What’s the Best Method for Cleaning Stained Glass?

Everything looks better when it’s clean, including stained glass windows. Over time, dust, skin cells, pollen, and outside debris start to build up on stained glass. This may cause the windows to look cloudy or reduce the vibrancy of the colors. In churches, where candles are often placed on window sills and burned, soot may also coat the surface of the windows and mask the bright, luminescent glass.

If your stained glass windows look like they could use some love, then it may be time to clean them. But be careful what cleaners and tools you use. Not all cleaning agents all well suited for stained glass. Here are some tried and true methods for cleaning leaded glass windows correctly.

Signs that It’s Time to Clean Your Stained Glass

Stained glass windows are a little different than paintings and drawings because they’re textured. This allows them to catch and collect dust more easily. If you’ve noticed a change in appearance in your windows, it may be time to give them a good cleaning. If your leaded glass windows are dirty, you may notice:

  • Dark or dull-looking colors
  • A thin film on the surface
  • Reduced levels of light transmission
  • Dust on the bars or lead caming
  • Cloudy-looking sections or pieces
  • What’s the Best Way to Remove Dust from Leaded Glass Windows?

    The best way to remove dust and build up on leaded and painted glass windows is with gentle cleaners. You may consider using a micro-fiber cloth and mixing some pH-neutral soap with room temperature water.

    Whatever you do, don’t use chemical glass cleaner. While this type of cleaning agent is well-suited for normal windows, it will ruin stained glass!

    Furthermore, if your windows are very old and are hand-painted, you might want to just leave the cleaning to a professional. The last thing you want to do is rub off all of the tiny details and painted elements that make your windows beautiful.

    If the window is a sealed unit and there is dirt trapped inside, it may need to be cleaned by a professional. This is best done through the process of restoration in a climate-controlled environment.

    Get Advice from an Expert

    Not sure if your stained glass needs to be cleaned or repaired? Let us help! Call today to schedule your free consultation with our Kansas City team!