Your own window cleaning solution

Has anyone ever considered making their own window cleaning solution?

Just finding out the major ingredients that goes into a typical dish deterent or designer brand, and buying the base products and mixing something themselves for their own use?


Great idea Mike, but usually those companies are buying in such bulk that it would cost us a lot more to make the same product.

I never thought it was worth the trouble. One gallon of Glass Gleam 3 will last me about 6-8 months (longer now since I use pure water wherever possible), for about $40. That’s like 5 bucks per month. Even if I could knock as much as 80% off of that, then I save about $4. It’s not worth it to me.

Bumblebee has his own concoction that he designed with the help of his pharmacist father I believe, he won’t/hasn’t divulged the formula.

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Is there anything special about his secret formula that you are aware of? Or is it just the allure of it being “secret”?

I guess it’s something that works on a chemistry level, something formulated that doesn’t have the unnecessary stuff in “regular” soaps.

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I am not sure if this qualifies, but I am using a solution of high alkaline water (11.5ph) with a touch of Ecover and a shot of isopropyl alcohol. This is working brilliantly. The key is to use only enough soap (the water itself is very wet and is slick to the touch) to give the squeegee glide, as water - even this basic - is still a tad dry for a squeegee blade to pass without chatter. I should mention that for larger plates of glass this isn’t an issue. My theory is that there is more water on the glass and that provides lubrication. There is a smaller amount of water on the glass with smaller windows, thus reducing the self-lubricating effect. I do use Wagtail PC’s, though, other squeegees may be more forgiving.

This performs several functions for me:

The first being that high alkaline water emulsifies oils and fats on contact. As most dirt is in fact oil and fat with particulate matter glommed onto it, this dissolves the medium that holds dust together. At least, that’s what my high school chemistry (what I remember of it) tells me. You can see this in the bucket. After some cleaning, the water doesn’t get dark, but stays clear with silt at the bottom of it.

The other benefit is detailing. With good squeegee technique, this very wet water transfers onto the scrim nicely, and since this produces immaculate windows with minimal residue the need for touch up is minimized. But when the solution dries, it comes off clean with a slightly damp rag, making touch up a breeze since I am not, in effect, pushing dried soapy grease across a window.

Another is the mop is kept clean. I have scrubbed very dirty windows and my white Ettore Porcupine mop was brown, after soaking in the 11.5 ph water, it is made white again with the silt falling to the bottom of the bucket. I do change water and mops regularly, but this is quite astonishing.

For WFP and windows that need mild prep, I spray the alkaline water direct onto the windows straight with no soap or alcohol, let it dwell for a couple of minutes and then scrub with a white pad. I then proceed to clean as usual with stunning results.

And, the water can be consumed (well, without the Ecover or alcohol!) because it is, well, water - so it is safe and super green. Try that with a chemical rich solution!

As I am still doing a lot of research with this, I don’t have photos yet, but I will start documenting my results as more work comes in.

I am also keenly interested how this works by soaking and wringing out a thick microfiber pad (the fluffy Unger pads) with the high alkaline water for inside cleaning and moving past the squeegee altogether.

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How do you get your water to be high alkaline?

I have an Enagic machine that can produce water, through electrolysis, ranging from 2.5 ph through 11.5 ph


It’s pretty effin cool!

In some localities where they have passed ordinances against the use of harsh chemicals and detergents some businesses - mostly the food service and hospitality industry - are using the high acid and high alkaline water as disinfecting and cleaning agents, respectively.

I am mostly interested in how the alkaline water can be used as a WFP pre-treatment for irregularly cleaned windows. This is really what I want to document. I have had some success with really dusty windows - the dirt just melts off the windows, making it easier for the WFP to get a perfect clean. This with no more than 30 to 40 seconds added to each window. The results haven’t been a total and unqualified success, however, the windows that I couldn’t get right had a good bit of post construction gorp on them. As I said, as more work comes in, I am going to do some experiments that demonstrate windows prepped with high alkaline water and those without. It’s fun to play with this stuff.

Who knows… it may be just as effective to use a bit of Ecover on a white doodlebug with a Reach-Around adapter. Will post definitive results in a couple of months.

The bucket solution is a clear winner, though. [U]That[/U] is an unqualified success!

Keep it comin’.

How much that machine cost?

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Big bucks, Goggle it.

The machine I have is about $4k.

I bought it for health reasons, and discovered other uses along the way.

Valid scientific reasons, I confirm.

[MENTION=1103]johnedwardlee[/MENTION] this could be cool with the indoor kit, eh?

The machines are expensive, but they are built to be medical devices, and are exquisitely engineered. For cleaning purposes, though, Enagic has a big plus - they don’t put a cap on how much water can be produced to stay within warranty limits. When viewed against this criteria, these machines begin to show their value. There are industrial electrolysis machines that begin at $10k plus. Home use electrolysis machines are usually cheaper, but can’t stand up to everyday use - thus the limit on how much water one can produce. Enagic machines have an average lifespan of 15 years.

Of course, one can get a plastic tub, a two gallon plastic pitcher with some natural sponge for a semi-permeable membrane. Grab a couple of butter knives from the kitchen and hook them up to a 6 volt battery. A utility knife and some table salt and you can make your own acid/alkaline water. Takes a few hours, and the yield is low, but it is effective and cheap.

You can buy alkaline water at water stores usually. 5 gallons in buckets could go a long way at around $.20 a gallon.