In this article, you would be enlightened about glass cleaners— its types, uses, formulation ingredients, and pH.
The world is full of dirt, dirt no one or thing can escape, even your glass.
If you run a store that has a show-glass facing the street for passers-by to view your products, you would understand what I mean.
Even if you don’t have glass windows, furniture or doors in your home, what about your car windshield, rearview mirrors, door mirrors, and we can go on and on. Glass is everywhere!
Glass Cleaners Types, Homemade Recipe, And How-To Use
One way or the other everyone deals with glass and this comes with a need to clean them frequently, to make them look presentable. Although you might know what glass cleaners are, some don’t!
What Are Glass Cleaners?
Glass cleaners are some of the products that can be used in the household or commercial space for cleaning. They are used in washing glasses.
They usually come as spray and wipe type of cleaners which are made from the mixture of water, detergent, solvents, and other additives. They come in different types which can be used for various cleaning purposes.
This means that, if you want to take off grease properly from your glass window, door, or show glass you will need to get a glass cleaner made specifically for this purpose. The same goes for paint, dried soap foam, etc.
Importance of Glass Cleaners
With everything said in this article, the great importance of glass cleaners can’t be ignored. Here are some importance glass cleaners play in your household or place of work:
- Helps in the penetration of natural light, which would otherwise be minimal with dirty glass windows
- With more natural light, you get to enjoy enough Vitamin D and a brighter room
- Glass cleaners are essential in making your glass surfaces last for a long period as they contain chemicals that destroy environmental contaminants such as oxidation, acid, and hard water which usually weaken the glass.
- Glass cleaners most importantly make the appearance of your glass surfaces pleasant to the sight.
Types of Glass Cleaners
You can’t just use any glass cleaner you find in the market for your glass surface, you have to know the types of glass cleaners for different surfaces.
There are about 8 types of glass cleaners that can be effective in the cleaning of various surfaces.
Ammonia-based Glass Cleaner: This type of glass cleaner has a basic content of ammonia. It is no news that ammonia is efficient in the removal of grime, grease, and animal fat.
But this type of cleaner isn’t suitable for all glass surfaces. For example, they shouldn’t be used on car windshields and windows, as they emit an unpleasant odor, which can make the inside of your car unpleasant.
Moreover, ammonia can cause damage to your health.
Non-Ammonia-based Glass Cleaners: This type of glass cleaner can be used to clean surfaces not suitable for ammonia, surfaces such as those that have been tinted or coated. Ammonia causes coated glass to peel or scratch.
So, this glass cleaner is suitable for your car windshield and windows, a good alternative, right?
IPA-based Glass Cleaners: This type of glass cleaner is made basically from isopropyl alcohol.
It is revered for its ability to dry quickly, leaving no residue or streak, this is because it is water-soluble. It should be noted that this type of glass cleaner is highly inflammable too, so, you should take caution while using it.
Cleaning Agent-Based Liquid: This type of glass cleaner boasts of being the cheapest. It is composed of a mixture of emulsifiers, surfactants, and a carrier. They are water-based and can leave residues on your glass.
Foam Glass Cleaner: This type of glass cleaner is efficient in cleaning glass surfaces that have corners that aren’t easily reachable, as it is composed of foam. It usually comes in a pressurized container.
When wiping this glass cleaner off, you have to use a microfiber cloth or risk streak marks on your glass.
Paste Glass Cleaners: This type of glass cleaner is made up of a solvent and a carrier and they come in the form of a paste. The complaints about them are that they dry too quickly and cause post-washing dust accumulation of on your glass.
To use them, you have to be able to clean fast.
Glass Cleaning Wipes: This is the most convenient glass cleaner. It comes in the form of wipes that are contained in packets. You can also carry them everywhere.
Traffic Film Remover: Traffic film is a thin layer of dirt, grime, oil, and grease that accumulates on the surface of car windshields and windows over time.
Traffic film remover is a type of glass cleaner which is efficient for the removal of these type of stains. It consists of phosphate, silicates, surfactants, and chelating agents and comes in two types. Caustic and Non-caustic, which serve different purposes, the former is not suitable for glass surfaces, while the latter is.
Also, if you are the type that believes so much in saving costs, then you can make your glass cleaner from alcohol, white vinegar, cornstarch, essential oils, baking soda, liquid dishwasher, etc.
This brings us to the ingredients which you can use in making your home-made glass cleaners. This is also for the inquisitive types that want to know what went into the production of their commercial glass cleaner.
Ingredients Used in Making Glass Cleaners
Commercial Glass Cleaners: these are already-made glass cleaners with the most popular one being Windex.
They include ingredients such as:
- Ammonium hydroxide
- Lauryl dimethyl oxide
- Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate
- Fragrances, etc.
Best Homemade Glass Cleaner Recipes
For you that like to get things done by yourself, you can make home-made glass cleaners by following any of these recipes:
- Mix even portions of rubbing alcohol, white vinegar, and water in a bowl. After you’ve done this, you can distribute the mixture into spray bottles and begin work on your windows
- Put 2 cups of water in a bowl, 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 10 drops of essential oil.
- You can do the same with one-half cup of water, one-half cup of ethanol, and 1 tablespoon of vinegar.
- And also, two cups of water, one-quarter cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of cornstarch
- The last recipe on our list is the mixture of 2 cups of water, one-quarter cup of vinegar, one-quarter cup of ethanol, and one tablespoon of cornstarch.
You can begin your glass cleaner production with these recipes. These are some of the best homemade glass cleaners.
The most essential ingredients into which other ingredients are grouped are the solvents and the surfactants.
- Solvents are chemicals that are capable of attacking and destroying molecules of contaminants.
- Surfactants are chemicals that envelope and break the bonds of contaminants on glass surfaces.
You might also have concerns about the level of acidity or alkalinity of a regular glass cleaner since the words like “attack” and “destroy” has been used to define the functions they perform on contaminants.
Well, the average pH of glass cleaners is 10.0 – 12.0, this is due to the ammonia content in some such as the Windex brand. With this pH range, it means that the solution must be fairly strong, and contain possibly harmful alkaline, so, you might need to wear a hand glove and safety goggles while cleaning your glass.
You can also get glass cleaners with lower pH levels starting from 6.5 to 7.5.
How To Use Glass Cleaners
Another essence of this article is for you to know how to make use of glass cleaners in cleaning your home, to ensure that you practice proper usage, for your safety and also to achieve the best results.
The usage of glass cleaners vary according to their types, here are some usages of some types of glass cleaners.
- IPA-based Glass cleaner
Spray a generous amount on a microfiber towel and use it to wipe the glass surface. Wipe the surface until you are sure that it is clean then proceed to use another dry microfiber towel to dry to surface.
If streaks appear, repeat this process 2- 4 times.
- Cleaning agents Based Glass Cleaner
This involves the same procedure as IPA-based glass cleaners
- Foam Glass Cleaners
Spray the foam on the glass, leave for a while to soak then wipe off the surface with a microfiber towel until it is clean. Streaks or smears after cleaning can be removed by using a damp microfiber towel to wipe the surface again.
- Paste Glass Cleaners
Wipe off the dust on the glass surface, then proceed to apply the past with the pas provided in the package. Apply to the paste becomes less visible then wipe with a microfiber cloth.
It should be noted that it is essential that you read the labels these products come with as they are essential in their usage.
The essentiality of glass cleaners should not be ignored.
If you are the type that pays no attention to having clean glass surfaces, you have to start paying attention as the benefits of glass cleaning with glass cleaners are numerous as seen in this article. Using the usual rag and water isn’t enough.
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