Does Windex Work On Acne?

Updated March 07, 2014.

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See’s Medical Review Board.

Question:  Can you put Windex on a pimple?  Will it help clear acne?

Answer:  I’m not sure where this idea came from.  It might have started off as a joke.  Or maybe it was from that movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding Remember the dad who thought Windex was a cure for just about anything?

Wherever this idea came from, you should never use Windex on a pimple!

Windex is a potent household cleanser, and household cleansers aren’t meant for the skin.  It contains chemicals that shouldn’t be applied to your skin, especially the delicate skin on your face. 

The Material Safety Data Sheet for Windex recommends that you avoid getting the cleaner on your skin. 

Besides, despite what you may have heard, Windex does absolutely nothing for acne.  Nothing.  It won’t clear up acne, and it won’t make your pimple heal faster.

What Windex can do is irritate the skin.  Instead of making that pimple look better, it’s likely to make your skin look (and feel) much worse.

But you want that pimple gone, and fast!  You’re willing to do whatever it takes to heal it quickly.  I totally get it.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help heal a pimple fast, without resorting to Windex.

Instead of putting Windex on a pimple, try this instead:

Grab a spot treatment.  Unlike Windex, these products are especially designed to treat breakouts.  The most effective spot treatments contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.  Spot treatments that contain sulfur or tea tree oil are also popular.  

Dab a bit of spot treatment on the blemish in question one to three times a day (according to the directions on your product).

Use a warm compress.  If your pimple has a white head, you may be able to get it to drain.  Try using a warm compress over the pimple.  Often the heat alone is enough to help the pimple drain without damaging the skin.

You can do this a couple of times a day if needed.  Just make sure your compress is comfortably warm, not scalding hot.

This works less well if your pimple doesn’t yet have a white head, though.  And if the pimple is especially inflamed or deep, a warm compress might make it look bigger and more red.

These are definitely safer options than putting Windex on your pimple.  You should generally avoid putting anything on your skin that isn’t really meant for your skin.  This includes some often suggested pimple “treatments” like toothpaste and garlic.

Also, remember that while these tips are good to help you heal individual pimples that pop up, they won’t help clear acne long term.  To do that, you have to get on a treatment regimen and use it reliably.  You have plenty of options, from over-the-counter products, to prescription topical treatments and oral medications.  These treatments will help stop breakouts before they start.

Now that you know that Windex isn’t a great pimple treatment, you need some options that are.  These articles will help you get rid of that stubborn zit quickly and safely: 

How To Heal Pimples Fast

Help! I Have a Big Zit that Won’t Go Away!

Types of Inflamed Pimples and How To Treat Them

Video: Top Quick Treatments for Pimples

Source: SC Johnson and Son, Inc.. (2012, June 2). Windex® Complete Glass & Multi Surface Cleaner. [Material Safety Data Sheet]. Retrieved from