Green and Clean – Window Cleaner
I’ve been cleaning windows like crazy around here (btw, that’s not me or my windows. But I like them!).
I can’t believe the difference it makes, and with spring just around the corner, it just seems the right thing to do.
Why not let the sun shine in!
My new favourite glass polisher is plain old rubbing alcohol. It lifts grease, finger prints and adds loads of shine.
Here’s how I use it.
1. Clean the windows with a cloth and water in a pail with some essential oils and soap in it. A good sponge works well for the stuck on stuff once it’s been softened up by the water. This works very well on fly doo doo – we had a huge amount of flies around here last summer – it seemed to be their year. If your windows aren’t so dirty you can use a spray bottle with water and essential oils added. Be sure to shake it first.
2. Wipe with a dry cloth to get most of the water off.
3. Slightly dampen a cotton pad with water. It seems to boost the rubbing alcohol and you don’t need as much.
4. Put a bit of rubbing alcohol on the cotton pad. The magic begins.
5. Shine your window. It will come up like glass! It also will get the residual dirt and grime along with a little germ killing action.
I use it to polish the front of my microwave too. It’s never looked better! (you may want to do a test spot on yours if you try it, it may depend on what kind of microwave you have.)
Here are a few more ideas for making your own environmentally friendly window cleaners.
Making Your Own Non-Toxic Window Cleaner
Window-washing may not seem like a potentially harmful activity (unless you fall off of a ladder).
But there are potentially harmful chemicals such as solvents in commercial window cleaners, and each time you use them you are inhaling toxic chemicals, getting them on your skin, and putting them into the environment.
Below are some inexpensive, easy-to-make recipes for effective window cleaners. You probably have some of these ingredients on hand. If not, these products are inexpensive and diluted with water so they last a long time.
No list of home-made cleaning products would be complete without some mention of vinegar. A germ killer and grease cutter, white vinegar (not apple cider, balsamic or other “fancy” vinegars) is responsible for those streak-free, clear results we all desire for our windows. You can clean windows with just vinegar and water – 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon vinegar per 2 cups of water (going too heavy on the vinegar may cause fogging). Or, you can combine this ratio with:
2. Liquid soap
To the above vinegar-water solution, add 1/2 teaspoon castile soap or other biodegradable, natural liquid soap. Spray on, wipe with a soft cloth, and use a squeegee to scrape off the remaining cleaner. If you just have bar soap (a pure coconut soap works wonders as a cleaner – especially on stainless steel) you can soak it in what ever liquid you are using for a few minutes – some will dissolve into the solution.
Simply using soap and water is an option, too. Mix 1 tablespoon castile soap with 2 cups of water. Soak a sponge in this soapy water and apply liberally to windows. Use a squeegee to remove the excess and wipe dry with crumpled newspaper or a soft cloth. If you want to use bar soap, just shred a little into the water and shake gently as it dissolves. Be careful not to use too much or it will clog and become too thick – a little dab will do!
3. Club soda
Perhaps you have heard of club soda’s ability to remove stains. It can also be used to wash windows. Combine 1 tablespoon white vinegar per cup of club soda and spray onto windows. Use a soft cloth or crumpled newspaper to get streak-free results. I have personally never tried club soda to wash windows. I would love to hear from you if you have.
I like to do my windows when it is not too cold so that the water/window cleaner solution doesn’t dry fast enough and not too hot so that it dries too fast – both result in streaks. A nice sunny day that warms the windows is just right – and makes for an enjoyable task. Crank the tunes and your all set!
A good non toxic environmentally friendly window cleaner is so easy and cheap to make, there is no reason to use chemical cleaners that not only pollute the environment, they also get in your lungs and on your skin (which then may be absorbed into your bloodstream).
Especially if you have the kids help – and press their fingers, noses and tongues and what ever else is handy against them on a regular basis!
And when you use essential oils, there is so much flexibility and choice as to what scent you feel like infusing your home with, it’s just a matter of a few drops to change your home from citrus, floral, spice or coniferous. Can’t beat that!
Grab your own Green Cleaning Kit here.