How to Clean Acid Etched Glass

While it makes a great decoration, etched glass is notoriously difficult to clean. It is particularly vulnerable to grease stains, as well as simply accumulating dirt and dust over time. However, by using the proper strategies, it is possible to keep acid etched glass clean with a minimum of effort and time.

Glass Cleaner

You can make your own glass cleaner that will do a great job of cleaning acid etched glass. It will even remove finger prints if you are willing to spend some time scrubbing. To make your own glass cleaner, you only need water, isopropyl alcohol, and ammonia—all common household cleaning agents. Mix all three ingredients in equal amounts and you will be ready to keep even the most difficult glass clean.

Alternatively, you can use commercially available window cleaner.

Applying

Put your glass cleaner of choice into a spray bottle and apply it to your acid etched glass. Then, wipe it away using a soft cloth. Lint can be as big of a problem as the original dirt, so be sure to use a cloth that will not leave any behind. You may have to scrub a little bit to get the worst dirt, dust, and grease out of your acid etched glass.

How Glass Is Cleaned

Window cleaning is one of those tasks that begs to be hired out -- all that spraying and reaching and wiping, and you end up with a mess of streaks that catch the light just so.

It doesn't have to be that way. Cleaning glass, whether it's a window or a mirror or a coffee table, is more about the tools than the elbow grease. With the right stuff in your bucket, you can get your glass streak-free.

Here, five tips that can get you to that sweet spot, the first of which is as basic as it gets: If you're diluting your cleaner, dilute it with something clean.

  • 1.    Go Distilled- Most of us don't consider what's in the water we use to clean. In truth, it usually doesn't matter. But with glass, you see absolutely everything, so water content can make a difference -- especially if you have hard water. If you're diluting your glass cleaner, consider using distilled water. It doesn't have all the minerals in it that can be present in the water from your tap, so it won't leave behind any streaky deposits on your bathroom mirror. Of course, the cleaner you're diluting matters, too. Up next: It's the cheap route to streak-free.

  • 2.    Vinegar Is Your Friend- Vinegar is one of those all-purpose ingredients that's tough to live without. It's as great on a salad as it in on your mirror, and it costs practically nothing. Whether you're out of your usual glass cleaner or you're just looking for a cheaper option, vinegar can do wonders for your windows and mirrors. A vinegar-water solution (50/50) works great -- just spray or wipe it on like you would any other cleaner. The smell will stick around for a bit, so if you gag at the scent of vinegar, you might save this streak-free cleaner for outdoor glass. Up next: When mixing your glass cleaner, go small.

  • 3.    Minimize Suds- There's nothing like a bunch of suds to leave your glass full of streaks. This isn't a problem if you're using vinegar or straight glass cleaner -- no soap there. But if your coffee table is truly dirty and you're adding soap to the solution, remember: Go easy. It doesn't take much soap to get rid of that dirt, and using too much will result in an overly dense cleaner that can leave a streaky residue on the glass. And speaking of residue: It's perhaps the biggest glass-cleaning mistake so many of us make.

  • 4.    Banish Paper Towels- You know that bucket of glass-cleaning supplies you carry through the house when it's window day? There should not be a roll of paper towels in it. Paper towels leave not only streaks, but linty ones. Instead, go for a microfiber cloth, a squeegee, or, best yet, a handful of newspaper. Your morning read does an amazing job on glass. If you go with the newspaper, be sure to wear gloves. That ink gets everywhere. Finally, the finishing touch.

  • 5.    Buff It- Even if you do exactly the right things, you can still end up with a streak or three. In that case, the simplest solution is to finish the job with a quick buff. A chamois or a microfiber cloth is best, although a regular rag will do. Keep it dry, and just buff over the glass when you finish cleaning it. You'll find those streaks just disappear. As always, keeping up with the job makes it a whole lot easier. The less dirt and grime your windows accumulate, the less time you'll spend cleaning them -- a quick vinegar spritz, newspaper swipe and you're on your way.

How to Clean Glass and Mirrors

Need to know how to clean or mop up something at home? Our guide to cleaning everything from furniture to flooring tells you how - and there are some great eco cleaning tips, too. In the second part of our series, we tackle glass, mirrors and windows... Want our honest opinion? You don't really need chemicals to clean glass, mirrors and windows - or the most you'll need is a bit of washing up liquid. There are lots of eco friendly ways to clean glass, mirrors and windows, some quicker and with better results than others.

An E-Cloth and Water

You can't beat an E-cloth for speed and results - use it with a spray bottle filled with water and see smudges and grime shift quickly from mirrors, interior glass and glass furniture. For very dirty surfaces, you might need to use some water diluted with washing up liquid and applied with a sponge, then wiped and buffed dry with the E-Cloth. The cloth itself contains lots of tiny fibres that pick up dirt. It's also good at adding shine to stainless steel taps, hobs and sinks.

Vinegar, Water, and Newspaper

It's an odd combination (and, it has to be said, smelly and a bit messy), but if it is all you have to hand, it will give your windows a nice shine. Dilute your vinegar with water (roughly 1:4) and use a lint-free cloth or chamois leather to clean off grime. For a really good shine, buff the windows with crumpled newspaper - or use the chamois or lint-free cloth. The exterior of windows will almost certainly need more than diluted vinegar to come up clean. Diluted washing up liquid, ideally used with a sponge and squeegee (like a windscreen wiper with a handle) will do the trick. You can then buff them to a shine with newspaper (or your lint-free cloth).

Steam Cleaners

Steam cleaners are not strictly eco-friendly in as much as the majority use electricity to run, but they do an amazing job on just about every surface in the home, without the need for chemicals. So, how do they work? Their powerful jets of steam dissolve grease and dirt quickly and effortlessly (and also sterilize surfaces), and while they do a great job on cleaning glass, they also tackle tiles, taps, stove tops, ovens, carpets, upholstery and even mattresses. They usually come with brushes and nozzles to get into awkward spaces, and are particularly good at getting at the black smut that collects between the window and the frame.