Going green is admirable, but green products and services are often more expensive than the less environmentally-friendly alternatives. However, not everything has to be pricey. You can make DIY cleaning products yourself for a fraction of the price if you know what natural products to use. Take a look at some green cleaning tips that will help you keep your windows sparkling clean without any expensive products or services.
DIY Window Cleaning Liquid
It's not hard to make your own window cleaning liquid. All you need is a spray bottle and some vinegar, water, and liquid soap. Measure out ¼ cup of vinegar, ½ teaspoon of liquid soap, and two cups of water. Blend it all together in the spray bottle, and you have an easy and cheap do-it-yourself window cleaner.
If you notice streaks on the windows after you clean them, try adding a little bit of alcohol to the mixture – a spoonful or two should do it. Rubbing alcohol is compatible with the vinegar, and it inhibits streaks. It can also help keep your windows from fogging up, which can be helpful when you're running the heater or the air conditioner and the air outside is a very different temperature from the air inside.
Skip The Paper Towels
Don't waste paper towels by using them to clean your windows – repurpose your morning newspaper instead. Crumble it up, and spray the vinegar solution on the newspaper, not on the glass. It seems counter-intuitive, but the rougher texture of the newspaper won't hurt your windows, and the newspaper actually leaves your windows shinier than the paper towel. Newspaper is also less likely to cause streaks.
This works because the paper used to make newspapers is highly absorbent. Instead of pushing the liquid around on the glass, like less absorbent paper does, it soaks up all of the liquid, leaving it clean and streak-free. And while the ink might smudge off on wood, the window glass is non-porous, so the ink from the newspaper won't stick to it. And unlike paper towels, the newspaper won't leave lint behind.
The exterior sides of your windows are exposed to more dirt and grime than the interior. For the most part, it's fine to use the same window cleaner that you use on the inside. But if you have any windows that are located near trees, you might notice that they accumulate sticky tree sap on the glass.
Tree sap can be tough to remove with your ordinary cleanser, and you may be tempted to use a knife or razor blade to pry the dried sap off. But before you risk scratching your windows, reach for some lemon juice. The acid in the citrus juice will dissolve the sap with no trouble. Follow it up with your usual cleaner.
Clean Your Windows Less Often
If you want to clean your windows less often, there's a trick you can use to keep dirt and grime off of them. Clean your windows the way that you normally do, and let them dry completely. Then put a small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil on the newspaper, and spread it evenly over the exterior side of the window. Make sure that it's only a thin layer of oil, or you'll end up with a view from your window that resembles a funhouse mirror.
This will keep sticky things like tree sap or bird droppings from sticking to the glass. They'll slide right off instead. You'll have to clean the windows less often, and your job will be easier when you do clean them.
When you use these green cleaning tips, you avoid harmful chemicals and save money. You probably have everything you need to take good care of your windows sitting in your kitchen already.
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