Natural Cleaning

Review:: Method Glass + Surface Cleaner

Dirty windows and mirrors are like the static on the radio: you don’t realize how awful it is until it’s gone! Windows have always been one of those things I never have enough time to clean and tend to ignore, but once they’re clean you wonder how you looked past the filth for so long.

I haven’t used many glass cleaners and don’t have one in our house. For the most part, a little water and scrubbing remove the baby fingerprints from windows and toothpaste splatters from mirrors.

While I wasn’t sure what to expect from Method’s Glass + Surface Cleaner, we’ve reviewed many of their products before and love what they stand for.  So I was ready to be convinced that I needed this product in my cleaning caddy!

Who is the Method Company?

Childhood friends and eventual roommates Adam and Eric were two of the trailblazers in the eco-friendly cleaning market. After being exposed to the toxic ingredients in the cleaning products, the two friends had the brilliant idea to create cleaning products you didn’t want to hide on under your sink. And so, Method was born.

Instead of using “dirty”—as they coined them–cleaning ingredients, Adam and Eric turned to plant-based solvents and surfactants that work just like conventional cleaners.

From humble beginnings in 2000, Method is now a nationally and internationally-known brand. Advertising their eco-friendly practices and ingredients through wit and trendy designs, Method has built an influential reputation and is a leading brand in the natural cleaning market.

I absolutely love this company and was genuinely excited to try this product!

How does it look?

The bottle is a nice size, clearly displaying the attractive blue cleaner inside. The labels are witty, descriptive, and draw you in to read the rest of the Method story. Going beyond simply cleaning glass, the cleaner also promises to work on counters, tile, granite, and mirrors.

Unfortunately, all the positive first impressions were downgraded by the unappealing fragrance.

The cleaner is only sold in a mint fragrance, and to be perfectly honest, it smells like a bottle of cheap mouthwash.  I would much prefer a fragrance free option.  If you want to smell mint, chew some gum.  I want to clean my windows here!

Thankfully, the scent is not overpowering when sprayed, so I barely noticed it while cleaning.

How well does it clean?

Not having a paradigm for how well glass cleaner is supposed to clean, I tested almost every surface the cleaner recommended with an open mind.

Glass tabletop

The most offensive glass surface in my house it the dinner table. My two little ones leave behind quite a meal aftermath. I’ll be honest, the table doesn’t get wiped the way it should when the next mealtime rolls around in a few hours. Dozens of tiny fingerprints, crumb cling-ons, and streaks of last night’s Alfredo sauce were a tough battle for the glass cleaner.

I usually clean my table with a wet scrubbing washcloth and polish away the water with a dry towel. It’s quick, easy, and doesn’t leave my heart broken when the next mess spills across the sparkling surface.

I decided to forego this “pre-treatment” to see if Method’s cleaner could be a life-changing all-in-one cleaner. I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t work. However, that meant I had to wipe and dry my table before I could even use the glass cleaner. The table already looked clean before the first spritz of cleaner fell. While the cleaner did give it an extra shine, as a busy mom I wouldn’t dig around for my rubber gloves and spend the extra five minutes on the table. If I did, I might actually cry over the spilt milk.

Very nice results, but I’ll save the special treatment for when company comes over.

Windows and Mirrors

Next, I tried a variety of window surfaces. My sweet children leave behind lots of fingerprints to test the strength of this cleaner. It was hard to document before and after, but take my word for it: Method’s cleaner worked like a charm! Much better than plain water on a washcloth, and was gloriously streak-free!

My only criticism is it doesn’t work as well on the outside of windows. Whether it was extra dirt or the below-freezing temperatures, I had to spend extra time wiping and re-wiping the outside windows. But once both sides were complete, I was very satisfied with the results!

I moved on to the bathroom and was very impressed with the results on the mirror. I had forgotten how nice a properly-cleaned mirror looked! Just a few wipes and the mirror was streak-free and sparkling!

Tile floor

My current nemesis is the white tile in the kitchen, and I have yet to find an easy go-to cleaning process. I crossed my fingers that this product was the answer!

In the pictures, brownie streaks and other mysterious food smudges are very obvious on my white floor. Unfortunately, I encountered the same problem I faced with the dinner table: the cleaner only worked once the food had been wiped up.

While the cleaner left the tile shiny and residue-free, the final results were not amazing. I achieve exact results using only water.

Overall, Method’s glass cleaner does what it says it will: remove dirt, dust, and pesky handprints. But it doesn’t do more than that.

What’s in it?

So what’s in the formula that creates this extra shine?

I appreciate that Method is transparent with their ingredients – this alone sets them apart from most of their peers.

The main cleaning agents in this formula are Sodium Carbonate, Decyl Glucoside and Caprylyl Glucoside.  Sodium Carbonate is commonly referred to as Washing Soda or Soda Ash.  It’s a disinfectant that is great for cutting through dirt and grease.   Both Decyl Glucoside and Caprylyl Glucoside are gentle nonionic surfactants.  Sodium Carbonate can irritate if it comes into contact with the skin, so I would wear gloves when using this product.

Ethanol has been added as a solvent and preservative, and again, this ingredient can dry or irritate your skin.  An added bonus is this is a great disinfectant that evaporates fast too.  You tend to see alcohols of some sort in spray cleaners.

Potassium Hydroxide is likely there to adjust the ph to safe levels.

So far so good.  These are all biodegradable, plant-derived ingredients that are relatively gentle on your skin (just remember to wear gloves…)

In fact, the only real concerns in this formula are the fragrances.

The formula contains a generically named Fragrance.  While we don’t know what fragrances the company has used, we do now that fragrances are a very common cause of contact dermatitis.  In addition to the threat of contact dermatitis, fragrances are volatile ingredients.  They remain in the air after cleaning has ended – therefore causing potential exposure to anyone entering your kitchen shortly after.  They can cause asthma type symptoms, trigger an asthma attack and studies have shown that they can long-term damage.

Finally, Method also lists two colorants’ amongst the ingredients.   Polymeric Pink and Polymeric Blue are the colorants used to create the icy blue hue.

I couldn’t help but disappointed to see the colorants and fragrances added to this otherwise excellent formulation.

Would you recommend it?

If you’re not sensitive to fragrances and are looking for a gentle but relatively effective glass cleaner then, yes, I heartily recommend this product.

Just remember to wear gloves before using this product, and give the glass a pre-clean before applying this cleaner.  It’s much more effective if you use it like that.

Originally published at Safe Household Cleaning.

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