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Crafting the Perfect Glass Cleaner Formula: A Guide for Commercial Producers

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As a commercial glass cleaner formulator or producer, creating an effective and competitive product is crucial for success in the cleaning products industry. A well-formulated glass cleaner should cut through grease, grime, and fingerprints while leaving surfaces streak-free and sparkling clean. In this article, we’ll dive into the key ingredients, typical formulations, and important considerations when developing a commercial glass cleaner.

Key Ingredients in Commercial Glass Cleaners


Water is the primary solvent in most glass cleaner formulas, but other solvents like isopropanol, ethanol, and glycol ethers (such as 2-butoxyethanol) are often included to boost the cleaning power. These solvents help dissolve oils, grease, and grime, making them easier to wipe away. The choice and ratio of solvents can impact the cleaner’s effectiveness, evaporation rate, and compatibility with various surfaces.


Surfactants are essential for emulsifying oils and suspending dirt particles, preventing them from redepositing on the cleaned surface. Anionic surfactants, such as Dodecyldimethylamine Oxide, and nonionic surfactants, like Fatty Alcohol Polyoxyethylene Ether and Alkyl Polyglycoside, are commonly used in glass cleaner formulas. The right balance of surfactants ensures effective cleaning without leaving residue or streaks.

Alkaline Agents

Alkaline agents, such as ammonia, ammonium hydroxide, or ethanolamine, are often included to boost the cleaning power and grease-cutting ability of the formula. These ingredients help to break down stubborn soils and create an alkaline environment that enhances the effectiveness of surfactants. However, it’s important to use these agents in moderation to avoid potential health risks and compatibility issues with certain surfaces.

Chelating Agents

Chelating agents, like sodium gluconate or sodium citrate, play a crucial role in softening water and preventing mineral deposits and streaking. These ingredients sequester metal ions, such as calcium and magnesium, which can cause hard water spots and film buildup. By incorporating chelating agents, formulators can ensure a streak-free finish even in areas with hard water.

Other Additives

In addition to the core ingredients, commercial glass cleaners may include fragrances for a pleasant scent, dyes for aesthetic appeal, and preservatives to prevent microbial growth and extend shelf life. These additives should be carefully selected to ensure compatibility with the overall formula and to meet any regulatory requirements.

Wiping a window glass

Typical Glass Cleaner Formulation

Here is an example typical glass cleaner formula for commercial production and sales.

IngredientsRatios, by wtFunction
WaterTo 100.0Primary solvent
Isopropanol2.00%Secondary solvent to boost cleaning power
Sodium Gluconate0.10%Chelating agent
C8-C14 Alkyl Polyglucoside(Yeser® APG0814)3.00%Nonionic surfactant to emulsify oils and suspend dirt
Lauryl Dimethyl Amine Oxide(Yeser® OB-2)2.00%Anionic surfactant to emulsify oils and suspend dirt
Fatty Alcohol Polyoxyethylene (9) Ether(Yeser® AEO-9)1.00Nonionic surfactant to emulsify oils and suspend dirt
Ammonium hydroxide0.2%Alkaline agent to boost cleaning and grease-cutting

Production Procedure:

  1. In the main mixing tank, add around 90% of the total required water. Start mixing at low to medium speed.
  2. Slowly add the sodium gluconate powder into the vortex of the mixing water. Mix until fully dissolved. Sodium gluconate acts as a chelating agent to soften water and prevent mineral deposits and streaking.
  3. Add the isopropanol solvent and mix thoroughly. Isopropanol boosts the cleaning power and helps dissolve oils and grease.
  4. Introduce the C8-C14 alkyl polyglucoside (Yeser® APG0814) nonionic surfactant. Mix until homogeneous. APG provides excellent emulsification, cleaning and degreasing properties.
  5. Add the lauryl dimethyl amine oxide (Yeser® OB-2) anionic surfactant and mix well. Amine oxide enhances wetting, foaming and cleaning performance.
  6. Incorporate the fatty alcohol polyoxyethylene (9) ether (Yeser® AEO-9) nonionic surfactant. Mix until fully dispersed. AEO-9 improves emulsification and cleaning.
  7. Carefully add the ammonium hydroxide alkaline agent while mixing. Ammonium hydroxide boosts the cleaning and grease-cutting power[1][5]. Use caution as it can generate fumes.
  8. Add the methylisothiazolinone (MIT15) preservative and mix thoroughly. MIT prevents microbial growth and extends shelf life.
  9. Finally, add the fragrance and mix until homogeneous. Adjust the fragrance dosage if needed.
  10. Slowly add the remaining water to bring the batch to 100% and final volume. Mix well.
  11. Check and adjust the final pH to the target range of 7-10 using citric acid or sodium hydroxide if needed.
  12. Run quality control tests to verify the appearance, pH, viscosity, cleaning efficacy and streak-free performance on glass surfaces.
  13. Once QC approved, package the bulk glass cleaner into final containers, label, and prepare for distribution.

