Pretty smiling housewife doing general cleaning in kitchen

11 Ways to Use Windex That Will Make You So Happy

The guys who installed our new shower doors warned us not to use Windex to clean them as it will damage the hydrophobic sealant. Huh? A few minutes of research explained the warning, but also taught me a lot more. I had no idea that the power of Windex could be harmful* on one hand, but so beneficial on the other. There are lots of good ways to use Windex around the house.

Pretty smiling Vietnamese housewife doing general cleaning in kitchen

Bug spray

Hit those ants and other creepy crawlies with a mist of Windex and watch them curl up and die. Many readers have reported this works really well but once cleaned up, it will not prevent the bugs from coming back. To do that, spray the cleaned up area with a light mist of white vinegar to create a more lasting barrier.

Kitchen degreaser

Windex works as a degreaser for cooktops, range hoods, fans, light fixtures, and other areas that attract grease and grime. Spray the area with Windex and allow it to sit on that greasy area for a few minutes, then wipe clean. Rinse well if using near food-preparation areas.

Windex is a great on countertops, too—quartz, granite, marble, laminate, tile. Just make sure you’re using the Windex Crystal Rain that is free of ammonia and vinegar (there are multiple versions of Windex these days ) for natural stone counters that have a sealant, such as granite, marble, and quartzite.

RELATED: Favorite Household Cleaners You Can Make Yourself for Just Pennies

Laundry stains

Windex makes for a super effective stain remover on non-silk washable fabrics—especially on difficult red stains like red wine and tomato sauce and ketchup. Spray the stain liberally with Windex, allow to soak in and work for 20 minutes or so, then rinse it out with cold water. Launder as usual. Caution: Stick with the clear colorless version of Windex when using it to remove stains from white or light items.

Microfiber Upholstery

Microfiber, a synthetic fabric, has become a popular textile for upholstered furniture because it is super durable and inexpensive. Microfiber is beautiful, too, but stains easily and can be super challenging to clean. Even water can leave an ugly spot on microfiber. Windex to the rescue!

Spritz the area with a light spray of Windex. Quickly, before it can soak it, using a soft bristle brush or clean white terrycloth, lightly scrub and whisk away the stain being careful to work in just one direction. A difficult stain might require a second treatment.

Clean the car

Windex is ideal to clean a car’s interior surfaces, including faux wood and upholstery. Readers have reported all kinds of remarkable results using Windex to clean coffee and food stains from upholstered seats and floor mats. Use Windex to get rid of all that gunk and grime on dashboards, steering wheel, console, and door handles. Works well on that fabric headliner (how do stains land up there?), and carpet, too.

Windex is non-greasy so surfaces won’t be left with a slippery residue. While you’re at it, you might as well clean all the windows—inside and out, too!

MORE: 16 Ways Car Wax Can Make Your Life Easier

Bathroom cleaner

Windex will clean everything in the bathroom—porcelain, plastic, chrome, tile, and grout; toilet, tub, walls, and floors, too. And of course the glass and mirrors.

Playsets and toys

Make quick work of cleaning and disinfecting all those messes brought on by teething and drooling; food, goo, grime and an occasional spit up from toys and playsets. Spray all those surfaces with Windex and a microfiber cloth. Follow a good rinse and your kids’ toys and play areas will be sparkling clean and looking good in no time.

Jewelry cleaner

Soak gold, silver, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, and other pieces of fine jewelry for a few minutes in a small container filled with Windex. Brush with a soft, old toothbrush, then rinse well in clear water. Buff dry and look at that sparkle! Caution: Never use Windex on soft stones like opals or costume jewelry.

MORE: This Homemade Silver Cleaner Removes Tarnish Like Magic

Hardware

Knobs, pulls, and handles are surely the most overlooked area in any home when it comes to cleaning. Just imagine how many germs those suckers harbor Here’s the solution: Once a week, grab the Windex in one hand and a microfiber cloth in the other and go through the house cleaning and sanitizing every doorknob, lever, and pull that gets touched by human hands.  It’s easy and so well worth the effort.

Phones and touchscreens

Yikes, the stuff that accumulates on our phones and touchscreens. This is tricky. Never directly spray Windex on any electronic device. Instead, spray it on a microfiber cloth. Now, use it to clean up that gross, sticky, germy situation. Don’t go overboard. Getting those surfaces too wet could cause more harm than good.

