cleaning window with spray

Once You Use Alvin Corn DIY Glass Cleaner You Will Never Look Back

I love inexpensive, simple DIY household cleaners. I’m certain I’ve tried just about all of them, too. Some work well, others not so much. Only recently, as I’ve been researching and testing the wonders of cornstarch to do more than thicken gravy and pudding, I’ve discovered a homemade formula for glass, mirrors, and other household surfaces that is so wonderful to be nearly magical. It’s a cleaning solution with a funny name and one I’ll never replace. It’s that good.

cleaning window with spray

Photo credit Joe Lingeman

Meet Alvin Corn

Alvin Corn is a homemade multi-purpose cleaner that cleans glass, mirrors, and lots more. Its funky name refers to its somewhat surprising ingredients: alcohol, vinegar, and cornstarch. As far as I can discover, Crunchy Betty gets credit for coming up with this recipe and its acronym. I think both names are downright charming. But I digress.

How does Alvin Corn work?

The vinegar in Alvin Corn helps cut through dirt and grime on mirrors and glass. The cornstarch, paired with a microfiber cloth, acts as a very soft scrubbing agent that dissolves those tricky dried-on bits without leaving any residue, and the alcohol helps the whole concoction dissolve quickly for a streak-free, sparkling shine.

How to make Alvin Corn

ingredients for Alvin Corn

You’ll need:

✅ 1/4 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol

✅ 1/4 cup white vinegar

✅ 1 tablespoon cornstarch

✅ 2 cups warm water

✅ a standard size spray bottle (pictured above is a small bottle; this recipe prepared in a larger vessel would fill and refill it multiple times.)

Pour the ingredients directly into a standard-size spray bottle or another container of choice. Apply the sprayer top or lid, and shake well.

How to use Alvin Corn

Before spraying Alvin Corn on your mirrors or glass, shake it well because the cornstarch will settle to the bottom and you want to redistribute it. Then spray, sparingly. Wipe with a microfiber cloth or other cleaning cloth of choice—even a coffee filter or newspaper. Buff well, to remove all moisture. Hear the squeak? You’re going to love how Alvin Corn makes glass, mirrors, stainless steel, quartz countertops, and porcelain fixtures squeaky clean!

How to store Alvin Corn

The recipe above makes about 20 oz. of Alvin Corn, the perfect amount to fill a standard spray bottle. Store it as you would any commercial cleaner, directly in the spray bottle. Just make sure you shake it well right before and in between uses. While cornstarch appears to dissolve in water, it doesn’t really. It is such a fine powder that shaking it will distribute it well, not clogging up the sprayer. But as it sits that cornstarch will separate and fall to the bottom. Just remember to shake, shake, shake!

An ideal spray bottle for Alvin Corn

I love the small 4 oz. amber spray bottle pictured above, for its size and reliable sprayer top. I now keep one of these amber bottles filled with Alvin Corn in every bathroom, under every sink. Not that the entire recipe will not fit into the 4 oz bottle, so you will need to make it up in a larger vessel, the fill the bottle from it.

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9 replies
  1. Susan Kydd says:

    Hello, i would love to print up the ingredients and instructions for this wonderful solution to clean glass, but I dont’ want to copy and paste every single add and all the pictures in the article. Is there a “”print” button somewhere?

    THANK YOU!

    Reply
  2. Polly says:

    I have the old recipe for window cleaner, has a few drops of blue Dawn. Is this better, or just different? The other works like a charm in inside car windows and my home interior windows.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      We have a number of different DIY window cleaners here at EC. If the one you’ve been using works this well, stick with it. Alvin Corn is another great option, should you want to try that in the future 🙂

      Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      I can’t give you an exact number of years or months … but unlike hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol does not degrade quickly, nor does vinegar. I don’t think I’d make it up by the gallon, but one regular size spray bottle at time will be great for many cleanings. You may find yourself using it more often than you can imagine.

      Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Not on granite, marble or natural stone. The vinegar will dull and damage the sealant overtime. It’s a GREAT glass and mirror cleaner!

      Reply

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