How to Keep Your Door Glass Clean

When it comes to keeping the glass in your home’s doors clean, you might think there’s nothing to it—all it takes is a little glass cleaner and paper towels, right? Sounds easy enough, but it’s not always that simple. In order to keep your door glass looking pristine, it’s important to always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions, but here are some general guidelines and tips.

Cleaning Door Glass

Getting Started with the Cleaning Process

Start the process by wiping down the glass and door frame with a soft dusting cloth to remove loose dirt and dust. This will help ensure the dust doesn’t stick to the surface.

If your glass is dusty rather than streaky, you can clean it without any type of solution. Just use a lint-free cloth to wipe away the dust. After that, polish the glass with a different, clean cloth.

Certain cleaners can cause damage to the wood frame around the glass. So before you begin cleaning with any type of solution, cover the frame with newspaper, or any type of absorbent cloth, to catch drips. Be sure to not spray the cleaner directly on the glass and clean the glass in small sections. Clean starting from the top and work your way down.

What to Use to Clean the Glass

While there are many commercial glass cleaner options available on the market, there are also a number of recipes that you can use to make your own. One homemade recipe requires equal amounts of white vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle. The white vinegar has acetic acid which can be used to clean, sanitize and deodorize just about any type of surface. Unlike tap water (which contains minerals), distilled water will not leave streaks on the glass. If you have stubborn streaks or hard water stains, you can use pure white vinegar on these without diluting it.

Another tool option for cleaning windows is one you probably already have readily available in your house: coffee filters. These are inexpensive, tear-resistant and lint-free. They are also made so they don’t break apart, even when exposed to water.

To begin, spray cleaner on the filter and then wipe the glass, just as you would with a cloth or paper towels. You may find that the larger coffee filters work best as they will cover more space; you can also use more than one at a time, increasing the absorbency.

Newspaper is another lint-free alternative to cloth and paper towels. The glass will not absorb ink, but the ink can easily get on the frame around the glass, so it’s important to cover those areas before beginning. Be aware, if you work with newspaper you may also get ink all over your hands. You can, however, wear plastic or rubber gloves to protect your hands.

And yet another option is cleaning with an old t-shirt, which may also be lint free.

The Glass Cleaning Process

While cleaning the glass itself isn’t all that difficult, one of the biggest challenges for homeowners is getting it clean without leaving streaks. One of the best ways to ensure streak-free glass is to clean from the top down. This will help you make sure there isn’t any dripping on the surface you’ve already cleaned.

Begin the cleaning process by spraying the solution directly on your cloth, towel, coffee filter or newspaper. Rub the glass gently in a circular motion to remove the dirt and spots. For heavily soiled glass use a sponge instead and repeat this process on the other areas of the glass until you’ve cleaned the entire surface. You may have to rub that area more than once if there are hard-to-clean spots.

After you’ve cleaned, you will next want to wipe and dry the glass. If you’re used to using paper towels or a cloth to clean and dry your glass, you’re probably also familiar with having to wipe and re-wipe areas you’ve already cleaned due to lint and streaking. As an alternative, try a squeegee, which is a quick and efficient way to get your glass clean and streak-free. Start in an upper corner and pull the squeegee straight down. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire surface. If you have tall door glass, you’ll want a squeegee with a long handle to reach the high-up areas.

Next, use a dry, soft cloth to wipe the surface quickly; do this in one direction only. For example, if you start wiping vertically continue in this direction and avoid switching to a horizontal stroke.

Finally, buff the glass to give it a nice finish. You can do this with a microfiber cloth or newspapers, as either will help remove any remaining moisture from the surface. Remember, the newspaper ink can stain your hands, so wearing gloves is an option to help keep your hands clean.

To remove residue that’s built up in the corners, use a cotton swab to clean those areas, which can be hard to reach.

Once the glass is clean, wipe the edges of the panes with another soft, dry cloth; if there are still marks that you need to remove, use a damp cloth.

Continue to Keep Your Glass Clean

Cleaning your door glass may never be your favorite household chore, but it can be simplified and efficient by these tips and proper tools. To keep your glass sparkling, it’s good to follow cleaning procedures regularly. Set a goal to clean your glass doors thoroughly—both inside and out—every few weeks or at least once a month. Also, for your best results, you can try cleaning the glass on a cloudy day. The sun can dry the glass prematurely and leave residue and streaks.

Local glass shops are readily available as well to answer questions and help you through the process. You will find that many of them also offer recommended cleaning products, tools and supplies. If you’re looking for guidance, assistance or product recommendations, can help you find companies in your specific area that can get you on your way to sparkling clean glass.

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© 2020 Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.

Ellen Rogers

By Ellen Rogers

Ellen Rogers has been involved with the glass industry for nearly 20 years and is the editor of USGlass Magazine and Architects’ Guide to Glass magazine. Ellen received a degree from Peace College where she studied journalism.

Ellen enjoys running and competes regularly in races including half and full marathons. When not on the go, Ellen enjoys reading, wine tasting, true crime shows, and family game nights with her husband and son. Their favorite game is Clue. Ellen also bakes what is known locally as “World Famous Oatmeal Cookies.”

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