Ammonia is commonly found in glass and window cleaners. It helps a cleaner evaporate, reducing the chances of streaks. The top performer in our test contains ammonia and left glass streak-free.
However, take care when using cleaners containing ammonia. It can strip away coatings such as protective film or tints, including on car windows and eyeglasses. Be careful with metal-framed windows or glass, as ammonia can eat away at the finish. Don’t use it on your computer or laptop screen, as these often aren’t glass.
Most importantly don’t use an ammonia cleaner with a product containing bleach, as mixing them can produce toxic chloramine gas.
Tips for fixing streaky windows
One of the biggest causes of streaky windows is residue from the cleaning product itself, so it’s important to remove all the cleaner from a window.
However, if your windows are still left covered in streaks, try these “home hacks”.
Instead of a cloth, clean with scrunched-up newspaper.
Wipe down with paper towels after washing.
Use a squeegee after cleaning.
Dry with a microfibre cloth or use a chamois.
We haven’t tested these streak-free methods, so can’t guarantee how effective they are.
Always keep your cleaners away from children — ideally in a high or locked cupboard.
If anyone swallows cleaning product, immediately rinse out their mouth with water and phone your doctor or the National Poisons Centre (0800 POISON or 0800 764 766).
Where’s the environmental testing?
We’ve assessed how well these products clean. Our test is comparative, which means the products are compared to each other – not to a defined standard of “clean”.
We are developing an assessment of the impact of these cleaners on the environment, and the use of the products with septic tanks and greywater systems.