Window cleaner removes grease stains

Miss Thrifty6 January 5, 2009

thrifty window cleaner

Funny About Money has hit upon a super-thrifty solution to getting grease stains out of laundry. She was wondering what to do about a seemingly indelible spot on a tablecloth, when she remembered an old household hint: that window cleaner lifts grease from carpets and furniture.

So Funny dabbed some rubbing alcohol (the key ingredient in commercial window cleaners) onto her tablecloth, let it sit for 20 minutes before putting it in the washing machine – and the tablecloth came out spotless! For further details, see her blog.

If you are already so frugal that you use homemade window cleaner or newspaper and vinegar, rather than commercial cleaners, take note: although rubbing alcohol is also known as surgical spirit in the UK, they aren’t the same thing. (US rubbing alcohol = ethyl alcohol; UK surgical spirit = ethyl alcohol + methyl alcohol).

So I’d be cautious about trying this with surgical spirit; at the very least, I would test the stuff on an uncherished item beforehand. Alternatively, go to your local chemist (or the prescription section of Boots or Superdrug) and ask for isopropyl alcohol, which is the real deal.

Image credit: memotions.

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6 Responses to “Window cleaner removes grease stains

Thanks so much for the mention!

In the US, we can buy both ethyl and isopropyl alcohol in drugstores and supermarkets. I’ve never seen a combination of ethyl & methyl alcohol; during Prohibition, a number of folks died from drinking these products, and so methyl alcohol probably was taken off the market to protect us from ourselves. In any event, it’s important to remember that NONE of these should be used as a thrifty substitute for your favorite vodka! Isopropyl and methyl alcohol, especially, are poisonous.

Also, bear in mind that all three types of alcohol are flammable. Don’t smoke while working with them, and keep the stuff and its fumes away from open flame such as a candle or a pilot light on a stove or gas water heater.

That said…amazingly, it did work to get out grease stains that had resisted three launderings….

January 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Cathy Quik says:

Hey there Miss Thrifty,
I just thought I should say hello before jumping right into my first comment ever on you blog 🙂 (I just started my blog, so I’m new around blogland)

Anyway, hello!

So, I have this habit of twirling ball point pens around my finger when I’m thinking really hard. I do it without even really thinking about it. A couple weeks ago I was twirling it a whole bunch and it popped out of my fingers and landed on the screen of my laptop, gooing ink all over the screen…ick!!!

I scrubbed it a bit with soapy water, with no success. So, I asked google. It turns out TOOTHPASTE, toothpaste!?! will remove pen. It worked like a charm!


January 6, 2009 at 5:55 am

Jenny says:

I haven’t tried window cleaner, but Dawn dishwashing detergent works great on laundry stains also!

January 6, 2009 at 6:06 am

Saver Queen says:

Great tip – I am always on the look-out for alternatives to expensive cleaning solutions. Thanks!

January 6, 2009 at 10:20 pm

admin says:

Thanks everyone for these comments. Vodka and toothpaste – I love it!

– Miss T.

January 7, 2009 at 1:27 am

lynsey mcintyre says:

HI there, I have a top which I think the stain is a grease one? I have tried diluted bleach and soap powder rubbed on it and it still wont shift where will I get rubbing alcohol from? I am in Scotland UK thanks again

April 15, 2011 at 10:36 am

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