Windex Alternatives

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If the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is to be believed, Windex is essentially a miracle product. The dad in the movie used it on everything, including a wart – but it's played for laughs, because Windex is caustic and definitely doesn't belong on the skin. It's also pricy and the fumes can be unpleasant when you're cleaning in a small space. No matter why you need a Windex substitute, you can find an alternative to Windex that uses safe household products you already have on hand.

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Windex Substitute #1: Vinegar

Everyone's favorite multi-purpose household cleaner strikes again! White vinegar is one of the most popular Windex replacements because it's non-toxic, cheap and doesn't leave streaks.

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Mix one part vinegar to about eight to 10 parts water in a spray bottle, or in a bucket if you're washing a lot of windows at once. Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice if the odor of vinegar bothers you. Some people also add rubbing alcohol to a vinegar dilution; when you're using this solution as an alternative to Windex, the addition of the rubbing alcohol helps eliminate the appearance of any unsightly water spots when the windows dry. Use about one part vinegar, two parts rubbing alcohol and eight to 10 parts water.

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However you mix up your vinegar solution, the best way to get streak-free windows and mirrors is by using a squeegee. Spray or sponge the liquid all over the surface and immediately follow with the squeegee. Or, if you don't have one of these tools handy, use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe away the cleaning liquid. Don't use paper towels or napkins or any other paper products, which tend to leave tiny paper fibers all over the freshly-cleaned window or mirror.

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It's fine to use tap water to make a window washing solution if that's all you have available, but some people swear by using distilled water for cleaning glass and mirrors. Minerals and contaminants have been removed from this water, so it may leave your windows just a little clearer than they would be if you used tap water.

Windex Substitute #2: Wipes

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Wipes make it really easy to effectively clean your windows and mirrors. A few different types can be used as a Windex replacement. You may find commercially-made window cleaning wipes for sale wherever you would find Windex, or make a container of your own window and glass cleaning wipes using disposable towelettes, isopropyl alcohol and water. Disinfecting wipes are often labelled as safe for use on glass and mirrors. Baby wipes will work in a pinch, too.

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Windex Substitute #3: Dish Soap

Your dish soap is effective at cutting through serious grease and grime, so it makes quick work of the dust on your windows and toothpaste residue on your bathroom mirror. It's also a good alternative to Windex when you're washing outdoor windows, which may need a more thorough cleaning than indoor windows do. (You'd go through an awful lot of disinfecting wipes if you tried to use them to wash all your exterior windows!)

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The key to successfully using dish soap as a Windex replacement is to exercise restraint. It takes just a little bit of soap to clean your windows, and using too much can leave a noticeable residue behind. Cleaning all your outdoor windows might take just a single squirt of dish soap. Add about a teaspoon of soap to a bucket and fill the bucket halfway with water. Use a big sponge to apply the soapy water to the windows or glass you're washing, and a squeegee (or microfiber cloths) to clean it away.

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