Back Button

How to Clean Frosted Glass Panels

Louise Harding

Normal glass is glossy, smooth and transparent, but exposing glass to hydrofluoric acid makes the glass pitted and translucent or "frosted."

Frosted glass can be cleaned as you would non-frosted glass, but because the dirt-attracting pits in the frosted glass, it’s often necessary to use an abrasive sponge to thoroughly clean its surface. Frosted glass is also easily marked by metallic objects, requiring the use of wet-and-dry emery paper to banish any dings and streaks.

  1. Put on rubber or latex gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints behind while you clean the frosted glass panels. Frosted glass shows fingerprints and you don’t want to undo the clean surface you’re trying hard to achieve.

  2. Spray the frosted glass panel surface with a commercial glass cleaner. An ammonia-based glass cleaner works well.

  3. Using paper towels, newspaper or an abrasive sponge, wipe the frosted glass panel in a circular motion. If the frosted glass panel is very dirty, you will need to use the abrasive sponge and vigorously scrub the glass to clean the dirt and grime out of the microscopic pits in the glass. Don’t be afraid to scrub hard, frosted glass is much tougher than “normal” glass because of the chemical process it underwent to achieve the frosted surface. Use caution to avoid rubbing the wood and paint around the frosted glass panel, however, abrasive sponges can strip paint from the wood.

  4. Remove metallic dings and streaks caused by metal objects hitting against the frosted glass panel, by wetting a wet-and-dry emery paper of a similar grade coarseness as the glass. If you use a rougher emery on a smoother glass, you run the risk of scratching the frosted glass. When you run your fingertips over it, the emery paper should feel like the frosted glass.

  5. Scrub the metallic ding in a circular motion with the wet emery paper until the metallic mark is removed. Rub the area of frosted glass around it as well to even the pits so there is no noticeable spot left by sanding with the emery.

  6. Clean the frosted glass with window cleaner after you’ve successfully removed the metallic marks from your frosted glass panels.


Allow the windows to air dry for a streak-free finish.


Always test your emery paper on an inconspicuous part of the frosted glass panel before proceeding.