Nothing is worse than wiping down your windows and mirrors and finding a streaky mess left behind. We are all in pursuit of a good window cleaner that leaves our glass surfaces radiant and streak-free. Window cleaners are a staple in every household to get rid of dust, dirt, and pesky fingerprints.
Unfortunately, when we find a conventional window cleaner that finally does the trick and leaves a streak-free finish, it’s actually leaving far-reaching health consequences that are invisible to the eye. Sometimes, the most harmful things are those we cannot even see.
Conventional window cleaners are chock-full of dangerous, industrial-level chemicals that are readily absorbed into our skin from toxic residues left behind on surfaces or inhaled through vapors in the air. As we clean, we cannot tell that we are slowly accumulating a buildup of chemicals in our body and lowering our indoor air quality.
Let’s look at the common chemicals you can avoid with a plant-based, natural alternative like Fawn Organics Window Cleaner.
Why is ammonia used in window cleaners in the first place? Ammonia is a noxious disinfectant—you’ll most likely know it by its sharp, pungent smell alone. In window cleaners, it works well as a cleaner or degreaser to provide a streak-free finish. However, it is a strong irritant to the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs, and it is known to damage eyesight. It even damages the mucous membrane and airways when breathed in, meaning it is especially irritating to those with asthma. Ammonia has even been linked to kidney and liver damage. If accidently mixed with chlorine bleach, it can create a poisonous gas that leads to seizures and worse. Not to mention, ammonia is toxic to aquatic life when it gets in waterways.
Butyl glycol, or 2-butoxyethanol, is a solvent commonly found in glass cleaners. It has almost no smell and you can be overexposed to it without even knowing. Its signature sweet smell is often masked by artificial fragrances. Butyl glycol can be absorbed through inhalation, but the skin can also absorb its vapors from the air. It has been linked to reduced fertility in men and women, anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and liver and kidney damage. When butyl glycol enters into the bloodstream in large amounts, it can cause red blood cells to collapse.
Propylene glycol is a chemical ingredient found in antifreeze. It is readily absorbed into the skin, which is why the EPA requires workers to wear rubber gloves when handling it. However, no such warnings are given to consumers who purchase window cleaners with this ingredient. Long-term exposure to propylene glycol can cause significant brain, liver, and kidney problems.
Ethanolamine (MEA, DEA, TEA)
Ethanolamine is a corrosive chemical often used as a “scrubber” in industrial products, but is also incredibly common in cosmetic products and cleaning products like window cleaner. It has a pungent ammonia-like smell. Ethanolamine can affect you when breathed in or absorbed through the skin. It can cause severe irritation to the skin, burning skin, or causing rashes. If it comes in contact with the eyes, it will irritate the eyes and possibly cause eyesight damage. Ethanolamine irritates the nose, throat, and lungs and can cause coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. It may cause liver and kidney damage, and high exposures may affect the nervous system. In addition, ethanolamine is currently being evaluated as a cancer hazard.
Parabens, Dyes, and Synthetic Fragrance
Parabens inhibit microbial growth and, as a result, are often used as a cheap preservative to extend shelf-life in cleaning products. Numerous studies have found parabens to mimic estrogen in the human body. What does this mean? By mimicking estrogen, parabens disrupt normal hormone function and trigger an imbalance that results in the growth of tumors. Once parabens penetrate the skin, they remain within the tissue and even increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, resulting in premature ageing. The long-term effects of parabens are still being studied as well as its link to breast cancer, but it’s safe to say that people should try to avoid paraben exposure if possible.
Similarly, dyes and synthetic fragrances contain a whole host of unknown toxic chemicals. Both dyes and synthetic fragrances are often unnecessary additions to cleaning products as they add no real cleaning power. Synthetic fragrances and dyes are often hidden under a “proprietary” blend of chemicals, usually tagged as “synthetic fragrance” on the label. This can lead to many unknown health effects, including skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, intense allergies, and disruption of hormones and reproductive capabilities.
Go Green, Clean, and Safe
Cleaning should never be a dangerous activity. With Fawn Organics Window Cleaner, you can achieve industrial-strength cleaning without the industrial chemicals, vapors, and residues.
Fawn Organics believes window cleaners do not need industrial-grade chemicals, parabens, dyes, artificial fragrances, and other harmful ingredients to be effective. Our plant-based formula guarantees safer and cleaner surfaces as it eliminates dirt, dust, and fingerprints from windows, mirrors, and glass surfaces. Our window cleaner is a safe, natural alternative for a brilliant streak-free shine.
Fawn Organics Window Cleaner will help you feel safe knowing you won’t be spraying chemicals all over your home. Our nontoxic formula is safe to use around your entire family.