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How to Clean Glass Windows and Doors

Updated: Jun. 30, 2017

Make glass sparkle again with these simple cleaning solutions

FH05MAR_CLEGLA_01-3Family Handyman
Clean tough glass stains and built-up mineral deposits from shower doors and other glass surfaces using mild household abrasives and an ordinary power drill.

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Use mild household abrasives

Photo 1: Scrub with a buffing wheel

Scrub away the toughest stains on glass with a buffing wheel and mild abrasive. When you’re working near the sash, protect it with masking tape.

Photo 2: Polish crusty shower doors

Remove shower doors and lay them flat. Buff the glass with a car polisher and mild abrasive.

Window manufacturers recommend abrasive cleaners for the toughest glass stains. Apply a mild abrasive such as Soft Scrub, Bar Keepers Friend or Bon Ami to a soft rag and scrub. These products usually won’t scratch glass, but start in a small, inconspicuous spot just to make sure. If elbow grease alone won’t do the trick, or if you have large areas to cover, use a drill and small buffing wheel (Photo 1; sold at home centers). You can use a similar method on glass shower doors (Photo 2). An inexpensive electric buffer works fast on the large surface.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Cordless drill
  • Rags
  • Safety glasses
You’ll need a buffing wheel for your drill or a car polisher for large surfaces.