How To Clean Your Stained Glass Windows
Stained glass windows have existed for a very long time…they date back to the early 1100s, when they adorned beautiful churches and cathedrals. During the 1800s and 1900s stained glass windows were introduced into private houses. Today many homeowners still enjoy having them built into their homes.
There are 2 types of stained glass:
- The 1st is when color is actually painted on the glass.
- The 2nd is when the window is built from pieces of colored glass that form a design or picture, the pieces being held together by “lead came”.
If you have stained glass in your home, before it is cleaned, you need to know which type you have…if you have the kind that the color is painted on, you will need to hire a professional restoration company. If you have the type that is made of colored glass pieces, you can clean it yourself or hire your window cleaner to do it for you.
Stained glass requires special care…
Your stained glass windows are a work of art, and should be treated accordingly. For the most part, your stained glass windows don’t need to be “washed” frequently, a regular dusting with a soft dry cloth is usually sufficient to keep them looking beautiful. But if you have older stained glass windows in your home, or it’s been a while since you have cleaned them and you feel they need to be washed, follow these tips:
- If your windows are 50 years or older, you would be wise to hire a professional.
- Never use harsh chemicals or ammonia based products on them or anything with vinegar or abrasives.
- Don’t rub the glass with too much pressure, it could ruin the finish on the glass and even loosen it from the lead that holds it together.
- Begin by dusting the glass
- Assemble your supplies:
- 1 gallon of distilled water
- a gentle dish soap
- a soft cloth – microfiber is a good choice
- Mix a small amount of the dish soap in with the water.
- Soak your cloth in the water mixture and wring out as much excess water as possible.
- Beginning at the top of your window and working your way down, wash each individual piece, then dry with a different soft, dry towel.
- To clean the corners and edges, where the real grime can accumulate, you can use a cotton swab dipped in your water mixture.
Most stained glass windows are covered on the outside by a storm window, that is not only good for energy efficiency, but also protects the window from the elements, so there is no need to clean them from outside.
I have been cleaning windows in the Seattle area for 30 years, and quite frankly, I enjoy it! I will be happy to answer all of your questions, and I know the mistakes to avoid. I clean private homes or apartment complexes.
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