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How to Clean Windows with Vinegar

How to Clean Windows with Vinegar

If you have tried to clean your windows with plain vinegar and gotten streaks, there is a simple reason and an easy remedy.

Oddly enough, it was the task of cleaning windows that turned a huge number of well-intentioned, environmentally friendly consumers away from non-toxic cleaning using the simple ingredients that can be found in most kitchen cupboards. Around Earth Day 1990, every newspaper in the country (or so it seemed), offered tips for cleaning in ways that didn’t harm the planet, and the recommendation for windows was almost always to clean them with nothing but vinegar and water. People by the thousands tried this, and many swore off cleaning with homemade products for good because the formula left streaks on their windows. (I wish I had $1 for every time someone has said to me, “Well, I tried non-toxic cleaning and it didn’t work. I used vinegar to clean my windows …”)

The problem was that the commercial window cleaner used before the switch to vinegar left a very fine wax residue. The vinegar alone wasn’t enough to remove it, and the result was streaky windows. If instead, everyone had added a dab of liquid dish soap to the vinegar and water, the wax would easily have been removed and the windows would have been cleaned perfectly! My favorite recipe is to combine 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar, and up to 1/2 teaspoon of liquid soap or detergent in a spray bottle. That’s all there is to it. (Make sure to label the bottle and keep it out of the reach of children.)

Read more: Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning, ,

By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

Go to the Source

Better Basics for the Home

Natural living has reached the mainstream: we are now far more concerned about the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the chemicals that surround us, and recognize that government regulations all too often fall short of safeguarding our health. Enter Annie Berthold-Bond, whose Better Basics for the Home is a compendium of practical information -- recipes, tips, and guidelines -- for creating a simpler, cheaper and environmentally safer lifestyle.buy now

70 comments

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7:31AM PDT on Jul 12, 2014

WOW! This really works.

6:35PM PDT on Jun 4, 2014

I didn't think to add a bit of dish soap. We clean our windows sometimes but we can never get them as clean as the cleaners. I just want streak free windows!

Tara | http://www.starttofinishwindowcleaninglasvegas.com

8:56PM PDT on May 30, 2014

might have to try this

4:38AM PST on Nov 26, 2013

ty

7:31AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013

Thanks

5:06AM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:11AM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

Worth a try

7:06AM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

I agree with Jared, newspapers make a terrible mess.

1:47AM PDT on Aug 17, 2013

ty

11:54AM PDT on Aug 5, 2013

Thank you.

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