Light duty hard surface cleaners are not intended to handle heavy dirt and grease. Because these products are expected to clean without rinsing and result in a streak-free shine, they contain no salts. Typical glass cleaners consist of alcohols, either ethanol or isopropanol, and surfactants for dissolving grease. Other components include small amounts of ammonia as well as dyes and perfumes.
Glass cleaners are composed of organic, water-miscible solvent such as isopropyl alcohol and an alkaline detergent. Some glass cleaners also contain a fine, mild abrasive. Most glass cleaners are available as sprays or liquid. Glass cleaners are sprayed directly onto windows, mirrors and other glass surfaces or applied on with a soft cloth and rubbed off using a soft, lint-free duster. A glass cloth ideal for the purpose and soft water to which some methylated spirit or vinegar is added which is an inexpensive glass cleaner.
Silverware can be freed of silver sulphide tarnish with thiourea, and either hychloric or sulphuric acid.
All-purpose glass cleaners contain mixtures of anionic and nonionic surfactants, polymeric phosphates or other sequesting agents, solvents, hydrotropic substances, polymeric compounds, corrosion inhibitors, skin-protective agents, and sometimes perfumes and colourants. Aversive agents, such as denatonium, are occasionally added to glass cleaning products to discourage animals and small children from consuming them.
Some glass cleaners contain water-soluble organic solvents like glycol ethers and fatty alcohols, which ease the removal of oil, fat and paint. Disinfectant additives include quaternary ammonium compounds, phenol derivatives, terpene alcohols, aldehydes, and aldehyde-amine condensation products.
All-purpose glass cleaners are usually concentrated solutions of surfactants and water softeners, which enhance the behaviour of surfactant in hard water. Typical surfactants are alkylbenzene sulfonates, an anionic detergent, and modified fatty alcohols. A typical water softener is sodium triphosphate.
All-purpose glass cleaners are effective with most common kinds of dirt. Their dilute solutions are neutral or weakly alkaline, and are safe for use on most surfaces.