Recently, 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 12 varieties of cleaners, including Windex with ammonia, Windex with vinegar, a "crystal rain" scented option, and even Windex Electronics Screen Wipes. But the original version remains the most popular and readily available. And, by the way, Windex Advanced has been discontinued. Who knows? Maybe it's a collector item!
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:
Laundry StainsWindex makes for a super effective stain remover on nonsilk washable fabrics—especially on difficult red stains such as red wine, tomato sauce and ketchup. Spray the stain liberally with Windex; allow it to soak in and work for 20 minutes or so; and 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.
Bug SprayHit 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.
Kitchen DegreaserWindex 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 for a few minutes, then wipe clean. Rinse well if using near food preparation areas.
Windex is great on countertops, too, including quartz, granite, marble, laminate, and tile. Just make sure that if you're cleaning natural stone counters that have a sealant, such as granite, marble, or quartzite, you're using a Windex version that is free of ammonia and vinegar.
Microfiber UpholsteryMicrofiber, 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 lightly with Windex. Quickly, before it can soak in, use a soft bristle brush or clean white terrycloth to lightly scrub and whisk away the stain. Be careful to work in just one direction. A difficult stain might require a second treatment.
Stainless SteelWhen 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.
Stuck RingsNeed help getting a ring off after it has been on your finger for a long time? Try putting on a few drops of Windex, and it will pop right off.
Jewelry CleanerSoak gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other pieces of fine jewelry for a few minutes in a small container filled with Windex. Brush them with a soft, old toothbrush, and then rinse well in clear water. Buff dry and look at that sparkle! Caution: Never use Windex on soft stones such as opals or costume jewelry.
Sinks and FaucetsClean your stainless steel sink and faucet with soap and water, and then dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Next, spray the sink and faucet with Windex, and wipe dry for super shiny results.
Stubborn ZippersThis hack will make everyone's life a little better. Have you ever had to throw out a jacket or pair of pants because of a stuck zipper? Use Windex to free the problematic zipper. What a slick idea.
Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments, and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living." Copyright 2020 Creators.com