Clean Your Glass and Windows Without Toxic Ammonia
There’s nothing more frustrating than cloudy streak-ridden windows and mirrors, especially after you’ve just cleaned them. And though you might be urged to wash those windows again, keep in mind that streaks often remain because you used too much cleaning solution or detergent in the first place. Instead, follow our simple cleaning tips for crystal-clear windows and mirrors.
With the sun making its appearance more frequently, now is the time to bring the warm light indoors! Even if it’s too cold to spend much time outside, you can draw back the curtains and open the windows for the fresh spring air. But before you use your household glass cleaner to clean your windows, make sure it does not contain the harmful ingredient, ammonia. Ammonia is a colorless gas or liquid found in many household cleaners, wax removers, glass and window cleaners and oven cleaners. With high concentration levels, ammonia has been known to cause severe burns and irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs.
There are many glass cleaning products available in the market which contain ammonia. Vehicle owners should avoid such products since ammonia does not bode well with common car surfaces such as rubber, leather, and vinyl. Ammonia fumes are dangerous and should not be inhaled in a closed environment. In addition, glass cleaners with ammonia compounds cannot be used to clean tinted windows – they pose a damage risk to the film itself.
What To Look For
- Spray bottle
- Microfiber towels
- Warning: Don’t combine ammonia and vinegar in the cleaning solution. Ammonia is an alkali and vinegar is an acid, so the two cancel each other out and become neutral, losing all cleaning power.
- Never mix ammonia with bleach. Chloramine gas is created which can cause coughing, loss of vision, suffocation and even death.
- Mix vinegar or lemon juice with water for cleaning windows.
- Use vinegar instead of ammonia to cut through grease and grime.
- Use old newspaper pages to wipe windows and avoid streaking or fibers on the glass caused by paper towels.
- The tools: A squeegee and a good scrubber will garner the best streak-free results. After scrubbing the entire window or mirror, use the squeegee to wipe off the suds horizontally and then make your way from top to bottom. Don’t forget to wipe the blade off on a microfiber cloth after each swipe. If you’re resolved to use a sponge, use crumpled newspaper to dry. This might seem counterproductive since newspaper ink often smears, but it leaves no lint particles and the ink helps polish the glass.
Microfiber towels: You can have quality products and still fail in washing windows without streaks forming. It is important for car owners to use the right technique when cleaning. If you are using a spray, do not spray directly on the glass as most of it will be will be lost to the surrounding air. Instead, you should spray the cleaner on a towel and then proceed to wipe the windows using the towel. This should be done in a rhythmic and spreading motion to ensure that the entire glass surface comes into contact with the cleaner. After clearing all the dirty grime, use a microfiber towel to wipe the glass surface and remove any remaining dirt residue and streaks.
Remember that while the windshield receives added attention, all other windows should also be cleaned thoroughly. If you usually smoke inside your car, regular window cleaning will clear the resultant haze. It is recommended to use a good quality soft cloth material instead of used rags which might be carrying dirt particles capable of scratching glass. A soft cloth will not leave any scratch marks on tint film material. During waxing, try to steer clear of the windows since any marks will result in a grimy appearance. However, some waxes actually work on glass – read the label for the recommendations for the product you are using.