Ditch Store-Bought Window Cleaners And Try This Natural Solution Instead

The state of your windows may be the first detail guests notice as they approach your front door, so staying on top of indoor and outdoor dirt and grime is essential. While it may be tempting to reach for a traditional bottle of window cleaner, like Windex, store-bought cleaners often contain a toxic cocktail of chemicals that can be dangerous to you and the environment. When you spray these solutions on your windows and mirrors, you unintentionally can inhale volatile organic compounds, irritating your lungs, eyes, and skin upon exposure. When using these chemicals on the exterior of your windows, you can unintentionally introduce them to the environment, putting wildlife and nearby vegetation at risk.

If your health and the environment are a top priority, it may be worth considering a safer, homemade alternative for cleaning your windows instead. Switching to a DIY window cleaner using Castile soap is a much more eco-friendly option due to its natural ingredients. Castile soap is typically made from olive, coconut, or hemp oil and is gentle on skin and glass. Windows and mirrors often require a stronger solution than just water to cut through the dirt, grime, and fingerprints, so Castile soap is an excellent choice for helping naturally break down these substances without risking your health.

How to use Castile soap to clean your windows

If you're ready to ditch the chemicals for a gentler solution, look no further than a bottle of Castile soap. You only need soap, water, and a spray bottle to start. For every quart of water, mix in 1 tablespoon of Castile soap. Add the contents to the spray bottle and shake vigorously to emulsify the solution. You can even consider adding white vinegar to the spray bottle for super stubborn stains or grime, as the acid will help break down more stuck-on debris. Vinegar also adds an antimicrobial punch to your window cleaner, making it a great choice for spring cleaning. It'll also leave a beautiful shine on the glass in its wake.

To use your new DIY window cleaner, spray the solution on the glass surface, starting on the outside of the window. If your windows don't fold in, you may need to go outside to access that side of the glass. After you've sprayed the surface, avoid making a big mistake when cleaning your windows by using a microfiber cloth to wipe the glass in a side-to-side motion, starting horizontally and then vertically up and down. Apply more cleaning solution for tough spots and more pressure if needed. Once you've cleaned the surface, use a dry microfiber cloth to remove any residue and reveal a sparkling shine. After you've finished the outside, repeat on the inside of the windows using clean cloths. The same approach will work mirrors around your home.

Cautions for this method

Switching to Castile soap is an excellent way to follow a more environmentally friendly path and prevent harmful chemicals and toxins from entering your home. Still, there are a few precautions to note before trying this method. First, dilute Castile soap, or it will leave a soapy residue all over your windows and mirrors. Similarly, this can result in streaks or buildup, detracting from the clarity of the windows and ultimately defeating the purpose of cleaning them in the first place. Additionally, some types of Castile soap may contain essential oils or fragrances, and though they may be more pleasant to smell, they can leave behind a film or residue if not rinsed properly. An unscented variety of Castile soap is best when cleaning glass to avoid this outcome.

Another caution to remember is that while Castile soap is gentle, the cleaning tool you pair it with may not be. Opt for using lint-free soft or microfiber cloths to achieve a glossy, streak-free window. Avoid using scrubbing pads or stiff brushes that can damage the glass surface. While newer windows are usually more tolerant of some of these tools, older windows may be more vulnerable to abrasive cleaning, so proceed with caution to protect the integrity of the window and avoid causing any unintended damage. Not heeding this advice will lead to scratches or blemishes in the glass, requiring repairs or replacements.