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3 All Natural Cleaning Products You Should Be Using On Your Windows

Updated on May 18, 2016
The Farrell Family Farmhouse (with lots of windows)
The Farrell Family Farmhouse (with lots of windows)

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my parent’s recently moved from their home in central San Diego, to something a little more east—okay, okay it was a farm. I first saw their soon-to-be-new-home several months ago; before it had reached what I’ve now realized is its prime. Dilapidated, torn down, and sitting on a huge acre-lot, the single bedroom, single bath home was in a rough state. How it could ever look as beautiful as it does now was the question on not only mine, but everyone’s minds. But slowly, over the course of the next several months, we’ve seen it rise phoenix-like from the ashes of its past, only to emerge a startling, beautiful home, with a horse stable and chicken coop to boot.

Do You Use All Natural Cleaning Ingredients?

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That was back in February, now, already a week into May, and the home has reached new heights of beauty. What once was a small (and I do mean small) farmhouse, has blossomed to include three bedrooms, three full functioning baths, two walk in closets, a spacious kitchen, and a wood-beamed living room with fireplace. Do I sound like I’m bragging? I probably am, but it stems from a good heart and pure joy that my parents have earned this new dream home of theirs. Perhaps, the best room on the premises is the living room: with vaulted, solid wood beams, a brick fireplace, and a floor to ceiling window overlooking the greenery in the yard, it is not only comforting but a sight to be hold.

But that window. Often looked at with envious eyes, my mother while house hunting looked far and wide, searching for a home with plenty of windows to allow for natural lighting. Our old home, while not window-less, did not have the kind or amount of windows you might see in show homes across America. Cue the current home, which upon move-in day made my mother giddy with excitement over her new home with her new sliding glass doors, floor to ceiling windows, and horse stable in the back-forty.

Huge Living Room Window
Huge Living Room Window

These days, and two months in, the floor to ceiling window in the living room, sliding glass doors, and various other windows throughout the home are something of a hassle. If the pig (yes, pig) wants outside then you’ll find his snout marks all along any window that he comes across. If one of the dogs sees something worth barking at, you’ll see their muzzles pressed up against the glass at waist height, trying desperately to reach their prey. Even then, as you thought the top half of the windows and doors must be safe, come paw prints from the cats as they jump as high as humanly possible to reach the peacocks hanging out on top of our cars outside. Suddenly, those big beautiful windows seem to have become a big huge eyesore when not properly cleaned.

Peacock at the backdoor (look carefully and you can see pig snout and dog muzzle smudges from their panic along the glass).
Peacock at the backdoor (look carefully and you can see pig snout and dog muzzle smudges from their panic along the glass).

Given the size of the new home, window cleaning became something short of problematic. The size and sheer number are just one of many issues, until my parents wised up, smartly investing in bi-monthly window cleaners. But what of the days in between when the snout marks get to be too much? With so many animals present at any given moment, and with an interest in keeping her home environmentally safe, I helped my mom put together a list of ways to keep her windows looking sparkly-new in the interim of her window cleaning visits.

Cleaning With Vinegar

Vinegar

Not just for salad dressings anymore, vinegar has been found to be extremely beneficial for nearly any use you can think of. Got dandruff? Consider conditioning with distilled vinegar. Trying to lose weight? Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar daily and watch the pounds slip away. Have windows that need chemical free washing? Mix %50 warm water with %50 distilled (white) vinegar and watch the streaks disappear. Consisting of mainly acetic acid and water, distilled vinegar is useful in household cleaning because of the naturally occurring acetic acid, which dissolves mineral and dirt from the tiniest of cracks and divots within your glass pane. If you—like me—dislike the overpowering smell that comes with using vinegar, however, then consider letting it steep for several days beforehand in sliced orange peels. The orange peels will cover the overwhelming stench and add a pleasant aroma for you while you go about performing your window cleaning for the day.

Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch to your %50 water %50 distilled vinegar solution and whisk!
Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch to your %50 water %50 distilled vinegar solution and whisk!

Cornstarch

Yup, you heard me right, cornstarch. Admittedly, I’m not entirely certain what other uses cornstarch serve other than cleaning—and while I do have it in my cupboard I can't remember ever having used it for anything other than cleaning my windows. Knowing that distilled vinegar gets the job done, it only makes sense to add it to the mix. The mildly abrasive nature of the cornstarch when mixed with the warm vinegar/water solution works to gently take off any gunk, smears, or hard water stains that might have tainted your otherwise clean windows. The trick is to use 1 tablespoon of the vinegar solution described above and to continue wiping the cornstarch until it dissolves in on itself. Do not stop rubbing the cornstarch midway as this will cause a film to form, leaving you with dirtier windows than before you started.

Lemons and Salt

When life gives you lemons, you make lemon drop martinis, right? Well maybe, and by all means if you’re feeling up for it then go right ahead and make a glass, but in this case I’m not talking about alcohol. Instead all you need to grab are some halved lemons, a bowl of kosher salt, and some elbow grease (geddit?). Dip the halved lemon into the bowl of salt, take the salted lemon half and get to work scrubbing. This method of all natural cleaning is more time consuming than the others and doesn’t cover as much window area as its predecessors and should therefore be used primarily for glass shower doors or bathroom windows, where soap scum buildup is a common issue. After you’re done scrubbing, simply rinse the glass with warm water and watch it shine.

Halved Lemons for Cleaning
Halved Lemons for Cleaning

When you live on a farm, living as natural as possible becomes a way of life. Even if you don’t live in a place surrounded by peacocks, wild turkeys, pigs, mini-horses, with a duo of goats for neighbors, you can still benefit from choosing the most natural method possible for cleaning your home and windows. Of course, hiring professional window cleaners is always the most efficient, time manageable, and sure-fire solution around to getting spot-free windows, but if you just can’t stand the wait in those in between weeks for clean windows, then these tips should get you there in the most natural way possible.

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    • Cynthia Hoover profile image

      Cynthia Hoover 20 months ago from Newton, West Virginia

      Very interesting! I was not familiar with adding cornstarch for cleaning windows, though it has been a long staple in my pantry for thickening soups and sauces.

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image
      Author

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Robie, like I mentioned, I'm not even sure what to use corn starch for other than cleaning-ha! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 3 years ago from Ohio

      Very interesting hub, I love natural ways to clean! I never thought cornstarch could be a cleaner, interesting! :)

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image
      Author

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Akriti, thanks for stopping by!

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 3 years ago from Shimla, India

      This is a good way to clean.I've tried it for cleaning my windows.Nice post.

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image
      Author

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Thanks for the tip about the microwave--wherever I can use wholesome cleaning ingredients the better! Yes, given my mom's line of business is petsitting the distinct line of snot is totally familiar (as is the pig about marks!). Thanks for stopping by!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, U.K

      Your parent's farm sounds heavenly, I also love the photo of the peacock politely waiting to be let in. A smallholding is my dream after retirement, fingers crossed. :)

      Great tips and ideas, I've had limited success with vinegar, but I use lemons to clean the microwave and it works a treat. Cornstarch however, is new to me. My dog sits at the window all day, so there's often a distinct band of snot at the bottom. Thank you for sharing these useful tips.

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image
      Author

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 3 years ago from Orange County, CA

      FlourishAnyway, those peacocks surround my parent's house each morning, waiting for cheerios. Needless to say her city cats were pretty concerned when they first saw them. I did not know that about car wax, what a great suggestion. Thanks for stopping by!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Great tips! I love the photo of that peacock in the window. Cornstarch can also be used to easily remove car wax (rather than use a whole lot of muscle). Cool huh?

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