Cleaning windows can be a tedious and time-consuming task, but with the right tools and solution, it can be a breeze. Commercial window cleaners are readily available in stores, but many of them contain harmful chemicals that can be harmful to your health and the environment. Luckily, making your own window cleaner is a simple and affordable alternative that can be just as effective.
I like to use everyday staples to make homemade cleaners. With the chicks in the brooder its vital that we are careful with what we are using to clean and we have to clean the room they are in often so a homemade window cleaner is just the key to keep the light shining in for them. For the room the brooder is is we opt to not use essential oils as many are unsafe for birds just like chemical cleaners are.
Why you should make your own window cleaner
There are several good reasons why you should consider making your own window cleaner at home:
Cost-effective: Making your own window cleaner is often much more cost-effective than buying a commercial window cleaner. Homemade cleaners typically use ingredients that are already in your pantry, such as vinegar and water, which are much cheaper than store-bought cleaners.
Environmentally friendly: Homemade window cleaners are usually made with natural, non-toxic ingredients, which are much better for the environment than harsh chemical cleaners. Making your own window cleaner also reduces the amount of plastic waste produced by commercial cleaners.
Customizable: When you make your own window cleaner, you have the ability to customize the recipe to meet your specific needs. For example, you can add essential oils for a pleasant scent, or adjust the ratio of vinegar and water for more or less cleaning power.
Effective: Homemade window cleaners can be just as effective as commercial cleaners, if not more so. Vinegar, for example, is a natural acid that can dissolve dirt and grime on glass surfaces, and it also has antibacterial properties that can help disinfect and deodorize.
Fun DIY project: Making your own window cleaner can be a fun DIY project that allows you to experiment with different ingredients and create a product that works best for you.
Making your own window cleaner is a great way to save money, reduce your environmental impact, and create a product that’s effective and customized to your needs.
How to make homemade window cleaner
The ingredients for homemade window cleaner are readily available and can be found at most supermarkets or online. Here’s what you’ll need:
- White vinegar: Vinegar is a natural and non-toxic cleaning agent that can dissolve dirt and grime without leaving streaks.
- Distilled water: Distilled water is free of impurities and minerals that can leave streaks and stains on glass surfaces.
- Essential oils (optional): Essential oils can be added to give your homemade window cleaner a pleasant scent and additional cleaning properties. Popular choices include lemon, lavender, and peppermint.
Now that we have our ingredients let’s put them together to make our window cleaner. Here’s a simple recipe to follow:
- 1 cup of distilled water
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 10 drops of essential oil (optional)
- 10 drops dish detergent (optional – Use this for tough jobs like outdoor sides of your windows)
- Mix the distilled water, dish detergent (optional) and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Add 10 drops of essential oil (optional) and shake the bottle to combine.
- Spray the solution onto the window surface.
- Wipe the surface with a clean cloth or paper towel.
What each ingredient does to clean your windows
Each ingredient in homemade window cleaner plays a unique role in cleaning your windows. Here’s a breakdown of what each ingredient does:
White vinegar: Vinegar is a natural acid that can dissolve dirt, grime, and even hard water stains on glass surfaces. It also has antibacterial properties that can help disinfect and deodorize surfaces.
Distilled water: Distilled water is free of impurities, minerals, and additives found in tap water. These impurities and minerals can cause streaks and spots on glass surfaces. By using distilled water, you can prevent streaks and ensure a clear and shiny finish.
Essential oils: Essential oils can be added to homemade window cleaner for their pleasant scent and additional cleaning properties. For example, lemon essential oil can help cut through grease and grime, while peppermint essential oil has antibacterial properties and can help repel insects.
Dish detergent: This will create suds that will help break down heavy grime and dirt from areas like your outside windows where getting the grime off can be a lot more work.
Combining these ingredients in the right proportions can create a powerful cleaning solution that effectively cleans and shines your windows.
Simple tips for cleaning your windows
Choose a cloudy day: Cleaning your windows on a sunny day can cause the cleaning solution to dry too quickly, leaving streaks and spots on the glass. Instead, choose a cloudy day when the temperature is mild and the sun isn’t shining directly on the windows.
Use the right tools: Use a clean, lint-free cloth or a squeegee to wipe the windows clean. Avoid using paper towels, which can leave lint and fibers on the glass surface.
