Ammonia by itself or just mixed with water can leave streaks when used to clean glass. A streak-free ammonia cleaning solution works best when it includes some 70 percent rubbing alcohol and a bit of dish detergent to clean windows, glass and mirrors in your home. Store the solution in a labeled quart spray bottle to have it handy when you need it.
Gather the Supplies
It doesn't take much to make your own homemade ammonia glass cleaner, as long as you have a quart spray bottle, a funnel, measuring spoons and cup, permanent marker, liquid dish detergent, ammonia and rubbing -- isopropyl -- alcohol. The secret to the mixture is the 70 percent rubbing alcohol mixed in with the other ingredients to keep the glass from streaking. The glass cleaner's low cost makes this a pennies-on-the-dollar recipe without all the toxic chemicals found in commercial brands.
To mix the solution in a spray bottle, first fill it with 26 ounces of warm water after removing the spray mechanism. Add the funnel to the bottle, and pour in 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol. Add 2 tablespoons of ammonia and 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dish-washing detergent, ideally an alkaline-based or grease-cutting version. Replace the bottle's spray mechanism and tighten the lid. Lightly shake the bottle to mix the ingredients together. You might notice some light suds.
The best ammonia to use is a unscented brand, but if you don't have that, a lemon-scented ammonia works just as well. It reduces some of the strong ammonia scent from the mixture. A word of warning: Never add bleach to this mixture, because it can cause toxic fumes. This homemade glass cleaner does a better job of cleaning mirrors, glass and windows compared to many store-brought brands. But do not clean with it in direct sunlight -- the sunlight can make the cleaning solution dry too quickly, leaving streaks, no matter how hard you try to rub them out.
Label the Bottle
After you have created the mixture, label the bottle with a permanent marker, for example: "Ammonia Glass Cleaner" or "Glass Cleaner." This keeps you from accidentally misting your household plants with an ammonia-based glass cleaner instead of the water bottle. You can also use this cleaner to clean countertops or metallic surfaces where you don't want streaking. Both the ammonia and rubbing alcohol kill germs and bacteria.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.