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How to Clean Frosted Glass

Frosted glass partition separating tub in a modern bathroom

There are few things in your home more beautiful or demanding than frosted glass. However, despite its beauty, frosted glass can be difficult to keep clean and shiny. So, what are the best ways to clean and care for your frosted glass? Let’s look at the best materials and techniques to use on frosted glass, as well as ways to avoid damaging its beauty. Whether you frosted the glass yourself, had it done professionally, or it came that way, we’ll examine the best ways to keep it clean.

Gather Materials Needed

First, gather the materials you’ll need to clean your frosted glass and have it looking as good as the day it was installed.

  • Ammonia- or Alkaline-based glass cleaner
    You’ll want to use ammonia- or alkaline-based cleaners because they’re formulated with chemicals that make them ideal for cleaning glass. Ammonia evaporates faster than other cleaning materials, which means it’s less likely to streak or leave behind dust or dirt particles. If you don’t have access to ammonia, then an alkaline-based glass cleaner is your next best option.

  • Paper towels
    Paper towels are a good option for frosted glass because they don’t leave fibers behind like cloth rags or dishtowels.

  • Microfiber cloth
    Frosted glass is very fragile and prone to scratching when you’re wiping it dry. For this reason, microfiber cloths are preferable because they won’t scratch up your glass.

Spray and Wait

Once you have your ammonia ready to go, spray your frosted windows and wait to wipe it dry. As the ammonia sits on the frosted glass, it loosens the dirt, grime, and even soap residue that may be left on the glass. By spraying and letting the ammonia sit for a few moments, you’ll have a cleaner window without wiping as much and risking scratches.

Wipe with Paper Towel

After thoroughly spraying the frosted window surface and waiting for the ammonia to do its work, wipe down the window or other glass surface with a paper towel. Make sure to wipe in a circular motion, since this will help prevent streaking. Use a paper towel first because it’s just rough enough to get rid of grime and dirt, but not rough enough to scratch the glass. It also won’t leave behind little fibers and residue like other types of drying cloths.

Finish with Microfiber

Once you’ve used a paper towel to wipe away the initial ammonia and grime, use a microfiber cloth for the finishing touches. A microfiber cloth is perfect for getting rid of any residual grime or cleaner and has the added benefit of not leaving behind any fibers or particles. For the best results, always use a paper towel first, then finish with a microfiber cloth.

For Tougher Grime

One of the most common places in your home to find frosted glass is in the bathroom. Bathrooms, especially showers, are a great place for dirt and grime to clump together on your frosted glass. This can make it very tough to clean the frosted glass thoroughly without damaging it. For areas like this, where glass cleaner isn’t strong enough, here’s a simple baking soda mixture you can put together yourself to get rid of tough grime.

  1. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 cup of water.

  1. Add in just a splash of dishwashing soap or white vinegar to the mix.

  1. Use a paper towel to apply the concoction to the surface you want to clean.

  1. Let it sit for a minute, just like with the ammonia, and wipe it clean with a paper towel.

  1. Once you’ve wiped it dry, rinse with clean water and re-apply the ammonia or glass cleaner. Wipe it dry to see if more baking soda mixture needs to be applied.

What to Avoid

When it comes to cleaning frosted glass, it’s just as important to know what to avoid as it is to know what to use.

  • Types of Cleaners

    • Citrus cleaners
      Citrus cleaners are acidic, and they aren’t as effective at removing dirt and grime.

    • Acidic cleaners
      Acidic cleaners are not as effective at getting rid of grime as alkaline products like ammonia are.

    • Toilet bowl cleaner
      Once again, toilet bowl cleaner is acidic and isn’t recommended for frosted glass.

  • Types of Cleaning Pads

    • Steel wool
      Steel wool is useful for certain surfaces but it’s liable to scratch frosted glass.

    • Pumice stone
      Much like steel wool, pumice stone will also scratch your frosted glass and damage it.

    • Heavy-duty or abrasive pads
      Anything that’s labeled as heavy-duty or abrasive in the cleaning cloth section is to be avoided. These will all have the potential to scratch and leave marks on your frosted glass surfaces.

Properly Clean Your Etched Glass

If you have frosted glass and successfully cleaned it using the steps listed above, then congratulations! These methods are useful for frosted glass and most other glass surfaces, outside of etched glass. Etched glass, much like frosted glass, also requires special steps and materials to properly clean and care for it. If you want to clean your etched glass as well, follow the steps in the link to do it safely and effectively.