Does Windex Kill Spiders? A Surfactant?

Windex is a degreaser for hard-to-clean surfaces like fans and hoods. But, does Windex kill spiders and their eggs?

Well, here’s my experience! 

Recently, I glanced over in your son’s room to see a venomous spider crawling down the wall. All I found near to kill the Windex degreaser. I sprayed it.

The spider drooped over and died. End of story? Nope! I promptly took on a search about Windex versus spiders.

So, is Windex deadly enough to kill spiders? Yes! Spray enough Windex on a spider and it’ll die fairly quickly. Windex has lethal ammonia (ammonium hydroxide) & sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate that’ll block the spider’s book lungs, block its breathing to suffocate it.

This article will discuss the effectiveness of Windex to exterminate spiders & its pros and cons as an insecticide.

Let’s dive right in. 

Does Windex Kill Spiders and their Eggs?

1. Surfactants: Ammonium Hydroxide & Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate

The ammonia and sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate in Windex is deadly to spiders; they work collectively to kill the spider on contact.

  • You can use it as a spray, but make sure the spider is directly hit with the chemical, or else they’ll flee into their webs after being sprayed
  • It’s more effective to pour Windex on them since they get stuck in the liquid, but this will also kill any eggs that may be nearby

The Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate accumulates and clings on the spider’s air sacs, blocking the path of air into its respiratory system. Ammonium hydroxide is absorbed into the spider’s bloodstream causing respiratory failure.

  • Therefore, oxygen is not absorbed by the blood in the spider’s book lungs. Oxygen will get absorbed by ammonia instead of red blood cells. This means that when the bugs inhale Windex, it will suffocate (die) because there is no oxygen left for them to breathe.

Also, Ammonium (ammonia dissolved in water) is also a repellant for insects like ants, termites, and fruit flies. Windex will release unpleasant gas that protects your house from these bugs. Windex is safe to use on surfaces, but you should not be in the room while it is being used.

However, when you use it to control kill stinging insects like bees, be careful because you may get stung before exterminating the insect.

Related: Spider Bite vs. Mosquito Bite

2. Water in Windex Drowns Spiders

The water in the Windex degreaser will drown insects including spiders and their eggs.

The Windex will lower the oxygen level in a spider’s web and so it suffocates spiders by depriving them of air.

Water, with its higher surface tension, will also break the spiders’ web and force them to relocate.

Windex can kill spider mites with its liquid form, but it will not be as effective against other household pests such as ants or fruit flies because of their tiny size.

How long (time) Does Windex Take to kill Spiders?

Windex kills spiders on contact. It will take 1 to 15 minutes (maximum) to kill the spider when it is sprayed in a room and inhaled by a spider.

Windex will kill spiders based on the following factors:

1. Windex’s Ammonia Concentration

Spiders react differently when exposed to ammonia gas in Windex (varied concentration of ammonia. If the concentration is high, it will kill them faster. But, if it is lower, it will take a little longer for them to die.

The size and age of the spider will also affect how long it takes to kill it. The older they are, the more time Windex needs to take effect on them.

  • For example, household Windex usually contains a small concentration of ammonia 0.05 to 0.1 (5% – 10%), which will kill baby spiders and eggs – this may not kill large spiders instantly on contact.

The concentration of ammonia in Windex can be increased by adding more or less water to it. This will speed up the process, but increase cost and housekeeping time.)

2. Area Sprayed (sq. feet)

It takes more than one can/bottle of Windex to cover a large area of the spiders(more than 200sq feet) and kill or exterminate the spiders and their eggs.

Make sure the floors are sufficiently saturated with the ammonia in Windex before moving on to another area; otherwise, you will leave some spiders alive and well.

The ammonia in Windex does not cause any long-term damage to your floors. You can use it again and again without worry about damaging the surface.

Windex is perfect for killing house flies on hard surfaces such as counters or tables with a minimum amount of cleaning needed afterward.

3. Closed or Open Space?

Windex spray kills spiders faster in enclosed rooms than it does in open spaces or fields.

Why does Windex kill spiders faster in enclosed rooms than it does in open spaces?

Well, Windex sprayed in small, enclosed areas of a house or compound is more effective than spraying it around an entirely open space. It concentrates ammonia gas in a smaller space and the spider will die from suffocation instead of contact.

  • To kill spiders, use Windex spray and direct it to the spider’s hideouts in your house. Spiders hide in holes, cracks, and closets.

If the area is open or out in the field, it will be harder to kill bugs because the winds will blow off the Windex spray and thus kill fewer spiders.

If you’re spraying indoors be sure not to miss any corners and to get any cracks or crevices.

How to Use Windex to Kill Spiders

Windex is a product that you spray onto surfaces to clean them. You will need to follow these steps when using it.

  • Before you use Windex, wear goggles and a nose mask to protect your eye and respiratory system respectively. Ammonium can make your eyes hurt or give you a headache. You might even have trouble breathing.
  • Spiders like to make their homes in holes, cracks, furniture, garages, rocks, and cobwebs. You can find the hiding spaces without disturbing the bugs.
  • If you are going to use Windex in your house, lock all the windows and doors.

Now, remove the top protection seal of the Windex bottle.

  • Shake the bottle well to release all of the liquid and separate any clumps that may have formed while it was sitting on a shelf.
  • Point the Windex’s nozzle on the spider’s hiding place. Then press the trigger to start spraying.
  • Spray the spider infestation and then leave before they attack.

