The Case for Thieves vs. Windex

By Gloria Miller
Now that the holiday season is approaching, most of us are starting to focus on the tradition of getting our homes “sparkling clean.” But what kind of products to use — or NOT to use, and why? I’d like to make the case for Thieves Household Cleaner (which, I admit, has an odd-sounding name), by contrasting it with a popular over-the-counter cleaner (with a most delightful-sounding name): Crystal Rain Windex™. (Aaahh. . . Lovely purple color, and the name makes us want to run barefoot through the dewdrops, right? Well, read on. . .)

Nobody would dream of spraying food with Windex, but they do spray various surfaces in their home with it — including sinks and countertops — which come in contact with food, and refrigerator door handles, which come in contact with skin.

Let’s take a few seconds to find out what they (and their family and pets) will be inhaling, and what kind of chemicals will be left behind on surfaces. There’s not much printed on the label, so I visited the website for a closer look, then checked out the ingredients on Wikipedia.

Here are some of the ingredients in Crystal Rain Windex, what the maker has to say about them, and what they really are.

The Windex website lists 2-Methoxyethanol (also called Ethylene glycol monomethyl ether) and describes it as “a cleaning agent that removes dirt and soils.” Just what we want, right?

2-Methoxyethanol is toxic to the bone marrow and testicles. Workers exposed to high levels are at risk for granulocytopenia (reduction in certain types of white blood cells), macrocytic anemia (abnormally large red corpuscles usually caused by B-12 deficiency), oligospermia (shortage of sperm), and azoospermia (absence of sperm). Uh-oh. . .

The Windex website lists Ethanolamine, described as “a cleaning agent that removes dirt and soils.” Again, this sounds good. Ethanolamine is a toxic, flammable, corrosive, colorless, viscous liquid with an odor similar to that of ammonia. It is an iritant to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. Overexposure causes lethargy. What!? . . . No wonder people get tired when they clean all day with Windex. Ouch! And P.U.!

Ethoxylated alcohol, another ingredient, is listed on the Windex website as “a cleaning agent that removes dirt and deposits.” O – o – okaaay. . .

Ethoxylated alcohol has been controversial because of its widespread use and the toxicity to aquatic life after it’s degradation. (Is this what the maker means by “green???”) By the way, some ethoxylated alcohols are called PEGs, or polyethylene glycols. Ever heard of them? PEGs are a class of useful compounds of molecular weights ranging from 190 to 9000 atomic mass units that vary in texture from viscous liquids to waxy solids. The Merck Index says PEGS can be considered as being of “low toxicity.” (Regarding toxicity, “no” is better than “low” and Thieves Household Cleaner has “no toxicity.”)

Anyhow, PEGs are found in all kinds of over-the-counter products from garage floor cleaners, cosmetics, and eye drops, to paints, paper coatings, commercial foods and food products. Wikipedia says “PEGs are nephrotoxic (damaging to the kidneys) if applied to damaged skin. (Is that what they mean by “low toxicity?) Pesonally, I’d rather protect my kidneys than put them at risk for the sake of a shiny countertop.

Now for the mystery ingredient, Polyquart® Ampho 149, also said to be “a cleaning agent that removes dirt and soils.” The name tells you it is a synthetic substance that does not exist in nature with which our bodies were not designed to easily metabolize and eliminate. Polyquart® Ampho 149 is a registered trademark of Cognis GmbH, which is the same as saying, “No way will we tell you what’s in it.” Hmmm. . .I wonder why. . .

No place does it say whether these chemicals in combination might be even more dangerous. The company isn’t required to test them that way, so they don’t — or if they did, they aren’t telling us the outcome. (Call me a worry-wart, but I’m willing to bet mixing them together doesn’t make them any less toxic.)

There are a few other ingredients, including artificial colors. I didn’t check them out because I believe the above would be enough to convince ANYONE to switch to Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner. (Oh, and water, which you can get by turning on a faucet.)

But if someone still needs more convincing, consider this: Crystal Rain Windex costs about $3.00 per quart.

Thieves Household Cleaner, mixed to “Medium Degreasing” concentration, costs about thirty cents a quart. It comes highly concentrated, so you add your own water.

Thieves Household Cleaner is totally non-toxic — so safe that a small child could drink it right out of the bottle and not be harmed. Full-strength, it will clean burned-on gunk off the bottom of an oven. To clean glass, just dilute it further with some white vinegar, which makes it even more of a bargain.

But even if someone doesn’t care about paying ten times more for Windex, why would they pay a company any amount on toxins? How “clean” will their house be, with a film of toxins on every surface?

Thieves Household Cleaner is antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal (great for destroying mold and mildew in tiled surfaces!) It’s even antiviral. It contains 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils of Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary, but NO harmful chemicals. So besides everything being sanitary AND safe, your house will smell wonderful.

Breathing Thieves cleaner is pleasant and boosts your health. The makers of Windex can’t claim that.I count it an added bonus when, after cleaning all day with Thieves cleaner, my hands feel better than when I started! And, oddly enough, the water I used will be dirty, but the rag or sponge is fairly clean. (Go figure!)

If you haven’t already, I hope you will “make the switch” to Thieves Household Cleaner. Do it for health’s sake AND for your budget. It comes in a 14.4 ounce size (YL item #3743), but if you want to save even more money, get the two quart size (YL item #4475).

Reprinted from The Raindrop Messenger, a free eline newsletter, with permission from Dr. David Stewart. To subscribe or download back issues, visit
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Sharing experiences with essential oils is an effective way of learning to utilize these powerful gifts from Nature.  With this knowledge we can take control of our personal health. However, we are required by law in the USA to state, “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”.

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