It is shocking how many dangerous chemicals the average person has in their home. Everyday cleaning products often contain substances that can be harmful to the environment, pets and humans. Making our own cleaners allows us to control what is in them, but it can be tricky to figure out what ingredients can be safely used on what surfaces. Making your own glass cleaner is a good start. Here are five natural glass cleaners that you can mix up at home:

#1: Vinegar is a great window cleaner. You can either use it full strength, or mix it half-and-half with water. The scent takes some getting used to, and it will burn if you get it in your eyes, but vinegar is very safe and effective.

#2: 1/2 cup of lemon juice and 2 cups of water makes a pleasant-smelling glass cleaner. You could also add in a small amount of castile soap for greater effectiveness.

#3: Many naturalists use cornstarch in their natural glass cleaner mixtures. It is said to reduce streaking. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch can be mixed with a quart of warm water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. For best results, clean windows with this mixture when it’s shady so that the sun doesn’t cause them to dry too quickly.

#4: Rubbing alcohol is good for cleaning windows, and it helps prevent frost in the wintertime as an added bonus. 1/2 cup of rubbing alcohol to 1 quart of water is enough to be effective. Be sure that the area is well ventilated when cleaning with rubbing alcohol, and keep the mixture out of the reach of children.

#5: If you have been using store-bought cleaners to clean your windows, a natural cleaner could cause streaks due to the residue left behind by those cleaners. To prevent this, wash windows with a mixture of 1/4 cup of castile soap, 1 cup of vinegar, and one gallon of water. After this initial cleaning, your natural cleaners should do a nice job of keeping the windows clean and streak free.

In addition to making your own natural cleaners, cleaning windows with old newspapers has several benefits. It is cheaper than using paper towels, it further protects from streaking, it doesn’t leave lint behind, and it reduces waste.

Making our own homemade natural glass cleaners is a great way to make our homes safer and help protect the environment from the harsh chemicals that can be found in commercial formulations. You probably have most or all of the ingredients you need in your home already, and if you don’t they can be purchased very inexpensively at a grocery or discount store. While it’s always a good idea to keep cleaners where children can’t reach them, most of these cleaners are non-toxic and virtually harmless.