Awesome window cleaner!!

September 27, 2004

I just got this tip from another board. It was posted by Lois. It works better than anything I have ever tried. Here's the info:

Posted by: LoisLaneTX Replies: 80 Posted on: 9/13/2001 7:10:47 PM


While in line at the grocery, I let a lady go ahead of me, because I had many items and she had only about 20 boxes of Corn Starch....I asked her what she was going to do with all that corn starch. She said she was a professional window cleaner and it was the best thing she'd ever found to make the windows sparkle.

Here's how: Just dilute a little bit in a bucket and make a solution. Take a clean terry cloth and dip into solution, wipe over mirror or window. Then take a clean/dry terry cloth and wipe excess. Turn cloth to dry side and polish'll see it sparkle and never buy that blue or green stuff again. Or use smelly vinegar!!!


I just put a few Tablespoons of cornstarch in a qt. spray bottle and fill 1/2 full with water. You can't store this solution for any length of time because it will start to smell. Just mix a small amount to use up each time you want to clean windows, mirrors, etc.

Comments (43)

  • phyllis__mn

    Years ago, I used to buy something along that was a spray, I think, and dried white, and then you buffed it off. It really did work well, but there was always the white "dust" to blow away! I had forgotten all about it.

  • Joiful

    Phyllis, I didn't have any white dust. This mixture you spray on, wipe with damp cloth and then immediately dry with a dry towel. It was easy, inexpensive and left my windows and mirrors sparkling and streak free.

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  • pkguy

    Funny you mention this because I was ironing my dress shirts the other day and spraying them with Niagara speed starch which got me thinking that in the old days didn't people just spray the clothes with a cornstarch / water solution, or wash them in it to get starched clothing.

  • sheilajoyce_gw

    No, we dunked the whole, freshly washed thing in a bucket or basin of disolved starch, wrung it out, and hung it out to dry!

  • riverrat1

    I just mixed some of this up and did one window!! WOW is all I can say. Clean and sparkling. Now I'm off to do 34 other windows LOL! Great tip Joiful, thanks.

  • Joiful

    riverrat1....great to hear from you again! I'm so glad this tip worked as good for you as it did for me. It has been one of the best tips I have ever used.
    You will keep very busy today with your 34 windows!! At the end of the day your windows will sparkle.

  • sleeperblues

    Joiful, Thanks for the tip!!! I was sitting here drinking my am coffee playing with the computer so I wouldn't have to get up and clean my windows. We live on a lake, so have LOTS of windows which is great and sunny til you have to clean them. I tried the baking soda right away, which got me off my butt. I was just going to do the inside sunroon windows, but in three hours ending up doing all the inside and outside windows that I could reach without a ladder cos it was so quick and easy! Then I went to get the mail, and there were my miracle clothes (another tip from these forums), so I started cleaning with them to see what theyr'e like (love them, I wasn't prepared for the weird sticky feeling of them) so I have gotten way more cleaning done today than I ever wanted to, lol! I just love these forums, thanks everyone for the great ideas.

  • Joiful

    sleeperblues, I had to laugh reading your comments. You sound so much like me in the mornings. I have to have my coffee & check my emails, etc. It's a good excuse not to start my morning routine...;)
    Don't you feel good now, having accomplished so much?
    How nice to live by a lake! What beautiful views you must have from your sparkling, clean windows.
    BTW, I also love the miracle cloths!

  • ivamae

    One writer says " cornstarch" one says " soda". Which is it or do both work equally well. Years ago we used a powder called " Bon Ami." It worked well too, but it did leave a bit of powder to clean up. I agree, these forums are tops.

  • Joiful

    I have only heard of using cornstarch. Perhaps soda works too....I don't know.

  • riverrat1

    Welllll, I didn't finish my windows! But if I wait long enough for the weekend I may be able to enlist my son to help me;o) The windows I have done are so sparkly, the reflection of the river is wonderful. How are you and the family doing? I haven't "seen" you in awhile! Thanks again!

  • shaun

    Agreed, it makes them sparkle. I just did my French Doors, the side lights and one other window, I'm sweating! But they are sparkling!

    Wish there was an easier way to clean those little panes in the French Doors, anyone have any brilliant ideas??

