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Do Natural Window Cleaners Work?

Posted By Annie B. Bond On June 10, 2009 @ 3:28 pm In Green Living, Healthy Home | 40 Comments


Don’t think eco-friendly natural window cleaners really work? Gotten streaks when you’ve tried them in the past? Try these nontoxic cleaning formulas and tips. You’ll never go back to commercial, chemical-based cleaners again.

Myth: Homemade cleaners leave streaks

Around Earth Day 1990, it seemed like every newspaper was printing recipes for nontoxic cleaning products [1] with kitchen cupboard basics. The recipe was just plain vinegar and water. But when people tried the simple formula, they got streaks on their windows — and they swore off cleaning with homemade recipes — or even commercially sold natural cleaning products — for good.

The problem wasn’t the natural formula. The problem was that the traditional cleaning solutions [2] people had used for so many years left a wax buildup, and vinegar alone couldn’t do the job of removing the residue.

Adding a dab of dish soap to a vinegar and water formula will do the trick. From then on, plain vinegar and water is all you’ll need to use.

Recipes for effective nontoxic cleaners

All-Purpose Window Cleaner

1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon natural-formula liquid soap or detergent [3]
2 cups water
A few drops of essential oil, for scent (optional)

Directions: Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake. Spray on, then remove with a squeegee, paper towel [4] or newspaper. Makes 2 1/4 cups and lasts forever.

Vinegar Straight-Up

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
2 cups water

Directions: Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake. Spray on, then remove with a squeegee, paper towel or newspaper. This preparation will work well after you have cleaned off all the residue of commercial products with an all-purpose cleaner [5] like the formula above.

Light and lemony variation: Substitute lemon juice for the vinegar. Note that freshly squeezed lemon juice won’t keep for more than a few days and should be stored in the refrigerator.

Tips for cleaning windows without chemicals

  • A small squeegee will avoid the waste of paper towels. Squeegee the water to the corners of the glass, then wipe with a cotton rag.
  • Be careful not to add too much detergent, or you’ll have to rinse it off. If the detergent is concentrated, use only half the amount.
  • To get all the smudges when cleaning both sides of the window, wipe vertically on one side and horizontally on the other.

Related links

Browse Seventh Generation nontoxic cleaners [3]

What’s So Bad About Chemical Cleaning Products? [2]

Article printed from Gaiam Blog: http://blog.gaiam.com

URL to article: http://blog.gaiam.com/do-natural-window-cleaners-work/

URLs in this post:

[1] nontoxic cleaning products: http://www.gaiam.com/category/eco-home-outdoor/household/cleaners.do?SID=WG097SPRTAPEMACS

[2] traditional cleaning solutions: http://life.gaiam.com/gaiam/p/Whats-So-Bad-About-Chemical-Cleaning-Products.html

[3] natural-formula liquid soap or detergent: http://www.gaiam.com/category/eco-home-outdoor/household/seventh-generation.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[4] paper towel: http://www.gaiam.com/product/recycled+white+paper+towels+6+rolls+112+2ply+sheet.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

[5] all-purpose cleaner: http://www.gaiam.com/product/citra-solv.do?SID=WG107SPRTAPEMACS

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