At All Hours Glass, one of the most common questions we get asked is “What’s the best way to clean glass?” And by clean, we mean sparkling clean! But not all glass cleaning techniques work with all types of glass, so here’s our 'go to guide' on how to clean glass at your home or business:

Cleaning Ordinary Glass (clear, toned and super tones)

Routine Cleaning

Cleaning glass by hand is to visibly remove dust and fingerprints and can be accomplished with a number of different glass cleaning products which we recommend:

  • CRL Bio-Clean Water Stain Remover is excellent.
  • Windex® Multi-Surface Cleaner (colourless liquid) (Australia) is another one that we like, or
  • Mr Muscle® Surface and Glass (New Zealand) (clear liquid available from Supermarkets), produced by SC Johnson & Son Pty Ltd;

Please note, other Windex® branded varieties may be used, but may lead to problematic streaking of the glass.

  • Environmentally friendly glass cleaning option – in addition to the above products, commercially available vinegar-based glass cleaners have generally demonstrated an ability to provide a clean, streak free glass surface. You can also use a mixture of one part vinegar, to ten parts water.

Please note, Viridian does not recommend the use of ammonia-base and alcohol-base glass cleaners because these products tend to leave visible streaks.

Procedure:

  • Flood the glass surface with the spray-on cleaning solution or with a cloth saturated with the solution. Be generous with the amount of solution applied.
  • Scrub the wetted surface with a clean, lint free towel or cloth.
  • Wipe to dry with a clean, lint free towel or close. We don’t recommend the use of a squeegee, because there is an increased chance of damaging the glass.
  • To prevent streaking, stop wiping when the glass is almost dry and there is a uniform amount of residue of moisture left on the surface. This residue will quickly evaporate and leave a clean surface.

Spot Cleaning

You might occasionally need to spot clean your glass to remove stubborn dirt and foreign material which adhere to the surface. We’re talking about high traffic areas, glass that’s open to the elements and homes with little sticky hands looking for a canvas! Spot cleaning products work to remove grease, oil, tape adhesive, crayons and other waxy materials as well as paint and marks from plastic rub off. Use one of the products mentioned in routine cleaning, or for extra tough marks on glass try Methylated Spirits (solvent) and use strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and warnings.

Procedure:

  • Apply a small quantity of cleaner (select from our list above) to a clean, wet cloth or towel.
  • Rub on spots that need cleaning.
  • Wipe clean using a dry, clean, lint free towel or cloth and follow up with a routine cleaning procedure.

Cleaning Toughened Glass


Cleaning toughened glass requires special consideration because the glass on the opposite side to the Safety Compliance Stamp may have what’s called ‘pickup’ on the surface. This is a deposit of very small glass particles which are fused to the glass surface. It’s important not to dislodge these particles during cleaning so as to avoid scratching the glass surface. In fact, blades and scrapers have been known to dislodge ‘pickup’ and permanently damage the surface of the glass. All Hours Glass recommends only using a soft cleaning cloth on toughened glass. If you’re a professional cleaner, consult with your suppliers as to the suitability of cleaning equipment, materials and methods before you tackle cleaning toughened glass.

Other Important Glass Cleaning Tips and Information

  • Do not use cleaners which contain Hydrofluoric or Phosphoric acid, as they are corrosive to the glass surface.
  • Do not clean glass when the glass is hot or direct sunlight.
  • Keep cleaning solutions away from the edges of laminated glass, Insulating Glass Units or Mirrors.
  • Do not store or place other material in contact with the glass. This can damage the glass or create a heat trap leading to thermal breakage.
  • Abrasive cleaners, powder-based cleaners, scouring pads or other harsh materials should not be used to clean windows or other glass products.
  • Avoid causing extreme temperature changes to the glass, as this may lead to thermal fracture of the glass. Eg. Don’t splash hot water on cold glass or freezing water on hot glass.
  • Some tapes or adhesives can stain or damage glass surfaces. Avoid using such materials unless they are known to be easily removed.
  • Remove jewellery and watches and wear gloves while cleaning glass to avoid scratching the surface. Scratches that occur from foreign objects will be permanent and are not repairable.
  • Never use razor blades or metal scrapers to remove paint spots. Instead, investigate using solvents or graffiti removal materials that won’t damage glass.

What to do if glass breaks


If glass is damaged or broken, engage with experienced glaziers who can rectify the situation for you. Glass, and especially broken glass, is a huge safety hazard if not handled correctly and can cause serious injury or death. Don’t attempt to remove or replace broken glass unless you're experienced in doing so.

Professional Cleaning at Construction Sites

We know that professional cleaners have significant experience and access to a huge range of products, that the general public may not. We recognise that you’re the experts in glass cleaning, so All Hours Glass offers the following general advice which can be further developed.

  • Always follow manufacturer’s installation and cleaning instructions.
  • Protect glass from the risk of contamination during construction, to greatly simplify glass cleaning at the end of the project. If the glass can’t be protected during construction, we recommend frequent cleaning to reduce build up and avoid permanent damage.
  • Construction dust, leachate from concrete and rusting from steel can contribute to the formation of mild chemical reactions. This may stain or otherwise damage the surface of glass, voiding warranties.
  • Glass should be cleaned using only cleaning materials which are free of grit and debris, to avoid marking the glass surface.
  • Only detergents and cleaning solutions which are recommended for cleaning glass should be used. Mild detergents or organic cleaners without sulphates are preferable.
  • Temporary screens must be installed if welding, sandblasting, floor sanding, cuffing or other potentially damaging construction practices takes place near glass.
  • Glass installations which are adjacent to concrete (e.g. concrete slab floors) require extra care and cleaning due to the abrasive nature of concrete dust.
  • All tradespeople should be advised to be aware of damaging glass and windows and to leave in place any materials that protect the glass during the construction period.

As always, All Hours Glass is happy to answer your questions and help you find the best glass cleaning solution to suit. Just give our friendly team a call on 07 4922 5555.

About This Advice

This information is offered as a general guide only and specific advice should always be sought from a reputable glazier or professional window cleaner before undertaking any cleaning. This guidance does not preclude the use of other methods, materials or equipment; however, the user should undertake careful evaluation and make suitable enquiries as to the suitability of alternative methods, materials or equipment, before using them. All Hours Glass has taken all reasonable care in producing this document, however All Hours Glass makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of, and disclaims all liability, direct or indirect (and whether or not arising out of the negligence, default or lack of care of All Hours Glass for any loss or damage (whether foreseeable or not) suffered by the recipient or any other person arising out of, or in connection with, any use or reliance by any of them on this document. Liability which cannot legally be excluded is limited to the maximum extent possible.