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Invented by Harry R. Drackett
Launch year 1933
Company S. C. Johnson & Son

Windex is a glass and hard-surface cleaner manufactured since 1933. S. C. Johnson acquired Windex in 1993 and has been manufacturing it since. The product was reformulated in 2006.[1]

The original Windex was colored a light, transparent shade of blue.[citation needed] Today there are varieties marketed in several colors (ocean fresh blue, sunshine lemon and citrus orange) and fragrances (spring bouquet, ocean mist, lavender and tea tree), with a number of additives such as vinegar, lemon, lime, or orange juice.

When Windex was invented in 1933 by Harry R. Drackett, it was almost 100% solvent. It was highly flammable and had to be sold in metal cans.[citation needed] When modern surfactants were introduced after World War II, the product was reformulated.

Windex was a 5% ammonia solution in 1989.[2]

The Sam Wise patent[clarification needed] #3,463,735 lists example formulae, one of which is 4.0% isopropyl alcohol (a highly volatile solvent) 1% ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (a less volatile solvent), 0.1% sodium lauryl sulfate (a surfactant), 0.01% tetrasodium pyrophosphate (a water softener), 0.05% of 28% ammonia, 1% of a dye solution, and 0.01% perfume. This formula was not only less expensive to manufacture, but allowed the product to be packaged in glass bottles and dispensed with a plastic sprayer.

The popularity of Windex in the U.S. led to the generic use of the trademark for similar product, including those marketed under different brands Window Cleaner.


  1. ^ S.C. Johnson & Son (January 5, 2006). "SC Johnson Honored With Presidential Award for Corporate Leadership in Ceremony at the White House" (Press release). S.C. Johnson & Son. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Peter H. (August 8, 1989). "PERSONAL COMPUTERS; Cleaning Screens Safely". The New York Times. p. 9. 

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