Next, you will also need to spray other places within the room (to saturation) to boost Windex’s killing power.

  • Lock the room for 30 to 60 minutes so Windex works well.
  • After the prescribed time, open the windows and doors to allow fresh air in for 30 minutes.
  • Windex is for outside use only. If you are using Windex in an open area, cover the spider’s hiding places with a bucket so they cannot escape before dying. You will also want to use Windex with a higher concentration.

NB: Windex is great to kill spiders in an indoor space. If you have a spider infestation that takes a while to die, I recommend that you use another type of spider killer or trap.

Which Windex Does not Have ammonia?

Windex, a glass degreaser is made from surfactants, solvents, ammonia, dyes, and fragrances.

Thus, ingesting Windex may cause vomiting, stomach upset, and minor throat and mouth irritation.

These Windex products are ammonia-free;

  • Electronics Wipes
  • Outdoor All-In-One Starter Kit
  • Outdoor Sprayer
  • Multi-Surface Cleaner Lavender
  • Disinfectant Cleaner Multi-Surface
  • Vinegar Glass Cleaner
  • Ammonia-Free Glass Cleaner

However, for spider and insect control, we recommend using a Windex version that has ammonia.

Can Windex Kill Insects?

Windex can kill other insects, such as spiders, bumblebees, wasps, ants, spider mites, and beetles. Spray them if they are near the colony and they will be dead in seconds.

Windex is quick-acting when you need to kill small insects and won’t require special concentration packages. It is safe to use on regular household surfaces.

Windex will kill these bugs by blocking their breathing (spiracles). It does this because ammonia stays in the blood cells within hemocoel in insects’ bodies, and suffocating due to insufficient supply/circulation of oxygen.

Moreover, Windex (the ammonium component) will make these insects go away. The smell of ammonia makes them leave.

Is Windex Poisonous to Humans and Pets?

Windex contains chemicals that can be bad for humans and pets. The chemicals Ammonium hydroxide can hurt their skin and respiratory system. It can cause watery eyes or a burning skin sensation.

The fragrance and dye in Windex can cause problems with your respiratory systems. It also causes trouble for people who are allergic to it. The spray may also make your pets cough abnormally and even get choked.

Chemicals like Hexoxyethanol, Isopropanolamine, and Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate can make you burn if they touch your skin or when they are breathed in. They can also cause irritation over time.

Note: When you are praying Windex, it is important to wear eye protection, gloves for your hands, and a breathing mask.

Alternative Methods to Kill spiders?

Apart from Windex, you can use the following substances or methods to kill spiders.

1. Use of Vinegar

Vinegar is a weak acid of pH between 4 to 8 that emits a smell that keeps off spiders in your house or compound without necessarily killing them. You will require to mix 1 cup of vinegar with 5 cups of water. Then, spray the concoction in the spiders’ hideouts to saturation. You will need to spray the mixture twice per day for 10 to 15 days.

You can also blend white vinegar with coconut oil in a 5:1 ratio. The coconut oil will form a thick layer on their body, blocking their respiratory system. Also, the mixture emits an unbearable smell that keeps off spiders.

You will have to spray this mixture daily for 2 to 6 weeks for the complete elimination of spiders in your home. This combination is friendly as it cause no adverse effect on the user on the application.

2. Using Black peppers.

Black peppers are a natural way of eliminating spider infestation in your home. It is a perfect solution when you need to repel spiders in your place than kill. You will need to grind several black peppers into fine pieces and sprinkle them to spider hideouts.

You can also boil (3 to 4 cups of water) the black peppers and then strain the water before spraying in spider-infested areas. Black pepper is also able to repel other insects such as spider mites and ants. Keep of kids while spraying your house/place – the spicy peppered liquid causes itching and burning sensation.

3. Use of Diatomaceous Earth.

Diatomaceous Earth is one of the best natural ways of killing and eliminating spiders and fleas in your home as it occurs as a natural siliceous and soft sedimentary rock that has a killing portion in it.

You will need to grind it into fine particles before sprinkling it into spider-infested areas. Diatomaceous Earth acts on contact. It has sharp edges that penetrate easily, killing spiders’ entire life cycle (eggs, larvae, and adults).

On contact, the Diatomaceous Earth absorbs fat and oil from the exoskeleton (specifical cuticle) of the spiders, thus killing them by dehydration.

Moreover, Diatomaceous Earth (for dogs) emits a smell that repels spiders and other insects such as cockroaches and fleas in your home. NB: Wear gloves (dehydrates hand), breathing Masks (causes irritation of breathing system), and use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth for safety measures.

4. Use of Essential Oils.

Essential Oils (like lavender) are natural spider repellents that help keep away spiders from your house or compound. They produce a smell that disrupts the spider infestation sending them off.

Some of these Essential oils for bed bugs include Peppermint oil, pine oil, sweet orange oil, garlic oil, rose oil, cedarwood oil, and citronella oil.

You will only need to spray/apply essential oil in spider hideouts or infested areas every three days for a month. Essential oils also repel flies, lizards, and mosquitoes in your home.

Conclusion

In summary; does Windex kill spiders? Yes! If you spray enough Windex (ammonia-based cleaner) on them they will eventually die.

This helps eliminate those insects and pests in your home or office without resorting to potentially harmful chemicals or pesticides.

  • Windex is a cleaning product with ammonium gas, and it will repel spiders from your house.

Windex is not toxic but could cause irritation when it comes in contact with sensitive parts of the body like the eyes or mouth if ingested orally.

Comment your thoughts below.