How to Clean and Care for Stained Glass Windows in Your Home

Are you keeping up with special maintenance for your stained glass? If you have a stained glass window in your home, there are some steps you should take to keep these beautiful but fragile pieces of functional art looking their best. Read on to learn about the essential tips for cleaning stained glass.

Start with an inspection

Before cleaning any stained glass features in your home, there are a few condition issues you need to look out for. Check the lead frame for loose pieces that can trap liquid in the cracks, leading to unsightly drips on either side of the glass. If you notice any loose or cracked components, or any other damage, reach out to your local stained glass professionals to request a repair.

Choose the right cleaning solutions

If your stained glass windows are in acceptable condition, you can start cleaning them with an appropriate cleaning product. One of the most important tips for cleaning stained glass is to never use a cleaner containing alcohol or ammonia. These substances damage the solder that holds the window together. Also, avoid using dish soap since the ingredients can discolor the window frame.

Look for a non-toxic cleaner—a foam cleaning spray usually works best. The foam’s consistency ensures that leaks won’t seep through to the other side of the window.

Work from the top down

When you’re ready to start washing, work your way from the top of the window down. This allows you to wipe up any drips from above during your cleaning. If you’re working on a traditional leaded glass window, wash each piece separately.

Always spot test the cleaning solution on a tiny area of each new color, ensuring the stain is properly bonded to the glass and won’t come off during cleaning. If you’re in the mood to clean in great detail, dip a cotton swab into your cleaning solution and go around the edges and corners of each piece of glass, where dirt and grime collect the most.

Use microfiber towels for drying

After you’ve removed all the dirt and debris from the windows, use a microfiber towel for drying. These gentle towels remove traces of dust, dirt and other residue. You can even use them between cleanings to remove debris quickly and gently.

Use a gentle touch

Cleaning stained glass requires a delicate touch. It’s best to evenly distribute pressure from your fingers over the surface of the glass. Rub the cleaning solution in firmly without applying to much pressure that may crack the window. For exceptionally large surfaces, use a boar’s hair brush to wet and scrub the window. For surfaces that are extremely delicate, avoid oversaturation by spraying the cleaning solution onto a microfiber towel instead of directly onto the surface of the window.

Cleaning stained glass isn’t a straightforward task. If your stained glass windows need some attention, contact Smiths’ Stained Glass today. We provide special maintenance for stained glass, helping you preserve these unique works of art that add beauty and character to your home.