Tesco Glass And Insect Cleaner [500ml]


[+] One of the cheapest available

[-] Left windows with smears, potentially toxic


Cheapest Available: £2.50 Tesco (Collect)

What it promised

Tesco say their own brand formula provides a fast acting cleaner that is safe to use on internal and external glass, mirror and around paintwork. It promises to remove insect deposits and leave an anti-glare, streak free finish.

What we found

In short, we were not impressed with the performance of Tesco's own brand glass cleaner. But, before we analyse its test results in more depth, it is best to first address this cleaner with some context. This supermarket own-brand cleaner is by far the cheapest on test which comes in a 500ml volume, and to its own specification, it is not designed as a professional solvent to remove and clean heavily soiled windscreens. The formula [which we will get to later] is a light cleaner, designed to remove insect deposits and leave a crystal clear finish post wash, with safety around external bodywork in mind. With that said, and in the matter of fairness, all 5 of our glass window cleaners were tested on like for like soiled window sections. The Tesco 'Glass Cleaner & Insect Remover' performed badly here. The cleaner left cloudy smears on both internal and external portions of the glass which overshadows any of its dirt removal properties. Objectively, the cleaner left the window in a worse state due to this smearing than the condition it started in, reduced only after heavy buffing. The formula lacks any lubricating qualities, and this enhances the risk of creating swirls within the glasswork. We feel a better result could be achieved through pre-washing to remove any grease, and better instruction on the label to necessitate thorough mixing of the formula before use. Ultimately, this cleaner is difficult to recommend as one worthwhile going out of your way to purchase if you do your weekly shop at a rival supermarket. There are far better cleaners readily available, so unfortunately the only recommendation we can give here is the one to avoid, as the Tesco 'Glass Cleaner & Insect Remover' is the worst performing product in our test. 

The bottle did not leak during our storage and shake test, and remained dry stored horizontally and under compression, and while it did conform, the plastic remained intact with no breakages to the bottle or spray mechanism. The spray has a wide pattern which creates runs that made the internal part of the cleaning test more challenging to prevent streak marks on plastic work. The nozzle has just the one option for spray volume, and an ON/OFF setting, but we think the addition of a finer mist selection would unlikely to be of aid to its overall performance as we feel its limitations as an interior (and exterior) glass cleaner lay with its (toxic) formula.

Ingredients to watch out for

As with most supermarket branded products, manufacture is left to a third party. Here, the manufacturer has utilised three main chemicals in this Tesco branded glass cleaner: (Benzyloxy)methanol, Terpineol, and Beta Pinene; the two latter function as mild aroma based solvents. However, since June 2024, both the ECHA and the 'International Agency for Research on Cancer' classifies the former '(Benzyloxy)methanol' as a Group 2B carcinogen: "possibly carcinogenic to humans.". It is for this reason we advise against the use of Tesco's Glass Cleaner and Insect Remover as an internal glass cleaner, and to use with caution on external surfaces.

After use

We were unable to recycle the plastic trigger/spray mechanism, as it was not accepted on any household waste recycling schemes or accepted at any local recycling centres. This is the case for most spray mechanisms, however due to the bottles resilient performance during the shake and leak test, the bottle could be refilled and reused with a home concoction or by using a branded refill formula. However, it is important to note that Tesco do not sell any refill options. Despite this, we found the clear plastic used in the container to be easily recyclable once detached from the nozzle spray top, leaving the empty plastic bottle container to be easily recycled through household recycling or at a local recycling centre. 

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