Windex is one popular home remedy for acne. The movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” made it famous– the character Gus touted Windex as the cure for everything, including pimples that popped up out of nowhere. But just because you see it in a movie doesn’t mean it’s true.


The Facts

Anecdotally, Windex can clear up pimples. It’s perfectly possible to use a dab of Windex to clear up a breakout. Science backs the claim. The active ingredients in Windex and other similar household cleaners include ammonium hydroxide and rubbing alcohol, ingredients that can dry skin and may help to treat mild acne.

The Drawbacks

Applying harsh chemicals like ammonium hydroxide and rubbing alcohol to the skin may cause other problems if used regularly. Windex is not designed for use on the skin; it may cause over-drying and severe irritation. Although a spot of Windex might clear up a sudden breakout, it might also leave the skin raw. And that irritation could lead to–you guessed it–another breakout.

The Bottom Line

Although it is possible to use Windex to dry up a case of acne, it is not a good long-term remedy. Using Windex or other household cleaners as a treatment for acne may only irritate the skin and cause further problems. The best way to treat acne is to consult a dermatologist and use only products approved for use on the skin.