tablets, and phones. However, it’s advisable to spray the cleaner onto a cloth rather than directly onto the device. While Hope’s might come with a slightly steeper price tag than some of its counterparts, the efficiency, reduced effort, and adaptability it offers make it a value-for-money proposition.
Invisible Glass Cleaner – BEST OVERALL WINDOW AND GLASS CLEANER
- Superior at removing grime compared to other glass cleaners.
- No dripping issues.
- Some users found the fragrance a tad overpowering.
Have you ever used a glass cleaner and found yourself rushing to grab a cloth or paper towel to prevent it from dripping onto the window ledge or even the floor? With Invisible Glass, such concerns are a thing of the past. Our evaluations revealed that its fine mist adheres uniformly to surfaces, eliminating the hassle of chasing after drips. It’s particularly effective against stubborn stains, be it mud, bird excrements, or the adhesive remnants from festive decorations. The ergonomic design of the EZ-grip trigger ensures a comfortable grip, and for optimal, streak-free outcomes, we recommend using a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass to a shine.
- Enables cleaning of windows up to 10-11 feet high.
- User-friendly assembly and application.
- Replacement pad required after approximately 20 uses.
- Windows might not be entirely free of streaks post-cleaning.
Cleaning elevated or difficult-to-access windows becomes a breeze with Windex’s All-in-One Glass and Window Cleaner Tool Starter Kit, eliminating the need for ladders. The process is straightforward: moisten the outdoor windows and the cleaning pad using a hose, attach the pad to the pole, and commence cleaning. Our evaluations revealed that the pad’s water-activated cleaning agent effectively breaks down and removes outdoor dirt. Post-cleaning, a simple rinse with a garden hose is all that’s needed, followed by air drying.
Windex Pre-moistened Glass Wipes – BEST WINDOW CLEANING WIPES
- Highly portable.
- Less prone to mess compared to sprays.
- Not suitable for granite or marble surfaces.
- Not as environmentally friendly as a reusable cloth.
In scenarios where a spray bottle might be cumbersome or impractical, Windex Glass Cleaning Wipes come to the rescue. They’re perfect for on-the-go situations, like keeping a pack in the car to tackle unexpected smudges from kids, pets, or even sudden bird droppings on your windshield. Our expert panel tested these wipes both in a controlled environment and in real-life settings. They found them particularly handy for cleaning intricate crystal light fixtures and the petite glass sections of glass-fronted cabinets. The advantage? No drips and no need to manage a bulky bottle and a separate cloth, especially when perched on a ladder. However, it’s worth noting that these wipes aren’t suitable for granite or marble surfaces.
- Effective cleaning using only water.
- Can be used multiple times.
- Both cleans and adds a polished finish.
- Generously sized.
- Might require multiple cloths for extensive window cleaning.
E-Cloth’s set of two microfiber cloths offers a remarkable cleaning solution, achieving sparkling windows using just water. Our recent evaluations left our experts impressed, particularly with how these cloths swiftly and efficiently cleaned a rain-streaked glass door. Notably, they outperformed other cloths in terms of speed and effectiveness, all without the aid of any cleaning agents. The process is simple: dampen the waffle-textured cloth and use it to wipe away dirt and debris. Given its ample size, it covers a significant cleaning area. However, for optimal results, it’s essential to frequently turn the cloth, rinsing and wringing it out as it accumulates dirt. Subsequently, the smooth-textured cloth can be employed to give the glass a polished finish.
Brandless Brandless Refillable Glass Cleaner Starter Kit – BEST REFILLABLE
- Contributes to reducing single-use plastic waste.
- Features a delightful, subtle cucumber aroma.
- Offers excellent value for money.
- Exclusively available online.
The Refillable Glass Cleaner Starter Kit is a commendable initiative towards curbing the use of disposable plastic bottles. While it’s only purchasable online, the kit comprises a 32-ounce reusable trigger spray bottle and a sachet of concentrated liquid glass cleaner. The process is straightforward: pour the concentrate into the bottle, add water, give it a shake, and you’re all set with your homemade cleaner (or something quite close!). The eco-friendly aspect extends to its shipping as well, given that it’s transported without water, reducing shipping complications. When the solution runs out, all you need to do is order a refill pack, which comes with two sachets, and reuse the initial bottle.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Window Cleaner:
- Purpose of Cleaning: Reflect on the surfaces you intend to clean. Products containing ammonia or vinegar should be avoided for tinted glass or granite countertops.
- Sensitivity: If you’re prone to reactions from strong scents, opt for a cleaner without added fragrances.
- Liquid Sprays: While these are the most prevalent, they can sometimes be messy due to dripping. Sprays that emit a fine mist tend to be tidier.
- Foams: These have a thicker consistency and might necessitate additional wiping.
- Pre-moistened Wipes: These are handy but can dry out swiftly and might be costlier on a per-use basis compared to other formats.
- Packaging: An increasing number of brands are leaning towards eco-friendly solutions, offering recyclable or refillable packaging.
- Concentrates: Some brands provide concentrates that you can mix with water, reducing the need for frequent purchases.
- Usage: Regardless of the brand you choose, pairing it with a reusable microfiber cloth instead of disposable paper towels is advisable. This approach not only yields superior cleaning results but also minimizes environmental waste.
Can Window Cleaners Be Used on Other Surfaces?
Absolutely, in certain situations. Many window and glass cleaners are versatile enough to be used on chrome fixtures, laminate countertops, and glass cooktops, among other surfaces.
However, there are exceptions. It’s generally not advisable to use these cleaners on electronics, wooden floors, tables, and specific kitchen countertops like granite, particularly if the cleaner contains ingredients like ammonia or vinegar.
Always consult the product’s label to ascertain its recommended usage and to identify surfaces where it might be best to avoid application.