What’s your worst cleaning job?
Is it cleaning windows?
I remember having a conversation once with my mother’s group about the cleaning jobs we liked the least. Several mums declared emphatically they hated cleaning the windows, especially with toddlers and the greasy finger streaks that appeared only moments after cleaning. Meanwhile, I’m thinking…
I’m supposed to clean the windows? Must remember to clean windows.
I’m a bit laissez-faire when it comes to cleaning, particularly windows. Or perhaps I’m just lazy.
Luckily my kids love the job. In fact, when they’re bored, they come and ask if the can clean the windows.
It has more to do with playing with water and the squeegee outside than any deep desire to clean. But it keeps them occupied for a while, the windows kind of get clean and, you know, good habits and all, so I get right out of the way if they want to clean them.
Meanwhile, I’d rather the inside of the windows (and the lounge room)didn’t get the kid’s splash and flick treatment, so I take the opportunity to give the inside of the windows a quick once over.
To clean the windows naturally, you can use a regular homemade surface spray like this one. I’ve been using this surface spray on just about everything for almost a decade.
Or you can make a specialty glass cleaner that leaves your windows spotlessly clean and streak-free.
The great ingredient in this DIY streak-free glass cleaner is isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol. This is another one of those essentials like bicarb soda, that every home should have.
Rubbing alcohol can be used as a sanitiser for hard surfaces – being an alcohol it kills most germs. But in the case of cleaning it’s a solvent, which means it dissolves dirt and oil, leaving your windows spotless!
Now for the obligatory disclaimers. Rubbing alcohol is absolutely NOT for drinking, so no chugging down your window cleaner. I read somewhere that you can put a drop of food colouring into glass cleaner (Windex blue perhaps?) to differentiate it from water. This is a great idea if you have kids who help you clean, but this one shouldn’t be left around for toddlers to get their hands on.
It’s alcohol, so it’s flammable and it has a strong smell, so avoid spraying it around with gleeful abandon in an enclosed area (that kind of thing can happen when you’re cleaning to your favourite tunes).
I hoped that hasn’t turned you off, because it’s a truly useful thing to have in the home, but you can leave the rubbing alcohol out if you prefer.
This window cleaner also includes lemon essential oil because it smells nice (there’s got to be something good about cleaning). But it also has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties.
To clean your windows, give them a spray, then rub them with newspaper, if you still get those old-fashioned things or an old rag. Finish your windows off quickly with a microfiber cloth to get rid of any lint and fluff.
4 parts plain water
1 part cheap white vinegar
1 part rubbing alcohol
few drops of lemon essential oil.
Mix in a spray bottle. Shake well.
Melissa Goodwin is a writer and the creator of Frugal and Thriving who has a passion for living frugally and encouraging people to thrive on any budget. The blog is nine years old and is almost like her eldest baby. Prior to being a blogger and mum (but not a mummy blogger), she worked as an accountant doing other people’s budgets, books and tax.