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7 Products to Avoid When Cleaning Glass Windows

7 Products to Avoid When Cleaning Glass Windows

Posted on January 11th, 2024.

Maintaining the clarity and sparkle of your glass windows is essential for a clean and inviting atmosphere. 

However, when it comes to cleaning glass, not all products are created equal. 

Some cleaning agents can do more harm than good, leaving unsightly streaks, scratches, or damage behind. 

In this article, we'll explore seven products to avoid when cleaning glass windows and offer tips on how to achieve the best results. 

Your glass surfaces deserve the utmost care and attention, and by avoiding these products, you'll keep them looking their best.

The Importance of Proper Glass Cleaning

Glass windows are not merely functional components of a building; they are the portal to the world outside, providing natural light, enhancing aesthetics, making spaces look bigger, and connecting the interior to the exterior. Here, we'll explore several compelling reasons why maintaining your glass windows is crucial:

Aesthetics and Visual Appeal

Clean, sparkling glass windows significantly contribute to the overall aesthetics of any space. They allow for unobstructed views of the outdoors, creating a sense of openness and tranquility. Whether in a residential or commercial setting, well-maintained glass windows enhance the visual appeal of your property, leaving a lasting positive impression on occupants and visitors alike.

Natural Light and Energy Efficiency

Glass windows play a vital role in facilitating the entry of natural light into your interior spaces. Adequate natural light not only reduces the need for artificial lighting but also creates a healthier and more productive environment. Dirty or streaked glass obstructs the passage of light, diminishing its benefits. Properly cleaned windows maximize the ingress of natural light, thereby increasing energy efficiency and reducing utility costs. 

Prolonging the Lifespan of Glass

Glass is an investment, and like any investment, it requires maintenance to ensure its longevity. Over time, airborne pollutants, dirt, and grime can accumulate on the glass surface, gradually deteriorating its clarity and structural integrity. Regular cleaning helps prevent the buildup of damaging substances, safeguarding your glass against long-term degradation.

Enhanced Property Value

Well-maintained glass windows are a testament to the care and upkeep of your property. Whether you're considering selling your home or enhancing the market value of a commercial building, clean and attractive windows can significantly boost property value. Potential buyers and tenants are more likely to be drawn to spaces that exude cleanliness and attention to detail.

Preventing Damage and Costly Repairs

Glass is susceptible to various forms of damage, including etching, staining, and scratching. Neglecting regular cleaning can lead to the accumulation of substances that gradually degrade the glass surface. In severe cases, this damage may become irreversible, necessitating costly repairs or even replacement. Proper cleaning helps prevent such issues and preserves the integrity of your glass.

With a clear understanding of why proper glass cleaning is essential, let's now turn our attention to the seven products that should be avoided when cleaning your glass windows.

7 Products to Avoid When Cleaning Glass Windows

While maintaining the clarity and sparkle of your glass windows is paramount, not all cleaning products are suitable for the task. Some products can potentially harm your glass surfaces, leaving them damaged or marred. In this section, we will explore seven products that should be avoided at all costs when cleaning your glass windows.

1. Abrasive Cleaners

Abrasive cleaners, such as such as Soft Scrub®, Ajax®, or Comet®, may seem like a quick solution for removing stubborn stains or grime from glass windows, but they can do more harm than good. These gritty products can scratch the glass surface, leaving behind permanent damage that is both unsightly and costly to repair.

2. Acids and Alkalis

Avoid using acidic or alkaline solutions to clean glass windows. Substances like vinegar, lemon juice, or strong chemical cleaners can corrode the glass over time, leading to cloudiness or etching. Instead, opt for gentler, glass-specific cleaning solutions that are designed to maintain the integrity of the glass.

3. Harsh Chemicals

It's essential to steer clear of harsh chemicals when cleaning glass windows. Chemicals like acetone, bleach, or abrasive pads can damage the glass's surface, leading to irreparable harm. Instead, choose non-abrasive cleaning agents and soft, lint-free cloths to achieve a streak-free shine.

4. Ammonia-Based Cleaners

Ammonia-based cleaners, while effective on some surfaces, should be avoided when cleaning glass windows. Ammonia can leave streaks and residue, compromising the clarity of your glass. Instead, opt for ammonia-free alternatives specifically formulated for glass cleaning.

5. Paper Towels and Newspaper

Avoid using paper towels or newspaper for cleaning. While it may be a common practice, using paper towels or newspaper for cleaning glass windows can leave lint and residue behind, resulting in streaks. Opt for lint-free and absorbent materials like microfiber cloths or squeegees for a streak-free finish.

6. Strong Solvents

Steer clear of strong solvents like nail polish remover or paint thinner. These potent solvents can damage glass surfaces and even remove protective coatings. Stick to milder cleaning solutions specifically designed for glass.

7. Dishwashing Detergent

Avoid using dishwashing detergent. While dish soap can be gentle enough for some cleaning tasks, it may not be the best choice for glass. It can leave streaks and residue. Instead, choose a specialized glass cleaner for optimal results.

Gentle Solutions for Optimal Results

Achieving spotless and streak-free glass windows doesn't require harsh products. 

Instead, use the following gentle and effective approach:

  • Choose a Mild Soap Solution: Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water to create a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Use a Soft Cloth or Sponge: Select a soft, lint-free cloth or a sponge to apply the cleaning solution to the glass surface.
  • Gently Wipe the Glass: Wipe the glass in a circular or S-shaped motion to prevent streaks.
  • Dry with a Microfiber Cloth: After cleaning, use a microfiber cloth to dry the glass and ensure a pristine finish.

Related: How to Properly Clean and Maintain Your Glass Shower Doors

Protect Your Glass Investment

To maintain the longevity and beauty of your glass windows, consider investing in protective measures like Invisible Shield® PRO 15. This protective product makes cleaning easier and less frequent, shielding your glass against light soil, dust, oil, fingerprints, and other debris that can accumulate over time. 

While there is no such thing as "self-cleaning" glass, Invisible Shield® PRO 15 can significantly reduce the frequency of cleaning, keeping your glass looking its best.


Properly cleaning your glass windows is essential for preserving their clarity and lifespan. By avoiding abrasive cleaners, acids, harsh chemicals, ammonia-based products, and instead opting for gentle cleaning solutions, you can achieve sparkling, streak-free glass. For added protection and ease of maintenance, consider products like Invisible Shield® PRO 15.

At Franciscan Glass, we understand the importance of maintaining your glass surfaces. We offer a range of high-end residential and commercial glass design and installation services, including shower doors, railings, mirrors, storefronts, custom table tops, and more.

Get in Touch Now!

For inquiries or to schedule our services, please don't hesitate to contact us at (650) 444-5018 or via email at [email protected]. Your glass deserves the care and attention that only experts in the field can provide.

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