Not sure about you, but I have a bad habit of letting my mirrors and windows get dirty. It’s definitely not the first thing on my mind when I think “I have to clean.” However, glass surfaces of any kind really do accumulate a LOT of dirt and grime over time. It’s pretty nasty. Once you notice it, you can’t help doing something about it. Problem is, I have a really sensitive nose and most of the conventional glass + mirror cleaners out there contain ingredients that bother me. I’ll start sneezing, coughing and feeling like it’s hard for me to breath. That’s because most contain artificial fragrance which is made up of hundreds of unknown chemicals. Not to mention most of these cleaners come in plastic, which I prefer to avoid. So, I whipped up my own DIY zero waste glass cleaner! Here’s the my go-to DIY recipe.
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How to Make Zero Waste Glass + Mirror Cleaner
Is glass cleaner safe?
First off, I feel it’s important to address this. Glass cleaning products like Windex actually contain potentially harmful or irritating ingredients like fragrance, dyes, surfactants, solvents and ammonia.
These ingredients can cause redness and irritation if they come into contact with your skin. Not to mention allergic reactions (which I’ve been known to get from any product containing synthetic fragrance, aka “parfums”).
And ammonia just isn’t good for you to be inhaling, especially if you use cleaning products that contain it on a frequent basis!
Is glass cleaner bad for the environment?
Since ammonia is in most glass cleaners, that also means nitrogen is too. There’s 82% nitrogen in ammonia. This is a problem because when anything containing nitrogen gets washed down the drain, it pollutes our waterways.
Excess nitrogen can cause overstimulation of growth of aquatic plants and algae. Excessive growth of these organisms, in turn, can clog water intakes, use up dissolved oxygen as they decompose, and block light to deeper waters. This can make certain waterways uninhabitable for fish, or even turn them into dead zones.
The same goes for most of the other chemicals that make up glass cleaners. If washed down the drain, they can easily pollute our waterways. So they’re not just potentially toxic for us, but for our environment too.
Needless to say, most glass cleaners like Windex also come in plastic. With only 5-6% of plastic actually being recycled (it went down from 9%!), we should do our best to avoid using plastic as much as we can.
How to make Zero Waste Glass Cleaner
- 1/4 cup of vinegar (can use any kind, apple cider or white is best though)
- 1/2 teaspoon castile soap
- Water (fill the rest up – however much it takes)
- 4- 5 drops of essential oil (optional -use whatever scent you like, I went with Lavender)
Note: Keep in mind, I was using an 8 oz spray bottle so you may need more if you use a bigger container. Play around until you get the measurements you need. FYI, my spray bottle was one I upcycled so use whatever you have lying around first before buying new!
- Using a funnel, start filling up your spray bottle with all the liquids. Once added, make sure to secure the cap on tight and then shake it to combine.
How to use: You can use this zero waste glass cleaner on windows, mirrors, or glass shower doors. Anything, pretty much. Just spray it onto the surface, then use a rag to wipe it in/off. You may have to buff a few areas out to prevent things from getting streaky, or remove some more stuck-on grime. But I find this cleaner does a pretty good job at making my mirrors and windows sparkle!
I didn’t get any pictures of me cleaning my window but I’m probably going to post a reel about this because of the sheer amount of gross dirt and grime it got off it. *shudders in disgust* Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you haven’t’ already – that’s where I’m most active.
This is your friendly reminder to clean your windows! Don’t be like me folks. And, don’t neglect your mirrors either – they tend to get really dirty over time.
I will say, if you don’t like the smell of vinegar, definitely consider adding essential oils to this DIY to make it more bearable. And open your windows to let things air out afterwards.
Note on waste: To keep things low waste, try to get your ingredients in bulk if you can. Some refill shops have castile soap and vinegar in bulk and if yours is one of them, I envy you! If not, try to get it in the biggest container you can. Smaller plastic containers are less likely to get recycled.
Will you give this zero waste glass cleaner a shot? Let me know in the comments.
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