Saturday, July 7, 2018

Fascinating and Fundamental Part 8

Stained Glass Maintenance: How to Clean Stained Glass

How to Clean Stained Glass

When it comes to stained glass maintenance, you need to be gentle. Here's how to clean stained glass and what cleaning products you'll need.

Stained, or colored, glass has been around as early as 686 BCE. But how do you clean this 2,700-year-old work of art? If you've got it--old or new--in your home or office, knowing how to clean stained glass can help keep it let in more light while ensuring it stays in tip-top shape.

In this guide, we'll take you through everything you need to know, from materials to process. Keep reading to learn how to clean stained windows.

Materials For Cleaning Stained Glass

You definitely want to avoid anything abrasive, acidic, or basic when cleaning stained glass windows. Using such materials runs the risk of etching or scratching the glass, or worse. Keep reading to learn how to clean stained glass windows with the right materials.
Instead, you'll want a soft cloth--like microfiber. While you're collecting materials, get two so you can use one wet and one dry. The best way to keep stained glass clean is to dust occasionally with the dry cloth, but we're going to discuss when you actually need to wash your stained glass.
Get some towels too. You're also going to need a large bowl to wet and rinse one of the cleaning cloths. Cotton swabs are also useful.
You'll need some distilled water. If the glass is really dirty, you might consider getting some cleaner--but make sure the cleanser meets these requirements:
  • No vinegar
  • No ammonia
  • Non-abrasive
  • Neutral pH (in the 6.5 to 7.5 range)
Don't use anything stronger on your stained glass. If you can't get it clean with these materials, you'll need to contact a professional restorer.

How To Clean Stained Glass

Now that you know what you'll need, let's get into the actual process to clean your stained glass without damaging it. The process is simple, but depending on the complexity of your window(s), it can take some time.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

We won't go through the list of supplies again--see above. But you want to ensure you have everything ready to go. Once you put liquid on the glass, it will streak if you don't clean it right away.

Step 2: Protect The Sill(s)

Place towels on the window sill(s) to keep them from getting wet. If you skip this step, you'll just end up with more messes to clean.

Step 3: Prepare The Wet Cloth

Fill the bowl with the cleaning solution of your choice or distilled water, or a mixture of water and cleanser. Dip one of the microfiber cloths in the water and wring it out until it's just damp.

Step 4: Wash

Starting from the top down, clean the glass panes. Rinse the microfiber cloth every now and then to keep it clean. You can use a cotton swab for hard to reach spots.
Dry each section of glass with the dry microfiber cloth before washing the next section.

How to Clean Stain Glass: Bonus Tips & Conclusion

If your glass is streaked after you clean it, you can use calcium carbonate, or whiting powder, to remove the streaks. If the lead has turned white and powdery, clean with a soft cloth while wearing gloves and a face mask.
Because lead is poisonous, throw away the cloth, mask, and gloves when you're finished. There isn't a known safe level of exposure to lead.
If you have additional questions about how to clean stained glass, drop us a comment below.

That is all for now!  May sunshine fill your day!

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