Does Windex kill mold?

Does Windex kill mold?
Does Windex kill mold?

As homeowners, we often seek quick and accessible solutions to combat mold growth. One such product that can be found in almost every household cleaning cabinet is Windex. It’s widely known for its ability to clean glass and surfaces, but many wonder if this popular household cleaner can also tackle mold. Here we’ll explore the effectiveness of Windex in killing mold and whether it’s a suitable solution.

Topics Covered

  • What is Windex?
  • Does Windex Kill Mold?
  • The risks of using Windex on mold
  • Where should I not use Windex?
  • What does Windex kill and clean?
  • Conclusion

What is Windex?

Before diving into its mold-fighting capabilities, let’s understand what Windex is. Windex is a well-known glass and surface cleaner manufactured by SC Johnson. It typically contains a combination of water, cleaning agents, fragrance, and blue dye, making it a popular choice for streak-free shine on windows, mirrors, and other surfaces.

The active ingredients in Windex

To determine whether Windex can kill mold effectively, it’s crucial to examine its active ingredients. Most Windex products typically contains ammonia as the active ingredient, as well as a combination of other cleaning agents. Ammonia is known for its ability to dissolve dirt, grease, and grime, which makes it an effective cleaner. However, its effectiveness in killing mold is limited, as mold requires specific treatments to eradicate it completely.

Does Windex kill mold?

While Windex can clean the surface of mold-infested areas and remove some visible signs of mold, it is not specifically designed to kill mold spores at their source. Mold has deep roots and often penetrates porous surfaces, making it challenging to eradicate with regular surface cleaners like Windex. Additionally, using Windex alone on mold may not effectively prevent its regrowth, as it lacks the necessary ingredients to fully kill mold spores and prevent them from returning on porous surfaces.

The risks of using Windex on mold

Using Windex as the primary mold removal method may pose some risks. Ammonia, one of the active ingredients in Windex, can produce toxic fumes when combined with certain substances (e.g., bleach). Mixing chemicals can be hazardous to your health and should be avoided at all costs.

EC3 Sanitizer Fogger and Mold Solution Concentrate Bundle

The EC3 SANITIZER Fogger is a specialized sprayer that utilizes ultra-low volume technology to apply antibacterial, deodorizing, and antifungal solutions in indoor spaces.

Where should I not use Windex?

While Windex is a versatile and effective cleaner for many surfaces, there are certain places and materials where you should avoid using it due to the risk of damage or adverse reactions.

Electronics: Windex contains liquid ingredients that can seep into the sensitive components of electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and remote controls. The moisture can cause short circuits and irreversible damage to the devices, rendering them inoperable.

Wood Furniture: Using Windex on wood furniture can strip away the protective finish and lead to discoloration or dullness. The ammonia can also damage the wood’s natural oils and fibers, causing it to dry out and become susceptible to cracking or warping.

Antique or Delicate Items: Antique or delicate items often have sensitive surfaces that can be easily damaged by harsh chemicals like ammonia. Windex may cause fading, discoloration, or deterioration of intricate designs or materials like delicate fabrics, porcelain, or fragile artworks.

Stone Countertops: Natural stone surfaces, such as granite or marble countertops, are porous and can be harmed by the ammonia and other chemicals in Windex. The cleaner can lead to etching, dullness, or discoloration of the stone, compromising its appearance and durability.

Copper, Brass, and Silver: Windex can tarnish metals like copper, brass, and silver, leaving them with unsightly spots or streaks. The ammonia in the cleaner can react with these metals, leading to oxidation and a dull, aged appearance.

Car Interiors: Avoid using Windex on car interiors, especially on surfaces like the dashboard, leather seats, or touchscreen displays. The chemicals in Windex can damage the protective coatings on these surfaces or leave streaks, making them look worse than before.

Painted Surfaces: Windex may strip away paint from walls or other painted surfaces, especially if they have a matte or flat finish. The ammonia and other cleaning agents can react with the paint, causing it to fade or peel.

Mirrors with Damaged Backings: If the backing of a mirror is damaged or worn, using Windex or any liquid cleaner can cause moisture to seep in between the glass and backing, leading to discoloration and black spots on the mirror’s surface.

Rubber or Vinyl: Windex may degrade rubber or vinyl surfaces over time, causing them to dry out, crack, or lose their elasticity. Avoid using it on rubber seals, gaskets, or vinyl upholstery.

Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for cleaning specific materials and surfaces. When in doubt, use a gentle and appropriate cleaner for the material in question, or consult a professional for advice on proper cleaning methods.

What does Windex kill and clean?

Windex is primarily designed to remove dirt, grime, and smudges from various surfaces, especially glass. While it may have some antimicrobial properties due to the presence of ammonia, it is not specifically formulated as a disinfectant or fungicide. Therefore, the list of things that Windex actively “kills” is limited. However, Windex can be effective in killing, cleaning and removing certain substances, such as:

Bacteria: Windex has been proven to be effective in killing Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella enterica (Salmonella), Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), and Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep).

Viruses: Windex is also suitable for killing viruses such as Rhinovirus Type 37 (common cold virus), Influenza A Virus (H1N1 and H3N2), Rotavirus (strain WA), and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Grease and Grime: It is also excellent for cutting through and removing greasy residues on glass and other surfaces, making it a popular choice for kitchen cleaning.

Dirt and Dust: It can efficiently remove dirt, dust, and fingerprints from glass windows, mirrors, and other surfaces.

Stains: Windex can remove some types of stains, such as water spots and mildew stains on glass and bathroom fixtures.

Insect Residue: It’s useful for cleaning and removing insect residue from car windshields or windows.

Adhesive Residue: It can assist in loosening and cleaning adhesive residues left behind by stickers or tape on glass or non-porous surfaces.

Paint Spills: For small paint spills on glass surfaces, Windex can be used to help clean up the mess.

Marker and Pen Marks: Windex can sometimes help remove marker and pen marks from non-porous surfaces.


In conclusion, Windex is not designed to kill mold effectively. While it can clean surfaces and remove visible signs of mold, it lacks the necessary ingredients to eradicate mold spores at their source. Additionally, it is not a registered disinfectant for bacteria and viruses. For mold removal and disinfection, use specialized products designed for these purposes to ensure effective and safe results.

Further reading

Should I use ammonia to get rid of mold?

Should I use bleach to get rid of mold?

Should I use vinegar to get rid of mold?

Should I use heat to get rid of mold?

Should I use pool chlorine to get rid of mold?

Should I use hand sanitizer to get rid of mold?