While digging out, cleaning up, and reorganizing our storage room I discovered a half-full jug of Windex. I have to admit that for a few moments, it was like Christmas and not because I was itching to clean windows. It’s because I know lots of situations where Windex comes to the rescue to make life easier!
What’s in it?
Windex now comes in at least 14 varieties of cleaners including Windex with ammonia, with vinegar, a crystal clear option, and even Windex Electronics Screen Wipes. But the original version remains the most popular and readily available.
According to SC Johnson, the original formula Windex contains cleaning agents, wetting agents, fragrance, and color. This makes it ideal for more than just cleaning glass and mirrors:
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.
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.
From time to time I hear from readers who have sensitivities or allergies to our beloved Blue Dawn. Is there something else we can use that will not trigger these reactions but still work well? There is and it is pure castile soap.
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 great on countertops, too—quartz, granite, marble, laminate, tile. Just make sure that if you’re cleaning natural stone counters that have a sealant, such as granite, marble, and quartzite, you’re using a Windex version that is free of ammonia and vinegar (there are multiple versions of Windex these days ) for natural stone counters that have a sealant.
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.
Caution: Test in an inconspicuous place first, please! And (I repeat), stick with the clear colorless version of Windex when using it to remove stains from white or light items.
When cleaning a window with Windex, you want to be able to see your reflection looking back at you. Well, the same goes for stainless steel surfaces.
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!
- READ POST: 16 Ways Car Wax Can Make Your Life Easier
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. Caution: Make sure you rinse the tub and shower floor very well when you’re done as it could make for a slip-and-fall situation.
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.
Need help getting a ring off after it has been on your finger for a long time? Try a few drops and it will pop right off.
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.
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.
Sink and faucets
Clean your stainless steel sink and faucet with soap and water then dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Next, spray the sink and faucet with Windex and wipe dry for super-shiny results.
Now this hack will make everyone’s life a little better. Have you ever had to throw out that jacket or pair of pants because of a stuck zipper? Using Windex to free a stubborn zipper. What a slick idea.
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.
Patio furniture cleaner
Windex works amazing for a quick and effective wipe down of patio furniture. Use it when the furniture is first taken out for the season, then again and often as the furniture is used throughout the season. Just lightly mist the surface, let stand for a few minutes, and wipe clean.
Unclog a printhead
If there seems to be an issue with your printer’s printhead—like it refuses to print or does so poorly—try cleaning it. Turn off your printer spray a few spritzes of Windex onto a paper towel. Remove the ink cartridge and place the paper towel over the printhead. Allow to sit for 24 hours. Make sure the printhead is completely dry before you try to print again.
First published: 4-5-20; Revised & Updated 10-28-23