How to Clean Your Stained Glass Windows

Stained glass isn’t just for churches—any building can benefit from these beautiful and often intricate windows. However, caring for them properly looks a little different than how you’d clean normal, plain glass windows. Understanding how to properly clean your custom stained glass windows in Prunedale, CA will ensure that they last a lifetime—or longer. Here’s how to clean your windows safely and easily.

What kind of stained glass do you have?

There are two broad types of stained glass. One type simply paints the color onto the glass. The second type uses discrete pieces of colored glass to form a design. The pieces of glass are held together by soldered lead or other metal.

If you have the first type of stained glass, you may need to have a professional company come restore the windows for you—otherwise, you risk removing the painted color from the glass. If, on the other hand, your stained glass is the second type, you can clean it yourself.

How to clean your stained glass windows

If you have windows that are 50 years old or more, it’s in your best interests to call a professional company. However, you can take care of newer stained glass on your own. Keep in mind that you should never use harsh chemicals, vinegar or abrasives on the glass, as it will damage the surface.

Generally, your stained glass can be wiped clean with a soft, dry cloth. This will remove dirt, dust and any debris that has built up. If you need a deeper clean, however, you can use gentle cleaning agents to get the job done.

When you clean your stained glass window, make sure to use gentle pressure only. Otherwise, you risk loosening the panes or even popping them out of the lead frame.

To clean, you’ll need a gallon of distilled water, a gentle dish soap and a soft, clean rag. Mix some dish soap into the water, dip the rag in and wring it out. Start at the top of the window and gently clean each individual pane, working your way down and across. Then dry the panes with a dry rag. Again, use gentle pressure for both washing and drying.

If you need to remove dust, dirt or debris from the corners, where it tends to build up, you can use cotton swabs. Dip them in the soap and water mixture to help remove stubborn grime.

Do I need to clean the outside of the windows?

Many stained glass windows are protected from the outside by storm windows. This helps protect them from the elements and dirt. If your windows are not protected, you may wish to repeat the same process on the outside.

For windows in a challenging area, you may need to hire professional window cleaners to get the job done right.

When you need stained glass in Prunedale, CA, visit Smiths’ Stained Glass today. We’ve been providing Monterey County with beautiful custom windows since 1979, and look forward to showing you how we can enhance your property.