  • merj

    I've had a bad case of strepth throat and mono, and have been able to do little more than lurk on GardenWeb/THS and sleep. Somehow I ended up on the Cleaning Forum and onto this thread. DH would laugh at the thought of me on a cleaning forum.
    So, just out of curiosity, I decided to try this formula on my really dirty french doors. Picture this woman with raging fever, in her pajamas, out on a ladder and cleaning windows.
    I must say I am AMAZED at the results. So much so, that I cleaned for a couple of hours...and finally broke the fever. One of the windows on the front of the house is so clean, it doesn't even look like there's glass in it! Which brings me to the problem: one of the windows was so clean that a bird flew into it.
    Now I'm gonna be shamed into cleaning the rest of them. But I gotta figure out how to keep birds from committing suicide first.

  • Joiful gave me my laugh of the day! :)

    Hope your feeling better!

  • shaun

    Poor Merj! Poor BIRD! hahaha! Put decals up?

  • Bonilyn

    Does anyone know if this will remove hairspray from the bathroom mirror. So far only 409 window and surface cleaner does the job. I did try rubbing alcohol this weekend.....that worked but the smell was killing me.

  • shaun

    Try it and let us know.

  • jaceysgranny

    I just used this and I have to agree, it's the best thing I've used. Thanks for the recipe!


  • Joiful

    Your welcome Nancy, I'm glad it worked for you!

  • Jonesy

    Has anyone just used water to clean the mirror? Someone told me to spray water on the bathroom mirror and wipe it down with a microfabric cloth. She said it does the job. I haven't tried it yet, but I do know vinegar and water can't touch it. I have a problem with some of the chemicals and have gone back to cleaning with soap and water. The only thing I feel a need to sanitize is the stool and the floor around it.

  • bodiCA

    merj, you are contagious! I'm sick too, but made a cornstarch spray for one glass door, and was so thrilled I could not stop! It even works great outside, I love this tip with the fluffy micro fiber cloths. It cleaned my black refrigerator front perfectly too! Thank you Joiful!!!!!

  • Joiful

    bodiCA....your welcome. Black appliances can be a real challenge to clean. Stainless steel is also difficult....but, the cornstarch mixture works wonders.
    BTW, hope your feeling better.

    Jonsey, I have used plain water and a microfiber cloth and it worked good, but not as good as the cornstarch mixture.

  • gumbycat

    Jonesy...Warm water and microfiber cloths work fine providing that the cloth is either new or fresh from the laundry. The home made mixture of clear ammonia, alcohol and a drop of Dawn in water works well with microfiber cloths also.

  • ctrtst

    Wow this is the reason I joined this forum just to tell you that your glass cleaner tip is a miracle I love it. It worked so well on our huge mirrors over our dresser it made it look like you could move your hand right through.
    I even tried it on our faucets, toaster, microwave out of curiosity and it cleaned the surfaces also to a shine. I am very happy you posted this Joiful & Lois thank you soooo very much. I told my mom who by the way always used vingar to clean and had never really had problems keeping beautiful glass. I on the other hand cannot take the smell of vingar so this was just what I needed. Plus I could not believe the no streaks at all (if one was there I just buffed a little more and it was gone). Also, my bathroom mirrors do not dry with streaks on them after we shower.

  • bodiCA

    darn ..... now I have to go try it on our clear shower curtain .....

  • mercedes_stewart

    Well, I tried it on one mirror. It looked great, no streaks - in the daylight. At night with the lights on, the starchy residue made it look cloudy. Ammonia, water and a microcloth work best, IME.

  • stanlie_gw

    I have a new house cleaning business so Im always looking for tips. Thanks for the tip about the cornstarch. Ill try it on my next job. Too lazy to clean my own. LOL.


    Before I clean any mirror I go over it quickly with a flat paint scraper that holds a single edge razor blade. This will remove a lot of hair spray, tooth paste, whatever. Then I clean as usual. I have a rag in one hand and a scraper in the other. If I feel a draggy spot I hit it again with the scraper. If you do this everytime your mirrors soon will be squeaky and you wont have a film at the top of your wall mirrors. Sometimes if youre lucky you can just scrape off a few spots and polish with a dry miracle cloth and be done.

  • tnlady

    Cleaned houses when in graduate school. Rubbing alcohol is best for hair spray. Poof!

