Store-bought glass cleaner is a handy tool in any house. It can be used to clean all sorts of surfaces – from windows and mirrors to sinks and many plastic appliances. Glass cleaners are also great for de-greasing plastic and glass surfaces quickly and effectively. That being said, most of these cleaners contain ammonia and can’t be used to clean everything around your house. In fact, the ingredients in these cleaning solutions can cause lasting damage on some surfaces. Check out the cleaning tasks you shouldn’t use a glass cleaner for.
1. Laptop, Phone, and TV Screens
The chemicals in most glass cleaners can distort plastics over time, including the tint on the flat panel screen of modern TVs. Yes, you might get the screens of your TVs, laptops, and smartphones to shine temporarily after using a glass cleaner on them, but the ingredients in these liquids are too aggressive and can damage their delicate surface.
We suggest you use a microfiber cloth with a little diluted vinegar to clean these screens. It will not just give them a shiny look but will also be safer. Remember to use a gentle touch and not press too hard when you are cleaning these screens as you might end up damaging them accidentally.
It would also be a good idea to use disinfecting wipes or liquids to sanitize your TV, laptop, and phone screens right now. The COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay for a while and it would be prudent to disinfect these devices to keep germs at bay.
2. Wooden Furniture
The wooden furniture in your house does require regular cleaning. However, that doesn’t mean that you should use your glass cleaner spray on them just because it's convenient. As we mentioned, most glass cleaners contain ammonia which can damage wooden surfaces if used frequently on them. Moreover, you risk leaving ugly stains or damaging the polish of your wooden furniture with this cleaning solution.
Remember that wood isn’t like any other plastic item in your house; it’s a natural material that can dry out and crack, just like our skin. So if you want to clean any wooden surfaces, get good furniture polish or wipes. Look for the ones that have food-grade mineral oil and natural waxes to keep wood moist and protected.
Never mix bleach with glass cleaner or any ammonia-based cleaning agents for cleaning purposes. Since bleach is known to be a robust cleaning agent and does a fantastic job of killing germs, some people might assume that mixing it with glass cleaner would make the latter more effective. However, when bleach comes into contact with the ammonia in the glass cleaners, it produces a toxic gas called chloramines. The toxic fumes of chloramines can be harmful to you and can even cause shortness of breath and chest pain. So, never mix these two cleaning agents.
4. Granite or Marble Kitchen Countertops
Kitchen countertops can get dirty and greasy quite quickly and need to be cleaned regularly. You might be tempted to use a glass cleaner for getting rid of the oil splatters, tough stains, food particles, and other grime from your kitchen countertop. But do note that if you have a granite or marble kitchen top, a glass cleaner can be harmful to them. The ingredients of the glass cleaner can prove to be a little too aggressive for the porous types of stone like granite and marble and can dull their surfaces or even cause permanent stains.
Instead, get a natural cleaner made specifically for stone. It will effectively clean your marble or granite countertop and ensure there’s no staining.
5. Carpet Stains
If you notice an ugly stain on your carpet, don’t panic and immediately grab the glass cleaner bottle to remove it. Many glass cleaner formulations have too high of a pH level, which can set permanent stains or harm the fabric of your fragile carpet. The blue dye added to most glass cleaners can also easily leave a stain on a light-colored carpet. And once the blue color sets in on the carpet, even a heat transfer dye removal process won’t be able to remove it.
To get rid of carpet stains, opt for mild cleaning agents. A formula that can work is mixing 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 1 tbsp. of dish soap along with water and spraying it on the affected area. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes and then wipe it with a clean, dry towel.
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