Blue and purple window cleaner sprays do work a treat, but they’re not exactly full of the sorts of things you’d want to soak your hands in for any length of time. And most of the squeaky clean folks I know aren’t willing to pay double for certified eco-friendly window cleaners. So what’s a green-minded clean freak to do? Make their own window cleaner, of course.
Unlike making one’s own detergent – which usually requires things like Borax and washing soda that not everyone has on hand – homemade window cleaner is made from stuff you more than likely already have in your kitchen and bathroom cupboards.
I know some people are suspicious of homemade cleansers, but as someone who’s made their own green window cleaner from scratch for years, it works just as well as the blue stuff – and not just on windows! We use it for countertops and sinks and just about everywhere you might think of using an all-purpose cleaner. The only downside? Use too much vinegar, as you might end up with visitors asking if you’ve been cooking sauerkraut. For real, my brother did just that. Small price to pay, I think, and the vinegar smell doesn’t last long.
Here are some recipes that have worked for me in the past – personally, these days, I just eyeball it and hope for the best. A method that, I should add, hasn’t let me down yet.
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp mild liquid castile soap or detergent
2 cups of water
1 gallon warm water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 gallon water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup vinegar
squirt liquid dish detergent
For all, just put everything into a spray bottle and shake it up.
These green window cleaner recipes are just recommendations – you can adjust all of the proportions until you hit on something that works for you. Unless, that is, you’re not as comfy as me eyeballing homemade green cleansers or following recipes you found online. In that case, let me recommend a trio of great books on the subject of green cleaning:
Green Clean, Green Housekeeping, and Nontoxic Housecleaning are all great how-to books that will help you reduce or eliminate your use of chemical cleansers, rid your home of toxic substances, and improve your indoor air quality while making sure your home stays squeaky clean.