In this last installment of my spring cleaning series, I’m going to talk about the best way to clean windows and wood and I’m going to share with you three of the best natural, homemade household cleaners that you should definitely make and keep on hand.
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Part III of a Spring Cleaning Series: Best Homemade Cleaners for Cleaning Windows & Wood
In my three-part series about how to make spring cleaning easy and fun, I’ve shown you how to prepare for spring cleaning with a PRE-CLEAN and I reviewed four environmentally friendly household cleaners to use when cleaning your kitchen and bathroom. Now that your home is decluttered, organized, and the kitchen and bathroom are sparkly clean it’s time to focus on windows and wood.
The best way to clean windows
Cleaning exterior windows is something I never look forward to doing because it’s so tedious and a ladder is involved. I recommend cleaning them the way professional cleaners do: with a weak dishwashing liquid/water mixture and a squeegee. I’m not going to go into exterior windows here, but for a really great tutorial, check out this How-To on the This Old House website.
Interior windows are a little bit of a different story because using soapy water and a squeegee would be quite a messy project. For shiny, streak-free windows, just follow these tips:
- Use a microfiber cloth, which is lint-free and won’t leave streaks.
- If you use paper towel, opt for strong, low-linting ones such as Bounty or Brawny.
- Some people swear by using wads of newspaper, but they are messy and can leave smears of ink on window frame paint and paper fibers on the glass.
- Don’t clean your windows on a sunny day. Hot sun will cause your window cleaner to dry too fast, leaving streaks.
The best way to clean wood
Cleaning wood furniture might seem a little daunting, but it’s actually very easy. Here are tips for keeping your wood looking like new:
- Dust your furniture between cleanings using a treated dusting cloth, microfiber cloth, or dust-trapping cloth (I buy Swiffer floor sweeper cloths and just use them like regular dusting cloths. Tip: keep a couple in your glove compartment to use when your dash is dusty). My very favorite dusting cloths are treated and they gather and trap dust like you won’t believe. They’re reusable again and again, too–just rinse and air dry.
- Don’t clean your wood furniture with soap and water.
- Don’t use straight oil to polish your wood furniture–it traps dust and leaves fingerprints when the furniture is touched.
- Remember that oil- and silicone-based wood cleaners provide little protection. They just clean and shine.
How to make four of the best all-natural, homemade household cleaners
There are LOADS of cleaners that you can make at home, from drain fresheners to armpit stain removers and everything else under the sun. Today I’m going to show you how to make three basic household cleaners, two of which are specific to today’s post: window cleaner and wood cleaner/polish.
I love, love, love this window cleaner. It’s magic on dog nose smears (even better than store-bought window cleaner!) and leaves windows sparkly and streak-free. I usually use Bounty paper towels to clean my interior windows. One of these strong towels can be used on two or even three windows and they leave very little in the way of fibers on the glass.
To a spray bottle, using a funnel, add 2 cups water, 2 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 tablespoons isopropyl rubbing alcohol, and 6 drops essential oil. Put the lid on, give it a shake, and you’re good to go.
This recipe doesn’t make much because you don’t need a lot and you really should use it up in one go since it has fresh lemon juice in it. I use old flour sack dish towels as my dusting/polishing rags. Dip a piece of rag into the mixture, rub your wood furniture down with it, then use another piece of cloth to buff it. I also use this mixture to clean our wooden stairs and handrail.
In a small jar, combine the juice of one lemon, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, and 2 or 3 drops of essential oil. Cover the jar and shake hard to emulsify. That’s it! Easy peasy.
All Purpose Cleaner
This all purpose cleaner is very effective and leaves your bathroom and kitchen smelling fresh and clean. My butcher block counter was stained pink from cutting up strawberries this morning and this cleaner removed the color without even breaking a sweat. Use any essential oil you wish; the most antimicrobial ones are citrus, tea tree, eucalyptus, lemongrass, patchouli,and peppermint.
To a spray bottle, using a funnel, add 1 cup water, 1/3 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol, 1/2 tsp Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (I use Baby because it’s unscented), and 15 drops essential oil. Put the lid on and gently shake to combine.
The best music and audiobooks to listen to while cleaning windows and wood furniture
I’m convinced that the best way to make house cleaning entertaining and, yes, fun is to play danceable music and have a spring cleaning dance party! I also love listening to an audiobook while I clean. It’s important to take breaks from cleaning so you don’t burn yourself out, but quite honestly, when I’m absorbed in a good book while I clean, I lose all track of time and get a ton done.
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (available from Audible)
- The Lake House by Kate Morton (available from Audible)
- “Alexa, play Joy Division” “Shuffling songs by Joy Division”
- Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic
- The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground
- Situation by Yazoo
- Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!
- Oye Como Va by Santana
- Lady Marmalade by LaBelle
Okay, guys, this does it for my spring cleaning series! My hope was to help you make your cleaning easier and to inspire you to make it fun and more environmentally safe. I welcome comments and would love to hear how you make your own spring cleaning less of a dreaded thing. Do you have recipes for cleaners that you swear by? I’d love to hear about them. =)