There is just something really cool about cleaning the house when I know I am using something that I made! It certainly doesn’t make the job easier, but it does add an element of fun and creativity. And, it’s a perfect way to bring the children into mix. I find that by allowing them to measure and combine the ingredients they have ownership of the “product” and are usually a little more apt to help with the chores!
Today I want to share with you my recipes for cleaning windows and mirrors. But first, I want to review the toxic hazards that are lurking in those readily available commercially prepared products.
If you go to FAQ page for Windex you will find a list of the few products that are ammonia-free. Otherwise, most of the products available for use on glass contain the chemical ammonia. Ammonia is known as an eye irritant that may cause headaches and even respiratory system/lung irritation.
Ammonia in your glass cleaner isn’t something to take lightly nor should it be left around children. It is in fact, a very serious hazard. Inhalation, absorption, or ingestion of this product can cause harmful effects.
The effects of these toxic chemicals can be reduced and/or even eliminated by first learning about the chemicals and then by educating yourself on the variety of choices that are available as safe and effective alternatives.
The first objective is to determine where the toxic chemicals are; next, is to replace them with safe products. And for the frugally sustainable minded individual, homemade is the best option!
Here are a couple quick, easy, and extremely affordable recipes to whip up. The best part is…you may even have the ingredients hiding in your cabinets!
– ½ cup white vinegar
– 2 teaspoons liquid castile soap
– 2 cups pure or distilled warm water
– 3-5 drops tea tree oil (optional)
Directions: Add all ingredients to spray bottle, shake to blend, spray on glass, and clean with newspaper.
– 1 part white vinegar
– 1 part 70% Isopropyl Alcohol (a.k.a. rubbing alcohol)
– 1 part pure or distilled water
Directions: Combine ingredients and spray on mirrors. Wipe clean with microfiber cloth or newspaper. Note: The smell of this cleaner is kind of strong. I really like to add a few drops of either lemon or orange essential oils.
-Reduce spending and waste by finishing the window cleaner you have now. Save the spray bottle. Wash it out and reload it with these products.
-The Mirror Cleaner recipe is an excellent cleaner for granite counter tops! I usually clean my counter tops with All-Purpose Cleaner and then go over them with the Mirror Cleaner. Amazing clean and shine!
-If you have a microfiber cloth, that is the best thing to clean windows and mirrors with. Newspaper is the next best thing. Never use paper towels. They leave lint and are super wasteful.
What are your favorite ways to clean windows and mirrors?
Carmen C. says
I will have to try these as I have chemical sensitivities to alot of commercial (toxic) cleaners, thank you for sharing them and have a great day:)
Stay At Home Farmer Mom says
I have read that I shouldn't use vinegar on granite because it will eventually pit it. I have granite tile counter tops in my kitchen and a granite vanity in the bathroom so I REALLY need a good cleaner for them! I already use vinegar to clean just about everything but I am stumped as to what to use on the granite.
I was hoping the granite question would be answered – as I am not sure if this is indeed the truth. If you have been using it on granite, can you tell us if it is having any odd effect of pitting?
Just add Super Washing Soda to the mix for grout, granite or any natural stone. Washing soda is highly alkaline and will balance the acidity of the white vinegar so your stone will not be damaged.
I'll have to try these! I hate the haze left on my mirrors by other glass cleaners! Hopefully this will work for me! Thanks!
Jill @RealFoodForager.com says
Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!
Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
This is a great idea! I love homemade cleaners. I would love for you to do a guest post on my blog Mess For Less. I have a money saving section called "Spend LESS, Save More" that I think you would be perfect for. Please contact me if interested and I can give you more info. I am a new follower from Tuesday Time Out. Vicky from Mess For Less
I love finding new cleaning tips. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks! I'm going to try this.
Hi it is my first time visiting your site. Thanks for the recipe for glass and mirror cleaner. I have found that Windex doesn't work well on my glass tables. Have a great weekend!
You are a wealth of valuable information. I am a follower and look forward to learning so many new things from your helpful, informative posts. Thank you.
Just use water and a good microfiber cloth – completely clean mirrors and windows with NO cleaner!
Is there a reason for having the two different recipes? Should you use one for windows and one for mirrors, or can you just pick one and use it on both? Just curious! I bought the Castile soap yesterday and can’t wait to make several of your cleaners. Thanks for sharing them with us!
For simplicity sake you could just use one. I’d go with the windows recipe for both. The windows recipe is a little more heavy duty.
Thanks for the tips! I’ve been making my own window/mirror cleaner since I can remember. Although my ingredients are a little different: 1 Gal distilled water, 1 container rubbing alcohol and 1-2 tbsp Prell shampoo.
Can the cleaner be stored in the spray bottle after making it or do I need to make enough for one use?
It can be stored in the spray bottle:)
latisha jenkins says
you be right….fo shizzle
What exactly is “pure water”? Is it any different than tap water or tap that has gone through a filter?
You got it:) It’s just filtered water. We have such hard water here in AZ that it’s important for me to filter it.
Hey first time commenting ever! Anyways I’ve read so many slightly different recipes for natural cleaners….however they are all centered around on key ingredient. Vinegar! I don’t mind the smell but the boyfriend abhors it. Which is why I actually use lemon juice in the shower instead of ACV (tried no-poo but wound up going back to dr. b’s soap as a shampoo). For the most part I have just substituted lemon juice for vinegar in natural cleaning recipes. Any suggestions or recipes that you know of without that integral vinegar??
Any help is much appreciated.
(If we had different schedules I would totally use it behind his back but we’re always home together…)
I clean everything with one spray bottle that contains: roughly 40% white vinegar and 60% tap water. Windows, mirrors, counters, toilets, appliances, etc. Wipe with cloth; we cut old t-shirts into various sizes. They last for years and years and wash up well.
When I have an excess of citrus rinds, then I make a citrus vinegar and use that in place of the white vinegar.
Simple and effective.
Heather Shields says
Love your site!! I am curious, why a different cleaner for windows and mirrors?
I use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water (distilled). I spray it on the mirror or window, wipe it with a sponge to get any spots off, then use a squeegee (the kind you use at gas stations to clean your windscreen) to dry. beautiful. you can find squeegees in the cleaning aisle of any grocery store and they’re very cheap. I have even used just water, but I find vinegar gets spots off better and gives it a bit of shine. Best of all, no toxic ammonia is needed (windex…!) Vinegar smells, but the smell disappears after it dries.
latisha jenkins says
I be selling my body for a cheeseburger ciz I be a nasty whore. i need my crack and weed. oh yeah bay….I do whteva u want. i do doggy style or in the back door…
ali hussein says
how much, baby? I’m horny. my pee pee needs action, you dirty slut. i give it to you. zi love screwing whores.
Using those ‘home made cleaners’ is a great idea – sound like home made professional cleaning service. My cleaning lady sticks to it and customers from Clifton, Wayne, Ramsey, Pompton Lakes, Little Falls [and many more cities from NJ] just love it. And just one more thing – cleaning with microfiber cloth is the best choice – real professional cleaning service.
Are either of these two (glass cleaner or the mirror) cleaner safe or preferred for stainless steel appliances? (Ya know, to clean the finger smudges off and stuff)
Has anyone here ever tried Mirror Wonder. I just tried it, and was fairly surprised. It makes mirrors look like new, and then easier to clean next time. You can find it by searching it in google.