With spring on the horizon, it’s time to wipe away the gloomy winter streaks on the window panes and let the beautiful sunshine in.
What better way to get the job done than with a great, effective, all-natural glass cleaner?
Bean & Lily’s Glass Cleaner promises a powerful clean through pH-neutral ingredients to leave your windows sparkling. Let’s get started!
Who is Bean & Lily?
Co-Founders Katy Minner and Richie Barbour met through their sales careers in flooring. With over 30 years of combined experience, Minner and Barbour joined forces to create Bean & Lily and focus on offering products that were pH-neutral.
Most conventional cleaners use highly acidic or basic solutions to break down contaminants. But these elements are harsh and dangerous to humans, pets, the environment, and corrode and damage surfaces over time.
Instead, Bean & Lily offers pH neutral products that let the natural cleaners do the work. All their products have a pH range of 6-8, right around the pH of pure water (7). This means their products are safe for all surfaces—including your hands!
This is a company who have thought about the inherent issues with today’s cleaning industry. They are so proud of their ingredients, they aren’t afraid to disclose what goes in their products, setting apart from the majority of their peers.
This is a company we have encountered before, and I hope this won’t be the last time. I was excited to get this product in the mail!
What are your first impressions?
Bean & Lily’s Glass Cleaner comes in a very appealing 24-ounce bottle. The label is crisp and attractive with a color scheme that itself promises a bright, clean finish.
Unlike some of the other glass cleaners we’ve reviewed that can be used on several surfaces, this is a cleaner specifically for glass, making it less versatile.
Due to my sensitivities, I normally try to buy unscented products to avoid fragrances. But this glass cleaner only comes in a Lemongrass Green Tea scent. This is not a typical scent for cleaning products, but I was pleasantly surprised with the refreshing combination of fragrances.
Also, the scent was only present when the product was airborne and vanished after wiping. But more on that later!
The pretty bottle beckoned me to get cleaning! Here we go.
Looks good… but how well does it clean?
I had a few different tests for this cleaner and was excited to get started.
The directions say to spray and wipe with a lint-free cloth or brown paper towel. I used my regular lint-free cleaning towels, but still had some fuzzies left behind if not enough cleaner was used. This meant I had to spray ample amounts of cleaner, which felt somewhat wasteful.
The winter days have been long and my children have enjoyed doodling away their boredom with window markers. These usually wipe away easily with a wet wipe, but the cold temperatures caused the colorful streaks to hang around for some extra scrubbing.
The cleaner cut through most of the marker easily but needed an occasional re-wiping. However, the final result was a gloriously crystal-clear glass door! It was a pleasure to look through my back door again!
On to my infamous kitchen table! Always a challenge for glass cleaners, this time was no exception. Lots of sticky smudgy fingerprints and streaks covered the table.
Luckily, Bean & Lily’s Glass Cleaner dissolved and effortlessly wiped away almost all of the smudges on the first swipe. I did have to spray a second time on select stubborn areas, but I was pleasantly surprised at the overall effectiveness. In comparison to some of the other glass cleaners I’ve used on this messy table, this was one of the best!
Bay Window… inside and out!
My children love to press their cute faces and fingers against our front bay window to peer at the neighbors and never-ending stream of cars on our street. Needless to say, my front windows get messy in a hurry and I’m not in a hurry to clean them.
The smudges wiped away easily and left behind a truly crystal-clear shine. Now that the weather was finally warm enough, I was excited to test the glass cleaner on the outside of bay windows.
It was significantly harder to wipe away the natural elements on the outside of the windows. I had to spray and wipe several times. If I had been doing a larger section of the window I would need several towels because the extra outdoor residue building up on the towel caused some streaking. However, once it was all done, the windows were so clean they were almost blinding!
It’s a great cleaner… but what’s in it?
I was very impressed with this glass cleaner. It was a contender for my favorite glass cleaner so far. But we have to look at the ingredients.
Bean & Lily knows the cleaning industry conceals the dangerous ingredients in their products by remaining vague and making information difficult to find. Bean & Lily fights against this practice by giving full disclosure on all the ingredients in their products.
Their website is very helpful and user-friendly: simply click on the ingredient listed for a short explanation of the ingredient and its purpose. The glass cleaner has several ingredients that sound intimidating, but their informative website quickly puts your mind to ease:
- Sodium Propionate
- Caprylyl/Myristyl Glucoside
- Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine
- Sodium Citrate
- Natural Fragrance
I’d never seen the first two ingredients before until I started reviewing Bean & Lily products. They are both seemingly favorites with this brand. Polyquaternium-95 is a biodegradable modified starch that prevents streaking during the drying process for a spotless finish. It’s partially derived from petrochemicals, and we don’t know too much about it other than that.
Sodium Propionate, on the other hand, is much better known. This is added to prevent mold growth in the product and is a food grade perservative.
Caprylyl and Myristyl Glucoside are plant-derived gentle surfactants. It is readily biodegradable, aids with penetrating and detergency for a better clean, and prevents streaking or filming for a polished finish.
Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine is another plant-derived gentle surfactant from coconut oil added for its foaming capabilities. With sloppy manufacturing, this element can contain 1,4-Dioxane, a known carcinogen that is hidden in conventional cleaners. Thankfully, Bean & Lily’s manufacturer guarantees this ingredient is free from 1,4-Dioxane.
Sodium Citrate is the sodium salt of citric acid used as a pH buffer and binding agent.
Not only has Bean & Lily done their due diligence to research and choose safe ingredients, they also inform and educate their customers on these ingredients and their use.
With all this intentionality, it is very puzzling that Bean & Lily lists Natural Fragrance. On their website, it states their natural fragrance is “A blend of natural essential oils and natural isolates or aroma molecules. These are all phthalate free and free of any Proposition 65 chemicals.”
Fragrances—even essential oils, natural isolates, or aroma molecules—are problematic for those with sensitivities to scents. They are volatile compounds that can cause contact dermatitis, respiratory effects, and asthmatic symptoms in some people.
Bean & Lily’s Glass Cleaner checks so many boxes, but this is one they missed big time.
Would you recommend this product?
Despite the disappointing misstep with the fragrance, this product is excellent. It cleans well and leaves a beautiful, crystal-clean shine unlike the other glass cleaners I’ve reviewed. And I was able to achieve such glorious windows without too much work on my part!
While the cleaner does smell nice—and isn’t your typical scent, which is refreshing—Bean & Lily doesn’t disclose the fragrance blend.
But fragrance aside, Bean & Lily does a great job with picking high-quality, naturally-derived ingredients that clean well. They also take a step above many companies by making their ingredient disclosure accessible and easy to understand to those of us who aren’t chemists.
All things considered, great job, Bean & Lily!
Originally published for Safe Household Cleaning.