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Do you experience sneezing fits or mild breathing difficulty when cleaning windows with a store-bought product? Ever wondered why that happens? Well, unfortunately, those very effective window cleaners just happen to be extremely toxic! Chemically enhanced to remove even the most stubborn stains from glass surfaces, these products are incredibly harsh and cause a string of health issues such as triggering asthma attacks or allergies, respiratory problems and skin, and eye irritation.
Now, what if we told you that it’s possible to clean your windows to perfection in a non-toxic manner? Are you intrigued? Then read on for our guaranteed guide to cleaning windows with your very own, 100% safe and effective homemade cleaner!
What you’ll need:
- Filtered water
- White distilled vinegar
- Rubbing/isopropyl alcohol
- Spray bottle
- Microfibre cloths
- Dust rags
- Medium-bristled toothbrush (optional)
- Drop cloths
Step One: Prepare the Area
Depending on how dirty your windows are, things may get a wee bit messy! Therefore, we advise clearing the space around the window by removing anything that is in the ‘splash zone’; of course, there needn’t be any splashing as long as you aren’t being hasty! It’s also a good idea to put down some drop cloths to soak up water that drips down to the rails and windowsill. Before you begin, change into an old t-shirt and put on some rubber gloves if you don’t want your bare hands to get soiled!
Step Two: Make the Cleaner
If you clean your windows regularly, a mild solution of just white vinegar and water will suffice; on the other hand, a more soiled glass with stubborn stains will need an extra ingredient to help make your window panes spotless. Given below are the measurements to make an effective cleaner for both, soiled and mildly dirty windows.
- 1 cup white distilled
- 2 cups filtered/distilled water
- 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 rubbing/isopropyl alcohol
- 2 cups filtered/distilled water
Mix the ingredients properly before pouring the solution into a spray bottle (shake well before use).
Step Three: Dry Wipe
Before you think of wetting the window, make sure that you have removed as much dirt and dust from the surface using a clean dust rag. It’s important that you be patient and thorough in this step as the removal of debris will make the rest of the cleaning a whole lot easier and less messy! Be sure to clean the corners and edges of the pane as this is where dirt tends to collect. An old toothbrush is of great help for this.
Step Four: Spray the Window Pane
Spray your homemade window cleaner along the top sections of the pane and allow the cleaner to drip down (be generous with the solution for a thorough clean). Before you begin wiping, spritz some of the cleaner onto your microfibre cloth to dampen it just a little (this will help the cloth glide over the pane with ease). Begin wiping the top sections of your window using circular motions and just enough pressure to remove finger marks and light stains. Repeat this for the middle and bottom sections (i.e. spray the window and wipe) and allow it to air dry.
NOTE: If you find that the cleaner is drying up too fast, re-spray the area and wipe it quickly. To avoid streaking, clean your windows when it’s not too sunny or hot as it will dry up the cleaner faster than it should.
Step Five: Spot Clean Stubborn Stains
Some stubborn stains like insect droppings and hardened dirt don’t always come out using the above method; hence, they require spot cleaning. To do this, warm up your ‘strong solution’ and soak a clean, non-abrasive scrubber in it; squeeze out some of the excess water and hold the scrubber over the stain for a few seconds before scrubbing at it. You can also use an old, medium-bristled toothbrush to spot clean if more abrasion is required to remove a stain.
NOTE: If needed, increase the strength of your window cleaner by adding more rubbing/isopropyl alcohol to the solution.
So, there you have it! An effective way to clean your windows (and other glass surfaces) without the use of harsh, toxic chemicals!