The key aspects are using high-quality raw materials, following the correct order of addition, ensuring complete dissolution of ingredients, and conducting thorough mixing. Precise weighing, pH adjustment, and quality testing ensure a consistent and effective glass cleaning product.

Wiping a window glass with glass cleaner foam

Formulation Considerations

When developing a commercial glass cleaner formula, several key factors must be considered:

  1. pH range: The ideal pH range for a glass cleaner is typically between 7 and 11, with most formulas falling in the slightly alkaline range (pH 8-10). This pH range ensures effective cleaning while minimizing the risk of damage to surfaces and potential health hazards.
  2. Balancing cleaning power and streak-free performance: Formulators must strike a balance between the cleaner’s ability to remove tough soils and its propensity to leave streaks or residue. This often involves fine-tuning the ratio of solvents, surfactants, and alkaline agents.
  3. Compatibility with coatings and tints: Some ingredients, particularly solvents and alkaline agents, can damage or discolor certain coatings or tints used on glass surfaces. Formulators should test their products on various surfaces to ensure compatibility and adjust the formula if necessary.
  4. Stability, compatibility, and shelf life: The glass cleaner formula must be stable over time, with ingredients that are compatible with each other and the packaging material. Preservatives may be necessary to prevent microbial growth and extend the product’s shelf life.

Regulatory and Safety Aspects

Commercial glass cleaner producers must navigate a range of regulatory and safety considerations:

  1. VOC regulations: Many regions have volatile organic compound (VOC) regulations that limit the amount of certain solvents, like glycol ethers, in cleaning products. Formulators must ensure their products comply with these regulations.
  2. Labeling requirements: Glass cleaners must be properly labeled with ingredient lists, safety warnings, and usage instructions, in accordance with local and national regulations.
  3. Proper handling and storage: Raw materials used in glass cleaner formulas may require special handling and storage procedures to ensure safety and maintain ingredient integrity.
  4. Incompatible chemicals: Some ingredients, such as ammonia and bleach, can produce dangerous fumes if mixed. Formulators must provide clear warnings against mixing their products with incompatible chemicals.
Wiping a car glass with glass cleaner foam


Developing a high-performance commercial glass cleaner requires a deep understanding of the key ingredients, their interactions, and the delicate balance needed to achieve optimal results. By carefully selecting solvents, surfactants, alkaline agents, chelating agents, and additives, formulators can create a product that effectively cuts through grime while leaving glass surfaces streak-free and sparkling.

As the cleaning products industry continues to evolve, staying informed about new ingredients, regulatory changes, and consumer preferences is essential for staying competitive. By continuously refining and innovating their glass cleaner formulas, commercial producers can meet the ever-changing demands of the market and maintain their position as industry leaders.

Written by:
Jun Xie
Jun Xie
Jun is the head of R&D at Yeser Chemicals. He holds a master's degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology. After joining Yeser Chemicals in 2013, he has been dedicated to researching and developing new coconut-based green surfactants and their safe uses in Home & Personal care products. In addition to serving as the Head of R&D at Yeser Chemicals, Jun is the director of the Guangdong Green Surfactant Engineering Technology Research Center and a member of the Standard Committee of Guangdong Daily Chemical Chamber of Commerce.

Yeser Chemicals is a leading producer of CAPB, CDEA, CMEA, EGDS, and other various Coconut-derived surfactants.

By self-manufacturing and 3rd-party toll-manufacturing, we provide a long list of safe ingredients, including surfactants, conditioners, thickeners, etc.,  used in Home & Fabric Care, Personal Care, and Cosmetics.

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