Cleaning should be performed thoroughly but gently, avoiding the use of any solvents or other substances, which might adversely affect the glass, glass paint, leading or waterproofing putty. General-purpose glass cleaner or diluted industrial detergent WITHOUT ABRASIVES, and STRONG ACIDS or ALKALIS can be used to loosen stubborn dirt or "layered" soil. Rinse with clean warm water. After wash use a dry soft lint free cloth or tissue to wipe off excess water as soon as possible to avoid water staining. Most window and mirror cleaners are relatively safe to use, and have only a small impact on the environment. However, some cleaners contain glycol ethers and other chemicals that are harmful. Use the mildest product you can find, and always wear gloves and goggles for protection. DO NOT USE A RAZOR BLADE TO SCRAPE OFF STUBBORN MATERIALS, DOING SO MAY LEAVE PERMANENT MARKS ON THE GLASS OR SCRATCHES THAT COULD CAUSE GLASS BREAKAGE. In general, the glass surfaces should be cleaned on a regular basis; the level of pollution or contaminants in the surrounding area determines the frequency.
Sometimes regular cleaner might not remove grease, fingerprints, or other oily deposits found on the glass, use a stronger degreasing cleaner with butoxyethanol. Spray the degreaser onto your rag or brush, and then wipe the glass surface. If that doesn't work, then carefully spray the degreaser directly onto the glass. Hold your rag nearby to prevent over spray. Apply with a scrub pad or steel wool if a rag or squeegee doesn't work, and should only be used for spot cleaning, as damaged to the surface may result. Finish the job by using your regular cleaner to remove streaks left by the degreaser.
If you need to disinfect the surface, use a product that contains Alkyl Ammonium Chloride to kill germs. General Observation with Leaded Glass Over time, any work in leaded glass will show the effect of wear, a variety of problems may affect the longevity and aesthetic appeal. An accumulation of dirt, dust and other atmosphere-borne contaminants Loosening of lead around the glass or lead pushed back from the glass Broken solder joints or missing lead Deterioration and or loss of waterproofing putty from under lead flanges Broken or cracked glass Deterioration of glass paint Corrosion of glass and lead due to attack by water, chemicals or biological agents Tie wires or support bars separating Poor ventilators causing condensation problems Other structural problems with the building, such as a leaking roof, causing or contributing to the potential for problems A careful survey should be conducted on periodic basis, approximately every 8 to 10 years by qualified professional covering all of these potential problems, is important to preserve the integrity of the leaded glass panels. Despite these problems, leaded glass may be expected to last as long as a century or more before serious attention is required.
Creative Art Glass Inc., 525 Denison Street, Unit 3, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 1B8