Window cleaning doesn’t have to be toxic drudgery. Sure, it’s a chore you’d rather put off for almost any other activity–including shaving your legs–but there are some simple solutions to this ordinary task that can make it a breeze. If you’re concerned with minimizing your carbon footprint and want to avoid the use of harsh chemicals and disposable products whenever possible in life, here are some common household items and techniques you can enlist in your continuing efforts to stay “green” on a daily basis.
By now, white vinegar should be in your everyday arsenal of green cleaning products. This seemingly ordinary liquid is a veritable powerhouse when it comes to cleaning, and it makes a great window cleaning solution. We used to hear a lot about cleaning windows with vinegar and newspaper and, for those of us who tried it, it left a lot to be desired. After years of experimenting and lots of research, it seems the most effective use of this product for making glass sparkle and shine is to use it in combination with water and a few drops of dish soap.
Mix it up
To make this easy concoction, you’ll need a plastic spray bottle filled with roughly 2 cups of water, 1/2 teaspoon or less of liquid dish soap, and 1/3 cup of white vinegar. That’s it. Just shake it up and spray directly onto the window, cleaning it with old newspaper or sheets of plain-white wrapping paper used for packing, for a streak-free shine you won’t be able to believe. Ordinary paper towel will work just as well, if you prefer. Window cleaning has never been easier.
Wait! There’s more
White vinegar should be used around the house for a lot more than just window cleaning. For unsightly water stains on glass, simply soak the item in just enough of a 50/50 water/vinegar solution to cover it, and let it sit. Depending on the severity of the buildup, it may only take moments or up to an hour. Once the stain has been removed, rinse glass thoroughly and dry immediately with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Besides using it to clean windows, you can also use vinegar for things like coffee pots, where it’s quite common to see not only hard water stains in the carafe but to develop deposits in the maker itself, combine 4 – 6 cups of water with 1/2 cup of white vinegar in the carafe and pour into the empty water reservoir. Now, replace carafe to its resting place and turn your coffee maker on as if you were brewing a pot–obviously without ground coffee and a filter. Once it’s finished cycling, turn it off and leave the water/vinegar solution in the carafe until the stains are gone. This should be about 15 minutes. Once the stains have disappeared, rinse the carafe and run a full pot of water through the maker to ensure your next pot of coffee carries no unpleasant vinegar aftertaste.
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