Swap Saturday

March 6, 2021

What’s Swap Saturday? Well, once a month I’m going to fill you in on something I’ve successfully swapped for a less toxic/more environmentally friendly version. I’ll let you know what DIY recipe I decided on or which product I decided to purchase. To give myself plenty of time to try new recipes and products, I’ll focus on one item at a time. Maybe you’ll want to join in and make some swaps at your house, too! First up, glass cleaner.

a blue vase sitting in the middle of a clean glass window with white trim and blue shutters in natural light

I’ve decided to start with glass cleaner because, well, I love crystal clear windows. (Who doesn’t, right?) It’s the one spring chore I always do, even if everything else on the spring cleaning list gets dropped in favor of time digging in the dirt now that the weather is warm. I like to do the windows all at once, and that’s doable now that we live in a smaller home, but when we had a large house, I’d schedule a handful at a time.

Anyway, over the years I’ve tried various natural and DIY glass cleaners. They were okay (well, some were not), but I always went back to good old Windex because I thought it did a better job — and more quickly. This month, my goal was to swap the Windex for a more natural option. So I mixed and sprayed and researched and mixed and sprayed some more. (There are now some seriously clean windows and mirrors around here!) I tried recipes using vinegar and water; vinegar, water and rubbing alcohol; straight vinegar; and vinegar, cornstarch, and warm water. 

Here’s the recipe I wound up with. It’s super easy to mix up, inexpensive, environmentally friendly (both in terms of ingredients and in terms of packaging and bottle waste), and it works beautifully. Yay! 

This recipe makes a big batch (enough to fill and refill a spray bottle and to spring clean all the windows and mirrors in our house). Cut the recipe down to size by making half or a quarter amount if you only want a one bottle of cleaner or if you want to test it out first. Use it on windows and mirrors, too.

green box with white text that reads: '"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall'

DIY Citrus Glass Cleaner

  • 4 cups distilled water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) 
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch 
  • 10 drops orange essential oil 

Combine all ingredients. Mix well.  Use to fill a clean spray bottle. Shake well before using (the cornstarch will settle and need to be disbursed). Be sure to use a perfectly clean, lint-free cloth for wiping the glass. (Some people prefer a squeegee and others prefer wadded-up newspaper. I much prefer a cloth, but you might want to experiment.)

Store extra cleaner in a glass jar for refills.

About the ingredients:

  • Distilled water will help avoid stains or marks that might be left by tap water (which contains minerals).
  • Rubbing alcohol will help the liquid evaporate more quickly, resulting in less streaking and fewer spots.
  • Cornstarch will add some oomph for removing dirt and grime.
  • Essential oil adds fragrance (which for me, makes the job more fun). I like citrus scents for cleaning, but you can substitute your favorite.

Do you have a favorite glass cleaner (purchased or DIY’d?) How do you tackle window cleaning at your house? Shine on!

Take Good Care,

Headshot photo of Karen Mary with her signature in blue ink to the right

P.S. Stop by the blog every Tuesday for the latest posts — next week we’ll learn how to clean and care for grout! In the meantime, here are some posts you might want to visit this week:

Journey to a Non-Toxic Home by Sarah UmmYusuf (new post!)

Taking good care of mirrors

Role models for a caring lifestyle

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