Start from the top: When cleaning your windows, start at the top and work your way down. This will prevent drips and streaks from running down the glass surface.
Use a back-and-forth motion: When wiping the windows, use a back-and-forth motion instead of a circular motion. This will help prevent streaks and ensure a clear and shiny finish.
Don’t forget the edges: Use a small brush or a cotton swab to clean the edges and corners of the windows. This will help remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated in these hard-to-reach areas.
Clean your tools after each use: After cleaning your windows, be sure to wash your cloth or squeegee with soap and water and rinse thoroughly. This will prevent dirt and grime from building up on your tools and transferring to your windows the next time you clean them.
The best way to get streak-free windows
Getting streak-free windows requires a combination of the right tools, technique, and cleaning solution. Here are some tips to help you get streak-free windows:
Use a high-quality cleaning solution: Whether you’re using a store-bought window cleaner or making your own homemade solution, be sure to use a high-quality product that’s designed for cleaning glass surfaces. Avoid using products that contain ammonia, as they can leave streaks and damage the glass over time.
Use a squeegee: A squeegee is a professional-grade tool that can help you get streak-free windows with minimal effort. Start at the top of the window and pull the squeegee down in a straight line, overlapping each stroke slightly. Wipe the blade clean after each stroke with a clean cloth.
Use a microfiber cloth: If you’re not using a squeegee, a microfiber cloth is the next best thing. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the window surface in a back-and-forth motion. Avoid using circular motions, as they can create streaks.
Avoid using too much cleaning solution: Using too much cleaning solution can create streaks and make it more difficult to wipe the windows clean. Use a moderate amount of solution and work in small sections, wiping each section clean before moving on to the next.
Dry the edges: After cleaning the window surface, use a dry cloth or paper towel to wipe the edges and corners of the window. This will help prevent drips and streaks from running down the glass surface.
By following these tips and using the right tools and technique, you can get streak-free windows that look great and let in plenty of natural light.
Glass cleaner vs window cleaner
The terms “glass cleaner” and “window cleaner” are often used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences between the two.
Glass cleaner is a cleaning product that’s specifically designed for cleaning glass surfaces, including mirrors, picture frames, and glass tabletops. Glass cleaners are typically formulated to dissolve dirt, grime, and smudges without leaving streaks or residue on the glass surface. They may contain alcohol, ammonia, or other cleaning agents that help to break down dirt and grease.
Window cleaner, on the other hand, is a cleaning product that’s specifically designed for cleaning windows. Window cleaners may contain similar cleaning agents as glass cleaners, but they are often formulated to be more powerful and effective at removing dirt, grime, and water stains from glass surfaces. Window cleaners may also contain additional ingredients, such as vinegar, to help dissolve tough stains and leave a streak-free finish.
While both glass cleaner and window cleaner can be used to clean windows, using a product that’s specifically formulated for windows may give you better results, especially if your windows are particularly dirty or stained. However, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any window cleaner on hand, a good-quality glass cleaner can still do the job.
Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar?
While apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, it’s not recommended for use in homemade window cleaner. Apple cider vinegar can leave a residue on glass surfaces, which can lead to streaks and stains. Stick with the cheap white vinegar for this one.
Can I use tap water instead of distilled water?
In all honesty yes you can but, that comes with some issues. Tap water contains minerals and impurities that can leave streaks and stains on glass surfaces. It’s recommended to use distilled water, which is free of impurities and minerals.
Can I use paper towels instead of a cloth to wipe the windows?
While paper towels can be convenient, they can leave lint and fibers on the glass surface, which can be difficult to remove. It’s recommended to use a clean microfiber cloth, which is gentle on glass surfaces and doesn’t leave lint.
Can I use other essential oils besides lemon, lavender, and peppermint?
Yes, you can use other essential oils, but it’s important to choose oils that are safe for cleaning and don’t leave a residue on the glass surface. Examples include tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, and grapefruit oil.
Making your own window cleaner is a simple and effective way to clean your windows without using harmful chemicals. With just a few natural ingredients and a spray bottle, you can make a solution that cleans and shines your windows to perfection. By using natural and non-toxic ingredients, you can keep your home clean and healthy for you and your family.