Going Green with Glass Cleaner

When you are use to living a certain way your entire life, it is a little scary to change. For example, I was raised using a particular types of cleaning products. For my windows, my mother always used Windex. So when I came to a point in my life where I was in charge of my own housecleaning, I of course followed suit and started using Windex. Several years later, the Go Green campaign started with a lot of big name companies, and so I decided that I was going to make the attempt to jump on the bandwagon and try some “Green” products. Seventh Generation Natural Glass Cleaner is one of the first changes that I made- since I don’t have much glass in my house to clean.

AVAILABILITY

Windex is literally a household brand, and I can find it usually at any local supermarket or department store. I also find small bottles of it at gas stations and hardware stores as well. It is fair to say that it is a product that is widely available online and retail outlets, and it is well recognized.

As I began the hunt for a natural glass-cleaner a friend had suggested Seventh Generation. I saw this product line in my travels a few times, mostly when I was walking around trendy granola places where you can buy essential oils and incense. However, over the past few years, more retailers are picking up the brand to sell in their stores in order to keep up with the green movement. I was able to find the company’s website easily, but many of their products you can’t purchase from the company itself- it just directs you to the closest or cheapest outlet that you can purchase it from. Seventh Generation does have a product catalog, which is great for industry usage. This glass cleaner isn’t as widely available as other products, so you have to actually hunt for it or find a store you frequent to purchase it.

COST

Okay, so going green ends up costing you money. I truly waited until my last beloved bottle of Windex was gone before I went to the Seventh Generation website to order this “new” product. So, a 32 oz spray bottle of Windex runs me about two dollars at the local department store. A bottle will last me almost a year honestly. Shoot, I never even checked to see if there was an expiration date on it. Needless to say, it is a minor expense in my life, and I am okay with that.

Seventh Generation listed two retailers to purchase this product from. The first was $4.99 for the same size bottle as the Windex, and it looked like it was a smaller mom-and-pop kind of retailer. The second listing was a well-known retailer and it was $2.99. So, the cost of Seventh Generation could be double or at least a dollar more…plus shipping. If I wasn’t on a budget, this wouldn’t be a big deal. For glass-cleaner I was willing to pay the extra dollar, because I know that one bottle lasts me a long time.

ODOR

Just the smell of ammonia alone won’t trip a person into saying “glass-cleaner” but more often than not they call it by the brand name “Windex.” Windex has it’s own particular scent it seems, and it is easy to pick out. It smells fresh, but the smell can be overwhelming in a small area like a bathroom.

Seventh Generation definitely does not have that smell. It smells clean- but really doesn’t have a particular scent. It is a plant based formula- so there really isn’t an odor to it. Also, it is clear- and doesn’t have that classic Windex blue tone to it. I used Seventh Generation in the bathroom, and even though it didn’t have that really clean smell I was use to, it didn’t suffocate me with fumes either.

SAFETY

I have children, so having safe products in the house is important to me. Especially because my six-year old loves to play scientist and mix things together. Windex is a harsh ammonia, and it states very clearly the dangers if it gets in your eyes, on your skin, inhaled, ingested and the like. If mixed with bleach it can create a toxicity that I have to constantly be careful of when I am cleaning with other chemicals in the same area.

Seventh Generation products are known to be safer to the environment, and therefore they don’t have nearly as many dangerous chemicals in their products. Which means, it is safer for humans as well. Their ingredient list is much smaller than Windex, and because it isn’t made with such harsh chemicals, it doesn’t interact with other products as its counterpart.

EFFECTIVENESS

This is the part that most people are curious about…does a natural cleaning product work as well as a its “regular” competitor? The answer is yes. And I am not the only one to agree. Although only 7 people reviewed Seventh Generation, six of those reviews were five stars. On the Windex website, there is a 75% likability rate, which is about three stars.

Honestly, I had to put my bias away when trying this product. I didn’t compare them side-by-side, but I have used Windex all of my life. So, I just figured it would work better. Seventh Generation didn’t necessarily “stick” to the window as Windex does (it was a little runnier) but it truly was streak free. Honestly, if I did a blind test, I would say that they were pretty much the same thing. I do think that Windex is a little tougher on hard spots- but when it comes to cleaning just a regular window, the two worked just about the same.

Overall, I think paying the extra dollar was worth it in the long-run. I just felt better about making a small change and buying the Seventh Generation products. I became a green warrior via glass-cleaner. Honestly, it was a bit more of a hassle to find, and a little more expensive. But the smell, safety and effectiveness pretty much made up for it overall. Since then, I have switched a few of my products over to Seventh Generation- and even converted my mother who was thought to be a Windex-user for life.