Whiteboard eraser

Another way to use Windex is to clean your whiteboards. It will remove the stubborn dry erase marker stains and all those shadows, too. Go ahead, you can spray Windex directly on the whiteboard without doing any damage.

*When applied to a shower door, a hydrophobic coating creates a smooth surface by filling in the microscopic pores in glass. The coating’s smooth surface repels the water, not allowing water drops or dirt to fall into the glass pores resulting in bacteria, mold and mildew growth. Windex can damage and destroy that coating.


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30 replies
  1. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    You missed the most important one. Spray your elbow or any body part to get rid of rashes. Please refer to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” movie for full disclosure. Lol

    Reply
  2. Debbie Matthew
    Debbie Matthew says:

    I haven’t tried Windex to kill bugs but a really cheap way to get rid of earwigs is to mix Dawn dish soap and water in a spray bottle(1:20 ratio), Slugs: ammonia and water in a spray bottle(1:4 ratio) spray directly, both cheap and extremely efficient!

    Reply
  3. Wanda Swanberg
    Wanda Swanberg says:

    Windex will also take sticky residue from surfaces. I used it to get a melted plastic bag off the outside of my waffle iron and from my toaster.

    Reply
  4. Rocky
    Rocky says:

    Good tips! I have to confess that the title of this post immediately reminded me of the father in the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, who used Windex to cure every I’ll known to man — and kept a spray bottle handy, just in case.

    Reply
  5. Luisa
    Luisa says:

    Mary, I agree with lots of these, like killing bugs with Windex, and I look forward to trying the ones that are new to me. My family members all have pets, and my dad told me years ago that they use Windex to help clean up pet messes on carpet after removing solids and blotting up liquids. Since then, I’ve used it countless times on carpet, even very light carpet, and it works beautifully.

    Reply
  6. Luisa
    Luisa says:

    Sue, I’m curious about what your friend says about cleaning jewelry, as every kind of gold except pure gold is mixed with other metals also. Does your silversmith say not to use Windex on something like 14K gold? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Anne Shelton
      Anne Shelton says:

      Now suffering from enlarged knuckles, I have had 2 rings “stretched” so I can wear them. My jeweler told me that should a ring be hard to get off, not to panic, but grab the Windex, give it a good spray and slip the ring off. He said do not use soap, as it will just cloud the jewels.

      Reply
  7. Ed
    Ed says:

    I’ll pass along a second hand tip. Some friends have laminate “wood” flooring throughout their home. The installers advised them to clean the floors with windex and a microfiber dust mop. It seems to work quite well for them and not damage the finish.

    Reply
  8. Gary/Carole Manners
    Gary/Carole Manners says:

    I thought you had fixed your website so that the info can be printed without having to deal with all the ads! I am unable to find it here. Please fix. thank you.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt
      Mary Hunt says:

      Click on the PRINT button and that takes you to a screen where you can delete any items or sections that you want before printing.

      Reply
  9. Jeanne
    Jeanne says:

    Yes, it sure does work on bugs and flies! I used to use hairspray and while that works, it also leaves a sticky mess. Windex works perfectly and cleans the surface too!

    Reply
  10. Naf Ranz
    Naf Ranz says:

    When we have replaced our front loading washing machine and /or dryer (both are very heavy and bulky), the installer has sprayed the feet of the machines with windex so he can slide the machines around freely. Works great! The repairman has also used this method just to pull the machines forward a little.

    Reply
    • Sue in TX
      Sue in TX says:

      The ammonia formula – ammonia is safe for diamonds and gold. My silversmith friend doesn’t recommend it for silver because it can react with certain alloys (all sterling has blended with another metal in very small quantities) or finishes and change the color.

      Reply
  11. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    I use Windex to kill bugs, mostly ants in my bathroom and kitchen and the occasional spider. It is the ammonia in the Windex that kills the bugs.

    Reply
  12. Karen
    Karen says:

    Another use, if you can’t get your ring off your hand spray your finger and ring with Windex and the ring will come off. Learned this tip from a jewelry store when I tried on a ring and than could not get it off!

    Reply

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