How to Clean Glass Windows and Doors

Updated: Apr. 26, 2023

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. Here are a few tips for removing scratches from glass.

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.