Since people seemed to get a kick out of last month’s Test Product (baking soda and vinegar), I decided to see what other homemade cleaning products I could test around the apartment. In my online research, I came across this web site that recommends using a solution of equal parts vinegar and water to clean windows and glass. Intrigued, I decided to test it against Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Window Spray, which I mostly bought for the retro packaging, claim that it only uses “naturally occurring” ingredients, and promised lemon-verbena scent.
I tested both products on our bathroom mirror, which hasn’t been cleaned for the last week, and our bedroom mirror, which hasn’t been cleaned since god-knows-when and was covered in a film of gray dust.
The Vinegar-Water Solution
I mixed up the solution of vinegar and water in an old spray bottle and set out to do my cleaning. When I sprayed it onto the bathroom mirror, I became alarmed—the solution immediately beaded up into large droplets all over the surface. Even after I tried to wipe it away, the large droplets remained, and I was afraid that it was going to smudge the glass. However, with a couple more swipes of my paper towels, the solution evaporated, leaving the mirror spic and span.
The vinegar-water solution performed similarly on the dust-covered bedroom mirror. When I sprayed it on and began to wipe it away, the solution beaded up into large, ominous droplets all over the mirror, and I again wondered if it was going to smudge. But after wiping it a bit more, the water droplets evaporated, and the mirror was clean and dust-free.
I will admit that the cleaning tests of the vinegar-water solution were pretty easy; our bathroom mirror wasn’t all that dirty to begin with, and the bedroom mirror really just needed a good dusting. I would be interested to see how the vinegar-water solution held up to more daunting cleaning tasks, such as a dirty car window, or the outside of our bedroom windows (which are absolutely filthy).
The Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Window Spray
I have to admit, while I was attracted to the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Window Spray because it claims to use “naturally, occurring, hard-working yet gentle cleaning agents” (and has a pretty good rating on National Geographic’s Green Guide to back it up), I really just bought it because of the bottle’s chic aesthetic and retro lettering. So sue me—I’m a sucker for good design.
I sprayed the Mrs. Meyer’s spray on the bottom half of the bathroom mirror and found that, while the solution beaded up, it almost immediately evaporated after just a couple swipes of my paper towels. The spray took a little less elbow grease than the vinegar-water solution, but they both left the mirror equally clean. I will say that the lemon-verbena scent was very refreshing and made the bathroom smell lovely.
The Mrs. Meyer’s spray did an equally good job of cleaning the bedroom mirror, vanquishing the dust with very little scrubbing, and leaving my bedroom smelling fresh and lemony-y.
As with the vinegar-water solution, I would be interested to see if the Mrs. Meyer’s spray held up against a dirtier window. But that’s a subject for another post.
The bottom line: a solution of equal parts vinegar to water makes a fine and economical cleaning solution for windows and glass—just don’t be afraid when it seems like the solution won’t evaporate when you first begin to wipe it off. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Window Spray is also a fine cleaning product for windows and glass, but it costs substantially more ($4.99 according to the Web site) and delivers the same results. Still, if you can afford it, and if the packaging and scent of your cleaning products is especially important to you, then knock yourself out.