I Can See Clearly Now, the Toxins are Gone

In our ongoing quest to consider “greener” solutions to cleaning products that don’t leave a toxic residue or acidic odor, the New York Times has conducted a field test of numerous window cleaners. It turns out the water, vinegar, rubbing alcohol based cleaners was very effective and they also highly recommend using newspaper as your cleaning agent.

I tried several variations of a homemade white-vinegar-and-water mix, which did a good job at practically no cost. The one that proved most effective was one part vinegar to two parts of water. It was very runny, though, which meant I had to wipe quickly and vigorously with newspaper. A couple of tablespoons of rubbing alcohol added to the mix boosted its cleaning power and made it evaporate faster. If D.I.Y. isn’t your thing, Greenology makes an organic liquid that was the best of the vinegar-based commercial products.
I also put wiping materials to the test and found that I liked newspaper best by far. There was a slight learning curve — just how much should it be crumpled at the outset (a lot), just how wet should it get before it’s time for another sheet (not very) — but it did a first-rate job. Remember to wear rubber gloves or your hands will be black with ink.

The following two tabs change content below.
Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
Timothy Dahl

Latest posts by Timothy Dahl (see all)