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Monday, May 17, 2010

Clean up your window washing routine!

As a first part in the series on getting poisons out of your home - here are some tips on avoiding harsh chemicals to clean windows and mirrors. Afterall - do your mirrors need to be disinfected -- or do they just need to shine? Save some money - and save yourself risk from toxins!

Window and Mirror Cleaners - Potentially Hazardous Products:

Ammonia-based cleaners are harmful if inhaled - they can irritate the sinuses and lungs. Mixing ammonia with chlorine-based products creates hazardous gases.

Windex contains: detergents, solvents, fragrance, Ammonia-D®, and alcohol

Safer Substitutes
  • Mix 1 cup vinegar with 3 cups water. Wipe on or spray. Dry with newspaper or clean cloth.
  • Use a spray bottle half filled with club soda, or sprinkle on a cloth. Spray or wipe on and then dry with a clean cloth.
  • Outdoor windows: Wash with a sponge and warm water mixed with few drops of soap. Rinse and squeegee dry
Keep in mind that too much soap will actually not rinse well and will attract more dirt once dried. The key really is to rinse it with a tiny bit of something to cut the dirt/grease and then wipe/buff it with your cloth of choice. Well-loved prefold diapers work great for this! (If you get streaks using vinegar/water only, try adding a few drops of dish soap).

My personal preference: I use Shaklee's Basic H2 (2 drops per squirt bottle), and wipe with a StarFiber microfiber towel. The StarFiber towel is really awesome! I use it with plain water actually a lot of the time, and also to clean soap scum off the shower door.  (There are also some "glass cleaning" specific microfiber towels which also work well. Some microfiber towels -- for example the ones I use to stuff pocket diapers -- leave behind tiny bits of lint.)


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