Taking care of your stained glass windows is vital if you want to preserve their beauty for many more years to come. Whether you inherited your windows with your home or made an investment and bought one or more specially designed, you’ll already know that the beauty which they bring to your home is well worth the minor trouble you have to go through to care for them. Stained glass adds a wonderful element to any building, casting glowing shadows on walls and floors and bringing a touch of magic to even the plainest of rooms.
Cleaning your stained glass windows
Modern stained glass is much more robust than antique stained glass. Very old examples may need a specialist to care for and conserve them, but in general, your modern stained glass only needs a soft cloth and some very mild soapy water.
They should not be over-cleaned but it’s important to watch for bird droppings on any exterior panes of glass. Bird droppings can be extremely corrosive. Never use any abrasive cleaning materials on your stained glass; glass is surprisingly easy to damage – especially stained glass.
If your glass has no painted decoration, use a cotton bud with de-ionized water over the surfaces. This allows you to collect grit or other particles safely and thoroughly.
Environmental risk factors
Whether you installed them or not, there’s a fair chance that your stained glass windows might be susceptible to environmental factors around the exterior of your property. Trees, ledges which drip water or attract birds as well as ivy or other creeping plants can all contribute to damage.
Minimising risk is vital if you want your windows to last for more than a few decades. In the case of birds as a risk factor, you can consider installing spikes if there is a ledge above your windows which attracts roosting birds. Removal of plants and trees which drop sap or leaves on or near your windows is also an option.
Some trees may be under protective order and in that case, you can implement a regular cleaning routine to protect your windows during key seasons such as Autumn and Spring. Stay on top of leaf drop by removing piles of leaves which may gather in gutters above your window – remove them regularly. Outside influences can also include missiles such as balls or birds. Birds rarely fly into stained glass because it’s clearly an obstacle, whereas clear glass is invisible to some birds. Balls are another thing entirely!
Discourage children from playing ball games near your stained glass windows if possible. Regular care and maintenance is the best way to prevent long-term wear and damage.