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How to Clean Glass Windows and Doors

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.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Use mild household abrasives

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.

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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.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

Mild abrasive cleaner

Comments from DIY Community Members

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December 03, 6:33 PM [GMT -5]

Forget all this hard work. My windows were stained and would not come clean, acid rain aluminum screens, I tried everything, then I used Spray 9 and a scrub brush. Sprayed the window and scrubed it, then hosed it down, bahd bing clean. Then I went with the traditional cleaning, vinegar and water with soft car brush rinse and squeege. I'm a retired contractor and my best friend on the job was Spray 9, tried the others they didn't work.

November 22, 2:49 AM [GMT -5]

To Clean the glasses of the windows you shoul use E-cloths, water ans vinegar to keep the glass clean.

September 24, 3:53 PM [GMT -5]

Just be careful using a hand drill that is not made for it. If it buffs unevenly it can distort the glass. Just take it slow and as stated start in an inconspicuous place.

Ben Trueman
B & B Window and Gutter Cleaning

July 25, 9:59 PM [GMT -5]

I never thot about using a buffing wheel or car buffer. My lady will be pleased with this. Hot vinegar is the most we've used on the wavy glass. Most of it is hardened soap/shampoo scum, so bleach etc has no effect.

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How to Clean Glass Windows and Doors

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