How Does Windex Work to Clean Windows?

Windex has long been the cleaner of choice for many people when it comes to removing stains and dirt from windows and glass. This is because few other cleaners make cleaning shiny surfaces so easy. You've likely used this simple blue liquid countless times throughout your lifetime. If you've ever wondered why Windex is so effective at cleaning glass, the answer is actually rather simple.


Key Ingredients of Windex

The key ingredient in Windex is ammonia. This harsh chemical features just the right amount of abrasion to remove stains from glass and windows without harming the surface itself. Tricky stains such as tape residue, sticker glue and cigarette smoke are no match for the power of ammonia.

Numerous other ingredients combine to give Windex its superior cleaning power. Among the most important are the following:

Ethylene: an acidic compound that kills germs and bacteria Water: balances pH levels and dilutes the ammonia and other ingredients Isopropanol: an alcohol that acts as a solvent

Tips for Cleaning Windows With Windex

To achieve maximum results on tough stains, it is recommended that you spray the stain thoroughly with Windex and allow the solvent to sit for a few minutes. Over time, the ammonia and other ingredients will eat through the stains, making them easier to remove. Sometimes, a second application is necessary to adequately penetrate and remove the stain. To reduce streaking that may result from using Windex, you might want to wipe the glass or mirror with a clean cloth rag. Circular cleaning motions help to reduce streaking as well.

Things to Keep in Mind

The abrasive nature of Windex does not lend itself well to wood or varnished surfaces. This is because the ammonia can eat through the surface and cause damage. A less abrasive wood cleaner is recommended for such surfaces. The unique ingredients in Windex are also hazardous if swallowed or sprayed in the eyes. As such, Windex should always be kept out of the reach of children and used with caution.