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I've gone on the record before as a serious penny-pincher. And the one thing I really hate is a product that's only good for one thing.
Of course it's thrifty to buy all-purpose cleaner (or make your own), or to buy products like wipes that are good for any surface.
So what do you do about a household staple like Windex that is really meant for... well, windows and only windows?
The truth is, Windex is actually useful for a lot of jobs around your home.
We know our readers like to avoid using chemical cleaners whenever possible. There's a clear, ammonia-free version of Windex that's great for clothes, fabrics, and other sensitive jobs.
Never spray Windex on electronics, because the caustic ingredients can damage them.
1. Bust grease stains
I always find it takes two or three passes with a scrubber sponge and quite a bit of effort to clean tough grease stains.
But since I started using Windex, my stovetop looks bright and shiny again.
Of course. Windex is formulated to break down tough grease, so kitchen stains are no problem.
Just be sure to rinse off any surfaces used for preparing food after spraying them with the blue stuff.
2. Clean patio furniture
It's not the first thing that comes to mind for outdoor cleaning, but Windex is perfect for shining up dingy patio furniture.
It cleans away water stains, food residue, and other marks that cling to your furniture after a long summer exposed to the elements.
3. Polishing crystal
Crystal is one of those unusual materials that most people have a little of in their home.
Whether it's a figurine, artwork, or heirloom dishes, you want a cleaner that will shine your crystal without damaging it.
Windex is just the thing. Wipe it on with a damp cloth and your crystal will look good as new.
4. Shine patent leather
Treating all the different kinds of leather in your closet can be a little confusing, especially when it comes to patent leather.
But Windex gives this material a great shine without damaging your favorite jacket or pair of shoes.
For best results, use a soft, microfiber cloth to wipe the Windex on, which will avoid scratching your clothes.
5. Stainless steel appliance
Fingerprints on my stainless steel fridge. They drive me crazy just thinking about them.
I've tried a lot of products to keep stainless steel shiny, but Windex is by far the best.
It works on other appliances too, including your stainless steel stove.
Don't forget to wipe down the handles or any other surfaces you touch using a damp cloth afterwards.
6. Clean microfiber furniture
I got one of those nifty little fabric-cleaning handheld brushes for Christmas, but have not used it even once.
My dining room chairs and my sofa are both covered with microfiber fabric, and it's easy enough to clean with just Windex.
I spray the fabric lightly, then wipe it down with a clean microfiber cloth.
The same trick works for upholstered car seats. You can even take stains out of clothes with Windex.
Just make sure you don't use too much, and brush in one direction to keep the fabric looking neat.
7. Remove a stuck-on ring
Google "how to remove a ring" and you'll see all sorts of crazy suggestions.
Popular methods include yanking the jewelry off with dental floss, freezing your finger, or pinching it.
But with a squirt of Windex, the ring will just wriggle off your finger.
Now that it's off, you can also soak jewelry in Windex to keep it clean.
Let your pieces sit in the liquid for about 15 minutes, then scrub away any marks with a soft brush.
Don't try this with costume or plate jewelry. Porous stones like pearls, emeralds, and turquoise can also be damaged by this method.
8. Clean a dry-erase board
I use a handy whiteboard to plan out my family's weekly meals. While it keeps me organized, it's a pain to clean off the markers once your eraser gets dirty.
You can actually spray on a little Windex and simply wipe the board clean. Just use a separate microfiber cloth that you don't mind getting marker on.
9. Unstick a zipper
Windex is so great for fixing an annoying, jammed zipper.
The bubbly spray lubricates the zipper, but also breaks down the sticky, caked-on material that blocked it in the first place.
10. Remove dried-in carpet stains
Didn't I tell you Windex is a great stain-buster? Not just for your clothes, but anywhere.
Spray a little Windex on a carpet stain and it will start to break down.
Next, put a towel over the stain and run a hot iron over that towel.
The stain will magically lift out of the carpet. Try a few separate treatments for your really tough stains.
11. Take the sting out of bug bites
Does it sound crazy to dab Windex on your mosquito bites? What do you think itch-relieving products are made of?
They're almost all ammonia-based, just like Windex.
When you don't have itch-relief products handy, dip a Q-tip in Windex and rub it directly on the mosquito bite.
Do you have a favorite cleaning trick that uses Windex?