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Fortunately, my days of window and mirror cleaning are far and few between now that this job is added to Xan and Evie’s chore list. I am seriously working my way out of this maid-esque position I acquired 11 years ago when Xan was born.
Now that the kids are cleaning the windows on the reg, it is even more important that the window cleaner be non-toxic. After researching the ingredients in Windex, I tossed the bottle (ahem, I mean, recycled) and started making my own window and glass cleaner. Some of the ingredients in Windex are super funky and can cause some unnecessary problems.
Just trying to clean some windows here folks. Not trying to have an asthmatic fit or skin irritation.
The Environmental Working Group grades products based on the toxicity of their ingredients. The grades indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product.
The EWG rates Windex a D which means, “HIGH CONCERN – Likely hazards to health or the environment. May also have poor ingredient disclosure.”
According to SC Johnson’s website, Windex® is made of the following ingredients:
2-Hexoxyethanol (Cleaning Agent)
Isopropanolamine (Cleaning Agent)
Ammonium Hydroxide (Cleaning Agent)
Lauryl Dimethyl Amine Oxide (Wetting Agent)
Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate (Wetting Agent)
Liquitint® Sky Blue Dye
The most dangerous chemicals in Windex are 2-Hexoxyethanol, Ammonium Hydroxide, and fragrance.
Toxic Ingredients in Windex
2-Hexoxyethanol: According to the National Library of Medicine, “2-Hexoxyethanol is moderately toxic. The NLM recommends taking great care to prevent eye and skin contact due to the toxicity by absorption. Breathing in the vapors is not a good idea either.
Ammonium Hydroxide: A colorless solution of Ammonia in water with a pungent odor. Household cleaners, photography and fertilizers, textiles, rubber and pharmaceuticals all contain Ammonium Hydroxide. Inhaling Ammonium Hydroxide can cause a cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. Blurred vision, redness and skin irritation is also known to occur if the chemical gets on skin or in your eyes.
Fragrance: Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. Seriously, fragrance is in everything! Check ingredient labels. You’ll see what I mean.
Making your own window and glass cleaner is super easy and affordable. You probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.
Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
- 10 drops peppermint or lemon essential oil. Good quality oils are important. Some oils even contain fragrance which we are trying to stay away from. Personally, I use doTERRA because of the quality and I know that the oils are pure.
- Glass spray bottle. Essential oils will break down plastic over time so glass is best! These bottles are my favorite and they are such a pretty blue color.
- Pour Water, Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol and essential oils in your spray bottle.
- Shake well before use. All done!
Microfiber cloths like these, work really well and help cut down on waste by not using paper towels that will just get thrown away. I keep mine in a little basket under the sink and use them for everything except floor spills. Paper Towels do that job.
Another fun option is the cleaning cloths from Mightynest. These guys clean everything from counters to windows to little faces.
What it boils down to is that cleaning is good. Toxic chemicals in your cleaning products are bad. Take control of your environment and health by simplifying the ingredients in your everyday cleaning products. You are doing yourself, your family and the environment a favor.
Here are a few other DIY cleaning recipes you will enjoy. Happy Cleaning!