If you’re anything like me, then you are probably guilty of paying a lot of money for those conventional glass cleaners we see so readily advertised on television. I mean, how will we ever get our windows and mirrors clean without the help of a chemically infused cocktail of liquid magic in a bottle!?
What’s Really In That Conventional Glass Cleaner?
When I started my journey on eliminating anything with ingredients I couldn’t pronounce, household items were the first on the list, and boy did I have a lot to get rid of! Conventional glass cleaner was on my list of things to toss, but not before I checked out the ingredient list to see what I had been spraying on my windows for years. Not surprisingly, the list of ingredients is not so great.
Here’s a list of the most common ingredients in a bottle of typical commercial glass cleaner:
- 2-Hexoxyethanol – A common solvent used to break up dirt in cleaners. Can cause central nervous system depression, kidney injury, severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, and can be absorbed through the skin into the blood system.
- Isopropanolamine – Another solvent used to break up oils and soap film on surfaces. Gives off toxic fumes, and causes sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, and severe skin and eye irritation including burns, blisters, pain, redness, and possible loss of vision.
- Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate – A cleaning agent used to loosen up dirt, and it’s also an ingredient used in a lot of bath and personal products. Can cause skin and eye irritation.
- Lauramine Oxide – Another cleaning agent known to cause skin and eye irritation. Also used in a lot of other household, beauty, skin, and personal care products.
- Ammonium Hydroxide – Also known as ammonia, this chemical is known to be a very corrosive to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system. It’s also used for meat processing and is used as a “flavor” enhancement in cigarettes.
- Fragrance – Rarely a natural form of fragrance (like pure essential oils), but a chemical cocktail filled with benzyl acetate, dipropylene glycol, terpineol, linalool, butylphenyl methylpropional, and other ingredients I cannot pronounce.
- Dyes – Some glass cleaners add dyes to their products to make them more appealing, but they are almost always just extra chemicals that are completely unnecessary.
Convinced enough to make your own glass cleaner at home? I sure was.
Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipe
I can’t even begin to tell you how ridiculously easy this recipe is to make because it’s only two ingredients, and a third optional one. That’s it! It really couldn’t be more simple, but the best part about it is that it really does work! I use it constantly to clean my windows, mirrors, fridge, stove top, counters, you name it.
This cleaner doesn’t leave any streaks behind either, and it’s all done without any chemicals! It definitely makes me wonder why conventional glass cleaners have so many harmful toxic chemicals in them if a simple two ingredient mixture works just as well, if not better.
I just empty and rinse out an old spray bottle of whatever commercial chemical product I had and pour my homemade glass cleaner in instead. You can also use these pretty nifty glass spray bottles that I found on Amazon, for a more eco-friendly plastic alternative. I also keep a handful of inexpensive microfiber cloths around to make cleaning so much easier, and a lot less wasteful than paper towels.
On to the recipe!
What You’ll Need
- 2 cups of water either distilled, purified, or filtered – (This helps prevent streaks.)
- 2 tablespoons 6% Cleaning Vinegar – (While normal white vinegar will work, cleaning vinegar is a 6% solution and is much better as a cleaning agent. You can find this at most stores, usually next to the regular vinegar.)
- 25 drops of Essential Oil of choice – (This is optional, but it really cuts the vinegar smell and leaves a nice natural fragrance. I love lemon and orange oil in mine. )
What To Do
- Combine all the ingredients into a spray bottle (I use glass), and shake to mix well.
- Spray directly onto windows or mirrors and wipe off with a dry microfiber cloth.
Additional Tips: If you’ve used any conventional glass cleaners in the past, you may need to spray a few times to break up the solvents and oils left behind from the other cleaners. Also, make sure you use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe off, otherwise if the cloth is too moist, it will tend to leave some streaking behind.
You can also use this glass cleaner as an all-purpose cleaner for tons of different surfaces. I clean my microwave, stove top, fridge, counter tops, cabinets, and tons of other things with this.
Don’t Want To Make Your Own?
Making your own is going to be the cheapest method, but if you’re not into DIY, there’s a great all-purpose cleaner from Branch Basics that uses all natural ingredients, and is one of the only natural products on the market that doesn’t use any sulfates. You can read more about their story here.
If you’re starting your own journey to more natural product alternatives, check out these other great DIY recipes:
- How To Make All Natural Laundry Detergent
- How To Make All Natural Dryer Sheets
- How To Make Natural Dish Soap
- How To Make All Natural Dishwasher Detergent
Do you use your own homemade glass cleaner? What ingredients do you use?
This article was originally posted on thenaturalpenguin.com