A Safe and Inexpensive Homemade Glass Cleaner
Commercial glass cleaners usually contain ammonia, alcohol, butyl cellosolve, detergents, silicone, waxes, formaldehyde, and lots of water. More so than any other cleaner, when you buy a glass cleaner, you are paying a premium price for mostly just plain water.
What harm can they do?
Even though most glass cleaners contain only a trace of ammonia, it can be irritating to the respiratory tract. Ammonia should be especially avoided if you or your children have respiratory problems such as asthma or bronchitis. What you really don’t want to do is try making your own glass cleaner with ammonia and make it much too strong! Small children, older people, and those with even mild respiratory problems are better off not breathing any ammonia. The problem is that when cleaning glass, we usually spray a fine mist of ammonia, detergents, and other chemicals and then lean right into it and breathe deeply while wiping the glass vigorously. Ammonia is a poison when ingested and is particularly dangerous when combined with other cleaners that contain bleach, thus creating toxic chloramine gas.
Do we really need to clean our windows with blue liquids?
No! Lets stop making life more complicated than it is. Did you know that Windex contains Propylene Glycol? This is a compound commonly used in glass cleaners but also in toothpaste and cosmetics. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Data Base considers this ingredient as a skin irritant and as expected to be toxic or harmful to human organs. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry lists that Respiratory Toxicity Hazards are suspected.
Club Soda to the Rescue!
With that said, one of the best homemade cleaners we’ve tried is plain club soda as a glass cleaner – easy, inexpensive, and effective. You will be amazed at how great it works, and at a little more than a penny an ounce, it’s a bargain compared to Windex or any other commercial cleaner!
Club soda (found in the soda section of your grocery store).
What else you’ll need:
An 8 or 16-oz. spray bottle.
Fill the bottle with plain club soda. Spray and wipe.
All glass cleaners work best with a lint-free cloth. A soft cotton terry-cloth rag works best. You may use this recipe for mirrors, windows, glass tables, eyeglasses, even the photocopy machine. For the absolutely best results, use two lint-free rags: one rag for the first wet-wipe and one for the dry-wipe. This method eliminates the streaking that comes from using a dirty, wet rag. Club soda doesn’t dry as quickly as commercial cleaners, but we can guarantee that when it dries, the glass will be sparkling clean.
What’s the magic ingredient? Sodium citrate. The sodium citrate softens the water and helps to clean. Some say it works better than most commercial brands. If your windows are extra dirty, wet your rag with the club soda, add a teeny-weeny sprinkle of baking soda or an itsy-bitsy squirt of hand-dish washing liquid, then wet your rag again. Rub the glass, spray well, and wipe: the grime is gone. Professional cleaners love this glass cleaner that has no nasty ammonia smell.
Other Uses for Club Soda:
Stain Master 1: It’s handy to have a bottle of club soda around when you get a nasty stain on your shirt, tie, dress, or tablecloth. A couple of good squirts and a rub with a hand-washing liquid (quick rub, let it sit, then rinse) will handle many everyday stains.
Stain Master 2: You can also use club soda for nasty carpet spills like wine, juice or tomato sauce. With a paper towel, try to blot up as much of the spill as you can as quickly as possible, working from the outside in. Next, use an old towel and step on it to get what had soaked into the padding. Now, give it a quick pour of club soda-not too much, or you will spread the stain. Blot again. Next, try using a little spray of soap and water to finish picking up the rest of the stain.
Leaf Duster: Use club soda to clean your plants. Spray the plant all over and then gently wipe the dust and dirt off the leaves. Plants grow better without the dust clogging up their leaves. It’s very handy to use, and the plants love it!
Chrome Shine: Use it to shine the chrome fixtures in your bathroom and kitchen too. Add a drop or two of oil to your rag and they’ll really shine and prevent water spots from collecting. Simply beautiful.
Happy, healthy cleaning!