homemade window cleaner

After posting “Il fait trop beau…” by Les Parisiennes the other day, I can’t stop listening to French pop music. It is the purest sounds of summer rolled into less than three minutes of head-bopping, leg-bouncing beats. What better way to start of the week than with Joe Dassin’s walk down the Champs Élysées–the street that has everything you need, the street that’s beautiful in any weather, the street that will always lead you to an all-night (probably hot jazz) club.

Listen to that, & tell me you aren’t ready to park it at an outdoor café & bronzer.

After a quick trip back to Joe’s hometown Saturday, I was welcomed home by various signs of spring. My peas had sprouted to about a half inch; several of my indoor seed starts (basil & dill) had poked through the soil; we set new lawn chairs in front of our apartment. I got the urge to celebrate spring: It was time to rip out those storm windows & get some fresh air.

But wow, windows. Dead bugs. Layers of dust & dirt. Light was coming through in smudgy smears of dented plexiglass. After pushing & punching at the screens, I got everything disassembled. This was my first test of the old-fashioned home remedy for dirty windows.

What I love about home remedies isn’t just the lack of harsh/dangerous chemicals, it’s also the lack of money spent on supplies. If you keep a constant store of Borax, baking soda & vinegar, you can clean just about anything. So much money storage space & cash saved! (And in this apartment, every speck of those two things counts!)

For homemade window cleaner, all sources I found led to this combination: equal parts regular vinegar & water. Care2 (make a difference) had some interesting information about how to clean windows with vinegar, including this nice tidbit:

Around Earth Day 1990, every newspaper in the country (or so it seemed), offered tips for cleaning in ways that didn’t harm the planet, and the recommendation for windows was almost always to clean them with nothing but vinegar and water. People by the thousands tried this, and many swore off cleaning with homemade products for good because the formula left streaks on their windows.

The simple fix? Care2 says a small squirt of dish soap into the vinegar-water solution will cut through the waxy build-up left behind from other window cleaners. I put it to the test.

1/2 water. 1/2 vinegar. 1 teaspoon dish soap. Shake. Spray. Scrub away with newspaper.


The windows look the best I’ve seen them–and that’s saying something. When we first moved in, I spent several hours scrubbing our windows, trying to get old tape residue & years of filth from the edges. While I had to spray quite liberally & go over them twice, I found the effect to be on par with window cleaners I’ve purchased in the past.

We loved having the light flood the apartment. Our attitudes have been dragging for what seems like months now, & sitting in a sunny living room did loads for our spirits. Let’s hope the rest of this week will be as productive & fruitful as Sunday has been. By the end of this week, I should have sprouts from my eggplants, tomatoes & rosemary.

Oh, and this:

Happy birthday, Mom!


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
This entry was posted in being conscious and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to homemade window cleaner

  1. Pingback: lent: the vegetarian returns | francofile

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