So why would someone want to make their own glass cleaner? It won't really save you money, I'm guessing it costs almost exactly the same to buy new versus mixing your own. A local grocery store has new bottles for sale at $0.99. You can buy the needed ingredients for roughly $2.00 and it's enough to make about 2 bottles. You do the math.
There are a few reasons I can think of why it's still worth your time to do this. By knowing all the ingredients, you can assure that you're not disposing of dangerous chemicals into your trash. Re-using the bottle will also mean less trash to dispose of, and even if you recycle, it's still a waste of resources to make it usable again. All "Save the Earth" motives aside, it can be a fun little conversation piece with your friends. And finally, if you have pets or little tykes, I consider this to be a "less-dangerous" cleaner than what you may buy commercially. Knowing the four commonly available ingredients (three of which are consumable) could be resolved easier than trying to pronounce the five-syllable ingredients to a poison-control center employee. To be fair, I haven't tested the effects of drinking this concoction or that of the store bought variety.
This is my first instructable- just don't be an idiot because neither this website or myself are responsible.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
There are several different "recipes" for creating glass cleaners, this is for a medium strength cleaner. A quick google search will get you an ingredient list for weaker and stronger cleaners. Many of those other cleaners will contain ammonia, and a quick word of caution- it shouldn't be stored near bleach as even the vapors can create a mixture that can kill you. Of course, most of you will know this already. To summarize this thought, if you don't have some basic idea of what you're doing (say, a passing high school chemistry credit) you probably shouldn't be playing around with chemicals anyway. Some other points of caution- if you use stronger chemicals than what I have, you might consider household cleaning gloves and a paper mask.
Okay, here's what you need:
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 liter water
Capful of lemon juice
(optional) few drops food coloring
Step 2: Mix the Ingredients
Simple enough- I started with some of the water. You don't need bottled water like I used, as you should know most bottled water is really just tap water anyway. If you plan to use the lemon juice or vinegar for human consumption afterwards, make sure not to contaminate it with any of the cleaning chemicals. Separate off the amount you would need before mixing it together. I actually poured some of my vinegar into the half empty water bottle, which I had carefully poured out earlier.
After roughly half the water, add the half cup of rubbing alcohol, then the half cup of vinegar. Then add the other half of the water and finish up by adding a lidful of lemon juice. Unlike my pictures, you should leave a little area of the top not filled. I shake mine up to ensure a good mixture. If you choose to use any food coloring, now is the time to add a few quick drops. I didn't use any, and you can tell the finished mixture appears more greenish than blue.
Step 3: Test Your Cleaner
With your completed mixture, test it out on the glass you want to clean. Look for a somewhat hidden area to start, that way if there is some problem with the mixture you're not going to ruin important parts of the glass.
There are certain eyeglasses, windows, mirrors, and other surfaces that have protective chemical coatings. Keep in mind some chemicals (namely the lemon juice for this mixture) can eat away this and ruin whatever you've tried to clean. You've been warned. Just use common sense, and you should be okay. In fact, that's not a bad policy for most other things too.
This completes my first instructable, I hope you enjoyed it.