This Is the Safest Way to Clean Glass

A cleaner home is just a wipe away.

woman cleaning window, working mom

When it comes to cleaning your home, what you don't know can hurt you. This is particularly true when it comes to cleaning glass surfaces. While ammonia-based cleaners are the standard when it comes to cleaning glass, research published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine reveals that ammonia may exacerbate breathing issues like asthma. Some research even indicates that it might even put the health of your household plants at risk.

So, how can you safely clean glass without turning every mirror or window into a spotted, streaky mess?

The safest and most effective way to clean glass is by using newspaper and a vinegar solution. Newspaper works without giving off lint, like paper towels do. Better yet, it won't scratch your glass surfaces. You'll want to find a newspaper that doesn't stain your fingers, since transferable inks leave you a bigger mess to clean up. Pick a newspaper that displays a "soy ink seal." The alternative, petroleum-based inks, can stain hands. To make your cleaner, combine equal parts vinegar and water.

When you're ready to get started, spritz your solution directly onto the surface you're cleaning, not the paper itself. This method keeps the paper damp, but not too wet, since newspaper breaks down when it's saturated with moisture. Research suggests that damp cleaning may also reduce bacterial counts while wet cleaning can increase them, so opt for a lightly-spritzed surface, and not a soaked one, whenever possible.

While some people find that the vinegar leaves a pungent aroma, there are still plenty of ways to clean your surfaces without making your house smell like a salad. Add in a few drops of lemon or eucalyptus oil for a more pleasant scent.

If you can't find soy ink newspaper, using a microfiber cloth or old t-shirt will produce similar lint-free results. And if the glass surface you're tackling needs some extra cleaning, a pre-wash with warm soapy water should do the trick. Just make sure you don't try to combine your store-bought products in search of a deeper clean; combining ammonia and bleach often ends with explosive results. And now that the windows are clean, it's time to tackle the floors: This Is the Safest Way to Clean Your Floors.

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