There’s a good chance you have a bottle of Windex or other blue glass cleaner in your kitchen right now, and of course you use it religiously on all of the windows and mirrored surfaces in your home. But if that’s all you’re using it for, you’re missing out on much of the product’s cleaning power—and likely buying additional cleansers unnecessarily. Here are some different uses for Windex that you might not have thought of before.
- As a general kitchen cleaner: Windex is safe for most kitchen surfaces, including granite, laminate, marble, tile, and grout, so go ahead and use it on your countertops, stovetop, and tiled backsplash to keep key elements of your kitchen looking great.
- As a degreaser: If you think you need an expensive degreasing product to remove caked-on grime from the range hood, light fixtures, and exhaust fans in the kitchen, think again. Just spray Windex on any of these greasy surfaces, let it stand for five to 10 minutes, and then wipe away.
- As a microfiber furniture cleaner: Do you have microfiber upholstered furniture in your home? Then you know how difficult it is to keep this fabric clean, especially since even a substance as benign as plain water can leave behind spots. But Windex can safely do the job on most microfiber upholstery (just be sure to test an out-of-the-way place first). Simply spray the fabric surface very lightly and scrub delicately with a soft-bristled brush until clean.
- As a toy cleaner: Windex is great for freshening up plastic children’s toys in those moments when you don’t have time to thoroughly sanitize. All you have to do is spray a bit of Windex directly on the toy or a clean cloth, wipe the toy, and then rinse with water.
Windex also works well on vinyl surfaces (such as car interiors), common laundry stains, and crystal glassware, so keep all of these additional uses in mind the next time you clean your home.
Do you have lots of lemons left over after making summer favorites like fresh-squeezed lemonade and lemon meringue pie? Instead of letting these versatile citrus fruits go to waste, use them as a natural, nontoxic way to clean and freshen your home. Here’s how:
- Sprinkle a halved lemon with course salt and use it as a scrubbing or polishing tool for surfaces such as brass, copper, grills, and grates.
- Eliminate stains and odors from reusable plastic food containers by first soaking the containers in diluted lemon juice, and then scrubbing with a bit of baking soda.
- Use lemon juice as a non-toxic bleach substitute in the laundry to brighten whites, remove grease stains, and freshen all clothes (be sure to spot test silk and other delicate fabrics before washing).
- Combat a smelly garbage disposal by running small lemon slices (peel and all) through the disposal. As an alternative, you can pour a mixture of 1/2 cup of lemon juice and a gallon of water down the drain.
- In the bathroom, brighten sink and shower fixtures and remove hard water stains by rubbing the surfaces with a halved lemon until they shine.
- Loosen caked-on food in the microwave by placing a few drops of lemon juice in a bowl of water and heating the mixture on high for about three minutes.
- Make a wood cutting board look like new by sprinkling with lemon juice and letting it sit for several hours. Rinse and dry thoroughly before using again.
- Deodorize the dishwasher by filling a dishwasher safe container with a cup of lemon juice, placing it in the bottom rack, and running the machine’s rinse cycle. You can also give your regular dishwasher detergent a kick by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice to the detergent dispenser.
These are just a few of the many ways you can use lemons to help make your home sparkle, shine, and smell great. So once you’ve had your fill of lemon based treats this summer, go ahead and incorporate the fruit into your housecleaning regimen.