    Can't wait to try something new on my windows!

    Do wish someone would invent something for those French Doors also!!!


  • Janice

    I have found that shampoo works great to remove hairspray from mirrors--it figures it would doesn't it! :O)

  • haircutcity

    The easiest way that I have ever cleaned windows not mirrors was with a bucket of water and dish liquid, normal sudsy water. wash this over the window with a wash cloth and then dry with a towel right after. that's all. and it is quick and messy paper towels,

  • gibbyval_aol_com

    Hi: Just looking for a new receip to clean windows. We have sliders and tons of windows overlooking the pool,not to mention 10 skylights. I'm going out after work to pick up cornstarch and let you know how I made out. My daughter Leigha is a senior this year graduating from Westwood, MA and will be going to URI in Rhode Island in the fall to study spec. ed.
    Everyone take care and for you mom's HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.


  • mark40511

    Funny you mentioned corn starch. I remember my aunt saying this a LONG time ago and I had forgotten about it until I read this..... If you've never used a squeegee, try it. I personally think it's the best. I have a huge mirror in my bathroom and when the sun would shine a certain way, I could see the smeared streaks. I bought a squeegee, wet the mirror with plain water and squeegeed'd it streaks. Still, I'm going to try the corn starch method.

    Thanks :)

  • cargioli_roadrunner_com

    Can anyone be more specific on the amounts of cornstarch and water. "A little bit in a bucket" and "several tablespoons in a quart spray bottle half full" is a little sketchy. I am anxious to try this. Thanks.

  • rblapham_roadrunner_com

    I solved the problem with french door pains - bought doors with the pains (muttons) in-between the glass:)

  • SharperClean

    Spray windows with preferred cleaner solution then wipe clean with crumpled newspapers. The newspaper helps prevent streaks. Avoid cleaning windows and glass when the sun is hot and shining on the window�glass will dry too fast and there will be streaks.

  • joycew308_gmail_com

    Cornstarch also works extremely well for getting grease out of upholstery. Just sprinkle on dry, rub in and brush it off. I haven't tried it on greasy clothes but I don't see why it wouldn't work on them either.

  • ljwhthd_telus_net

    just happened on this site & have to add comments - have used the cornstarch solution for at least 50 yrs! About 2 or 3 tblsp to gallon of water. Hubby loved it for car/truck windows & I am about to tackle some very large windows(dirty!) in our new Seniors Activity Centre.

  • vala55

    I saw a professional window cleaner the other day and asked what he used. He said just a few drops of dish washing liquid in a bucket of water. I told him, I thought that would leave it greasy and he said "no, not if you use a squeegee, it sparkles".

    I can't imagine cleaning 34 windows, I have 5, but they are big and let in so much light it is like being outside.

  • MollyMay

    I have been trying everything and haven't been able to eliminate the streaks. I read this and right away tried it. Right now they sparkle but will know for sure when the afternoon sun shines in.

    Thanks for a great tip. Heres hoping they still look good at 1PM

  • mainecoonkitty

    I am a believer! I have 36 windows in my house and cleaned them all this weekend. They sparkle and I've never used anything that cleaned really dirty windowns this well and this easy. No streaks, even though I was cleaning them on a sunny day.

    Here's my own recipe for this cleaner, in a quart spray bottle:

    1 TB cornstarch
    1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    fill with warm water

    Shake well and generously spray dirty window and wipe glass surface with a damp microfiber cloth. then wipe dry with an old bath towel or second micro fibercloth.

  • tdlmo

    I saw this on "The Queen of Clean" a few years ago. Yes, it works great!
    Also read for the outside windows you can mix 1/2 gallon warm water, 2 tablespoons dishwasher liquid and 1 tablespoon jet dry. Spray on outside, hose down and walk away!
    Haven't tried this yet.... would freeze before it dried (me and the solution!)

  • watsonmoore

    Hello everybody..I have tried so many things for my windows but with no results. Finally I plumped for this, and by God, it really works. Thanks for the tip.

  • dee61

    Did this for my sister-in-law-a few years ago, lost recipe,,,.tried today with too much cornstarch so not easy. I always let it dry before wiping with clean soft cloth, should work well now that I will use far less cornstarch!! Thanks, this is the best from a woman married 44 years!

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