9 Surprising Things You Can Do with Windex

updated Nov 1, 2021
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Got smudges or smears on a window, mirror, or shower door? You already know a glass cleaner like Windex will do the trick. But did you know that your tried-and-true blue cleaner is good for far more than just wiping away grime from glass? The chemical nature of the cleaner also makes it an effective way to tackle plenty of other household chores, from the kitchen to your patio.

Here are nine of the most clever ways to use Windex in your home.

Credit: Cat Meschia

1. Cut through grease.

Greasy backsplashes or range hoods are no match for Windex, which is surprisingly effective at cutting through oil (without leaving streaks!). Simply spray the affected area until it’s visibly wet, let the Windex work its magic for around 10 minutes, and then wipe away. If you’re cleaning a food prep area, always give the surface a good wash with soap and water after you use chemicals, including Windex. 

2. Move big appliances.

Need to move your fridge, oven, or another large appliance? Liberally spray Windex on the floor in front of the appliance before you move it (assuming your floor is Windex-safe). It’ll not only slide out easier, but you’ll also prevent unsightly scuff marks in the process.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

3. Brighten up metal jewelry.

Store-bought jewelry cleaner isn’t the only way to restore sparkle to dull jewelry. You can also brighten metal and gemstone pieces by spraying them with Windex and then scrubbing with an old toothbrush and rinsing with water. Just don’t spray the stuff on delicate, non-metal jewelry, like pearls or opals.

4. Clean your toilet bowl.

Because of the chemicals in it, Windex can be an effective cleaner, even for extra-dirty (read: gross) surfaces like the inside of your toilet bowl. Try spritzing the inside of your toilet bowl with Windex. Let it sit for five or ten minutes, then scrub away with your toilet brush like you would with your usual toilet bowl cleaner.

5. Repel insects.

To keep bugs from sneaking into crevices in your window or door areas, we’ve heard that you can spray some Windex around the perimeter. However, it’s just a waste to use Windex to kill bugs that have already worked their way inside. (Here’s why.)

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Clean a dry erase board.

Sometimes, wiping with a regular eraser or cloth isn’t enough to remove build-up from dry erase markers. If that’s the case, spray some Windex directly on your whiteboard and use a microfiber cloth or paper towel to wipe away any marker residue.

7. Freshen up outdoor furniture. 

If you have aluminum, plastic, resin, or glass patio furniture that’s looking a bit grungy, spritz the surface with Windex, let it stand for five minutes, then wipe. Voila! Good as new.

8. Remove stains from clothing.

Food splatters get the best of you? For sturdy, non-delicate fabrics, try lightly spraying the stain with Windex, letting the garment sit for up to 20 minutes, then blotting with a clean cloth and rinsing with cool water. Finally, throw it in the wash. (Note: Only use clear window cleaners, since the blue formula can discolor fabric.)

Credit: Cat Meschia

9. Clean your floors.

If you have wood floors (or any surfaces that don’t respond well to ammonia cleaners), skip this one. If you have marble or granite floors, try diluting Windex in water and using in place of your regular floor cleaner. 

Got anything to add to this list? Leave your tips in the comments below.