How to Clean Old Window Glass

Old window glass can add a vintage look to a home of any age. The imperfections in the glass enhance the window while also shining light on any scratches. By concentrating on removing dirt and oil from the window glass, your efforts will be clearly visible. One method of cleaning glass works well for the small panes found in older homes as well as for larger picture windows.

Clean old window glass with an uncomplicated technique.
  1. Fill the bucket with warm water. Add 1 tbsp. of liquid dish soap to the water and stir the water gently with your hand.
  2. Dip a clean soft rag in the water and wring it almost dry with your hands. Wash the window glass, the windowsill and any wooden or metal panes with the damp rag, changing the water in the bucket if it becomes too dirty.
  3. Empty the bucket and refill it with warm water and 1/4 cup ammonia. Dip a clean soft rag in the water and wring it almost dry. Wipe down the window glass, sill and panes.
  4. Immediately wipe down the window glass, sill and panes with a clean soft dry rag, wiping until the glass is dry.

Things You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Soft rags
  • Ammonia


  • Wash old window glass on a cloudy day to minimize streaks caused by water drying too quickly on the glass.
  • Old diapers make excellent rags for this cleaning project.

About the Author

Linda Shepard has been staff writer for "C & G Newspapers" for over 10 years, covering local government and crime and serving as the newspaper's food writer. She has written for "Michigan Meetings Magazine" and is also the owner of Spectacularstrolls.com, an online business of self-guided walking tours.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images