How to Clean Stained Glass and Keep Its Beauty Intact

Published March 29, 2021
Stained Glass lamp

Stained glass windows, decorative glass art, and lampshades can add timeless beauty to your home. However, they can be hard to clean without destroying them. Learn the tips and tricks for how to clean stained glass with ease.

How to Clean Stained Glass Step-by-Step Guide

Do you have a beautiful stained glass window? Did you create a fabulous stained glass lampshade? Whatever type of stained glass you have in your home, cleaning it is all about being gentle. When it comes to cleaning, start with the least invasive method and move your way down. To clean your stained glass, you need:

  • Duster

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Dawn dish soap

  • Distilled water

Step 1: Inspect the Glass

Rather than just attacking your stained glass with your cleaners, the gentle method starts with a good examination of your stained glass. Check to make sure all the pieces are secure and for any cracks in the frame. If you choose to use a harsher cleaner, test it on a discrete area to ensure it doesn't cause discoloration or issues.

Step 2: Dust the Stained Glass

After your initial inspection, grab your duster. Use the duster to get rid of any loose dust from the entire area of the glass. After an initial dust removal, grab the microfiber cloth and wipe everything down again. While doing this, you can give the stained glass an even closer inspection to find dirt or grime areas that need cleaning.

Step 3: Use a Mild Cleaner

If the initial microfiber wipe down wasn't enough to remove all the dirt and grime, then it's time to grab the dish soap. Remember to test your dish soap out on a discrete area prior to going hog wild on the entire piece.

  1. Mix a few drops of dish soap and warm distilled water.

  2. Dip a microfiber cloth in the mixture and wring it out. (You want a damp cloth, not a soaking one.)

  3. Wipe down the stained glass, section by section, focusing on the areas with the built-up grime.

  4. Once you clean the piece to your satisfaction, grab a clean, dry cloth and dry everything completely.

For filthy stained glass, you can choose to use a commercial foam spray or glass cleaner. However, remember you don't want to spray the cleaner directly onto the glass. Spray it on the cloth, then wipe down the glass.

How to Remove Corrosion From Stained Glass

When you have old stained glass windows in your home, then they can corrode. The lead itself becomes a whitish powder-like mold. This also happens to stained glass art pieces where the solder wasn't appropriately cleaned, so the flux remained. When it comes to cleaning corrosion, you need:

  • Baking soda

  • Old toothbrush/scrub brush

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Finishing compound

Clean Stained Glass Corrosion With Ease

Are you ready? Good! It's time to get your stained glass sparkling again.

  1. Wet the brush.

  2. Dip it in baking soda.

  3. Scrub the corrosive areas of the piece.

  4. Keep wetting and adding baking soda as needed.

  5. Use a damp cloth to remove the baking soda residue.

  6. Wipe everything down well.

  7. Reapply the patina and finishing compound as needed.

How to Clean Stained Glass After Soldering

Many people choose to create stained glass pieces on their own. In this case, it's essential to know how to clean stained glass once it's been soldered. For this type of cleaning, you need a few different materials.

  • Windex

  • Paper towels

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Cotton swabs

Clean Stained Glass

Now it comes to cleaning your stained glass project.

  1. Using Windex and paper towels, clean the soldered areas.

  2. Put rubbing alcohol 91% on cotton swabs.

  3. Wipe down the soldered areas, so they look shiny.

  4. Clean the glass areas.

  5. Rinse and repeat until all the cleaner is gone.

Tips for Cleaning Stained Glass

When it comes to cleaning stained glass, gentle is the name of the game. Therefore, check out what you shouldn't do when it comes to cleaning stained glass windows or lampshades.

  • Watch over wetting your microfiber cloth.

  • Don't spray the cleaner directly on the glass.

  • Avoid scouring pads and steel wool that could scratch the glass. Even glass scratch remover would have a tough time restoring the surface.

  • Keep away from ammonia-based or abrasive cleaners.

Use Special Care Cleaning Stained Glass

Stained glass is beautiful but fragile, so cleaning it takes a careful touch. Therefore, when it comes to cleaning your stained glass, use a light touch and avoid any harsh chemicals. This keeps your beautiful stained glass suncatcher sparkling for years to come.

How to Clean Stained Glass and Keep Its Beauty Intact