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Windex Alternatives

Updated November 21, 2016

Windex is a popular commercial cleaning product commonly used to clean glass and other hard-surfaces. Windex uses a combination of detergents, solvents and surfactants to remove dirt and debris, leaving windows and mirrors shiny and streak-free; however, in today's environmentally-aware society, many people turn to homemade alternatives, rather than rely on store-bought products to keep their homes clean. Not only do homemade glass cleaners work just as well as their commercial counterparts, they are safer for the environment and are generally cheaper.

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Simple Glass Cleaner

Effective cleaning solutions do not need to be overly complex. A simple solution made from 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar and 1 qt. water cuts through grease, grime and dirt, leaving glass, stainless steel and plastic looking fresh and clean. Just mix the ingredients together, transfer the solution to a spray bottle, apply to the soiled surface, then wipe the dirt away with a paper towel.

Winter Weather Glass Cleaner

Keep windows sparkling clean and frost-free all winter long by washing them in solution made of 1 tsp liquid dish washing detergent, ½ cup 70-percent isopropyl alcohol and 1 qt. water. Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake gently to combine, spray over the mixture evenly over the windows, then wipe the glass with sheets of crumpled newspaper to bring out the shine.

Heavy-Duty Glass Cleaner

A combination of ordinary household items can be used to create a cleaner that removes the grime and restores the shine to heavily-soiled surfaces. Pour 2 qt. water into a large bucket. Slowly add 1/4 cup household ammonia, 1 cup 70-percent isopropyl alcohol and ½ tsp liquid dish washing detergent; stir until the ingredients are well-blended. Transfer the solution to a plastic spray bottle, apply directly to soiled surfaces and wipe off.

Outdoor Window Cleaner

Sliding glass doors and picture windows enhance the appearance of the home, but they can be a pain to keep clean. To wash outdoor windows, combine 2 tbsp liquid washing powder, 1 tbsp automatic dishwasher rinsing agent and 1 gallon of water. Sponge the solution over the glass, then spray with a hose to rinse. The water will sheet off, leaving windows crystal-clear and streak-free, no drying required.

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About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.

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