Stubborn Stain Glass Window Cleaning

Stubborn Stain Glass Window Cleaning

When I was younger I used to worship absolutely everything my older cousin did. When she had an obsession with sunflowers, so did I. The day she became a waitress, I told my mom I knew what I wanted to grow up to be, and then when she drove a Ford Explorer I told my mom that it was the car for me. Of course, as we grow older we begin to realize that our childish fancies are nothing but that and so we move on, grow up, and take on our personal likes and dislikes. Except, however, with the exception of one: the Tiffany Lamp.

Growing up I spent a decent amount of time at my cousin’s. From sleepovers and pool-days, to family barbecues, I was always visiting for one reason or another. Among the obsessions I created as a child focused on growing up to become exactly like her older cousin, I grew entirely fond of her room. White tiffany-lamp-1586142with stenciled sunflowers on the walls, she had what can only be described as the epitome of a 90’s dream bedroom, and to top it all off, she had a brilliant, all-glass lamp that sat on her dresser. Bedazzled in different colored pieces, her mosaic lamp boasted sunflowers to match her room: the gold’s were bright and spoke of the sun, while the oranges and reds offered a stunning composition, leaving me entirely jealous.

It would years before I was considered old enough to own such a treasure, and even then years later my then-two-month-old Siamese kitten would jump on the shade, bringing it to the ground where it would lie broken on the floor. Thankfully, a lamp store was able to repair my own beautiful lamp, which unlike my cousin’s was decorated in dark blues and greens with dragon flies built out of the glass, mosaic-like pieces. What they couldn’t fix, however, was the dusty—even dirty—glass lamp that I was left with. Window cleaning in Temecula is a simple, if not always easy task, while cleaning stained glass doors, windows, and even the occasional lamp can require a certain amount of finesse. Whether you have stained glass windows or a stained glass piece in your door, these cleaning instructions are for you.

Please be aware that these instructions are for stained glass and not painted glass.

Keep It Dry

Stained glass windows and glass are typically considered a work of art and therefore it is unwise to come at them with your regular household cleaner. The general rule to keeping your stained glass window looking beautiful is to hardly do anything at all to it. Using a lint-free dust rag, remove any loose dust or collected dirt in the cracks. This is the best way to care for stained glass, but unfortunately many glass pieces require a little more elbow power to remove the grime from your art.


Distilled water (to avoid smudges and spotting), all natural dish soap cleaner with a neutral pH level (you can check the Internet to find what cleaner works best from your local store), and a lint-free towel. Be careful to avoid cleaners that contain ammonia, vinegar, or other abrasives as they can damage the delicate glass easily.

Step One

Mix the distilled water with a small amount of the all natural dish soap in a large bowl, taking care to place the lint-free towel in the water and getting it damp. Be sure to use a damp towel, rather than soaking it, as to avoid excess water that will dry leaving marks and streaks.

Step Two

Let’s get washing. Taking your damp cloth, start from the top of your glass and work your way down to avoid having to re-clean any lower portions later on. Clean each panel (separated by lead strips) separately, starting in a small corner to test for how well the color is adhered to the glass. Lightly dampen the glass, swirling the cloth gently as you go. If you find that you have stubborn stains from dirt or oxidation, be careful not to scrub too hard as this may result in cracked glass or damaged color. Use only the gentlest touch on the colors as too much of an abrasive hand can lift the color from, damaging your art.

qtips-with-holder-1478038Step Three

Using a cotton swab dipped in your distilled water and soap mixture, clean in the crevices between the lead and the glass, along with any other hard to reach places. Dust has a tendency to find itself in these smaller hiding spots, meaning that if you skip this step, you miss fully cleaning your window.

Step Four

Using a separate and dry lint-free cloth, softly pat dry each individual pane. Soak up any water droplets that might have collected in the corners, along with any drips that may have escaped your notice on a separate lower pane.

Your stained glass windows are a work of art and therefore, deserve to be treated as such. Take your time cleaning your stained glass window, rather than rushing thoughtlessly through and damaging the work. If you find that the oxidation on your glass is too noticeable, or that the paint is coming off with your touch contact a stained glass window cleaning Temecula specialist to handle it for you.