The Best Glass Cleaners, Tested by HGTV Editors
From car windows to cooktops, we tested a variety of glass cleaners that deliver a streak-free finish.
Our Top Glass Cleaner Picks
- Best Overall: Stoner Invisible Glass Glass Cleaner
- Best Budget: Windex Original Glass Cleaner
- Best Wipes: MiracleWipes for Glass
- Best Eco-Friendly: ECOS Plant-Powered Window Cleaner
- Best Concentrate: Grove Co. Glass Cleaner Concentrate
- Best for Mirrors: Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner
- Best for Glass Cooktops: Affresh Cooktop Cleaner
- Best for Cars: Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner
Mirrors, windows, cooktops — there are a variety of surfaces in your home that specifically call for a glass cleaner to provide a thorough clean. A good glass cleaner should provide a deep clean, removing dirt, dust and grime, without leaving behind streaks or residue.
How to Choose the Best Glass Cleaner
When choosing a glass cleaner for a streak-free finish, you should first be aware of the ingredients most often found in commercial glass cleaners: Isopropanolamine (a chemical solvent that dissolves dirt and grease), 2-Hexoxyethanol (a chemical surfactant that loosens contaminants on glass surfaces) and ammonium hydroxide (a chemical that evaporates quickly and creates that streak-free finish; better known as ammonia). These chemicals can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation. You'll also find fragrances, dyes and other cleaning agents or surfactants inside most commercial glass cleaners, as well. Many glass cleaners are ammonia-free, and you can also go the natural, plant-based route. These solutions may not present the cleanest finish, but they can certainly get the job done and are considered safer to use.
When using glass cleaners, it's important to use microfiber or other lint-free towels that are free of fabric softeners — not paper towels. (Newspaper works great, too!) Spray the solution onto the glass, gently wipe the wet glass to remove the grime, then dry the glass with a new, clean towel. This is how you get a smooth, streak-free finish every time, no matter which cleaner you're using.
Invisible Glass Glass Cleaner quickly and easily removes fingerprints, smudges, grease and grime without leaving behind residue for a streak-free shine without soaps, scents or dyes. In fact, Invisible Glass guarantees a streak-free finish or your money back. It’s safe and effective to use on windows, doors, tables, mirrors, ovens, car windows and more. “Glass so clean you’ll think it’s invisible” certainly holds true and is why it’s our Best Overall pick above the rest. Plus, we love that it’s ammonia-free. And for less than $5, you can't beat the price, too.
You know the name Windex. In fact, you probably grew up with a bottle of Windex in your household cleaning arsenal. This under-$3 pick comes with more than 24,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon. It works effectively and leaves behind a clean, streak-free finish ideal for light-duty applications. It does contain ammonia and comes with a pretty strong scent to mask the chemical.
Wipes are a quick and easy way to clean glass, windows, mirrors and more. MiracleWipes' ammonia-free formula removes dust, dirt, oil, grease smudges, water spots and fingerprints from glass surfaces. To avoid streaks, you'll use one wipe to gently clean the dirty surface and then dry with a soft microfiber cloth. We love how targeted the pre-moistened wipes are — no spraying or excess dripping to worry about. Plus, the scent is not overpowering. While wipes are not the most environmentally-conscious option, as they are single-use, the container is recyclable.
This plant-powered glass cleaner only contains four biodegradable and vegan ingredients: water, alcohol denat (a plant-based solvent), caprylyl/myristyl glucoside (a plant-derived surfactant) and acetic acid (a plant-derived vinegar). It has a natural, pleasant scent and gently removes dirt and grime from glass surfaces. It leaves behind a noticeable streak-free finish compared to the other natural glass cleaners we tested.
A cleaning concentrate allows you to mix the solution with water at home to create an entire bottle of cleaning solution. We love cleaning concentrates for various reasons, but mainly because they cost less over time and you end up paying for just the cleaner — not the water. Grove Co.'s Glass Cleaner Concentrates are made from a biodegradable formula with 95 percent plant-based ingredients. This means no parabens, phthalates, phosphates, formaldehyde, synthetic dyes, ammonia or chlorine bleach. They also feature natural fragrances using essential oils and plant extracts. (We love the orange and rosemary scent!) This fresh, natural scent is a major plus compared to the chemical-based glass cleaners we tried. It removed dog nose prints and slobber from a glass hurricane door with ease, leaving behind no lines or residue — just a clean, pleasant scent that lingers.
Mirrors with toothpaste splatter, fingerprints and smudges are no match for Hope's Perfect Glass Cleaner. The ammonia-free formula is safe for a variety of glass surfaces, including tinted windows, but we found it works best on mirrors. It delivered on its streak-free guarantee without leaving behind a haze you can sometimes get on mirrored surfaces. The bottle claims you can use this spray with paper towels (they specifically recommend Scott brand), but the included microfiber cloth works best.
Glass and ceramic cooktops call for a specific cooktop cleaner to cut through tough, cooked-on residues and grime. Affresh Cooktop Cleaner nabs our best pick for its residue-free, streak-free results. Affresh is non-abrasive and safe to use on all glass, ceramic and porcelain surfaces. After applying the cleaning polish directly to a cool cooktop, rub with a dry cloth (or paper towel), then buff with a new dry cloth for a streak-free shine. (It’s recommended to remove any cooked-on food with a scraping blade prior to applying the solution.) Our tester loved how shiny it left the stovetop, while even removing a stubborn burnt-on water spot that other cleaners were not able to remove. It gets bonus points for its light, citrus smell, too.
While you can use a standard glass cleaner on your car windows, Rain-X 2-in-1 Glass Cleaner and Rain Repellent is our top pick for various reasons. (Keep in mind: Cleaners with ammonia are not safe for tinted windows and can cause cracking, peeling and fading.) Rain-X thoroughly cleans and removes road spray, bugs and water residue from windows while simultaneously applying a water bead technology to enhance driving visibility. The rain repellent causes water to bead up and roll away, while also preventing sleet, snow, ice and more from sticking to the glass. Like with our other glass cleaner recommendations, you simply spray onto the glass, wipe with a clean cloth, then wipe again with a new, dry cloth to create a streak-free finish. Our tester noticed more clarity and visibility in the driver’s side window and rearview mirror using this product compared to others that do not include a rain repellent.
How We Tested
Our team of editors tested dozens of different glass cleaners, wipes, foams and polishes to find the best one for each use and household. Following manufacturer instructions, we thoroughly cleaned windows, mirrors, glass cooktops, shower doors and car windows to make our selections. We checked for any leftover residue or grime and most importantly, streaks, to determine the best for each category and use. We only used clean, lint-free microfiber cleaning cloths — no paper towels — when testing.