Tempered glass boasts remarkable strength and durability, making it the ideal material for electronic screen protectors, tabletops, and household fittings. But in some cases, you might see cloudy textures and ugly smudges forming on it. So, how do you clean tempered glass without causing any damage?
To clean tempered glass, wipe it gently with a lint-free cloth, removing loose stains and dust. Prepare a mild cleaning solution with liquid dish soap and warm water. Wet a lint-free cloth with the solution and wipe the glass gently from top to bottom. Dry the glass with another cloth.
Although tempered glass offers many benefits, it can also get scratched pretty easily. Make sure to avoid DIY products containing vinegar or baking soda, and abrasive sponges are out of the question. Let’s take a closer at how to clean tempered glass correctly.
What Is Tempered Glass?
Tempered glass is a special type of glass that’s about four times stronger than ordinary glass. It can break into pebbles with rounded edges rather than shattering into countless pieces with sharp edges that can cause personal injury.
What makes tempered glass special is its manufacturing process. It’s typically heated and cooled in specific ways to change its composition and improve its strength.
To fully understand tempered glass, we’ve got to take a look at annealed glass — the ordinary glass used for window panes, kitchenware, and many other common items. Annealed glass is made by pouring and floating molten glass on top of a tin bath. It’s then cooled slowly to prevent internal stress.
On the other hand, tempered glass undergoes intense heat treatment to strengthen and harden it. Thanks to this process, instead of breaking into large, dangerous shards, it cracks and forms “spider web” patterns when subjected to mild impact—such as drilling. When the force is very strong, it breaks into small pieces with smoother edges.
Notably, this type of glass often has an oleophobic coating to provide a certain amount of resistance to smudges, especially on electronic screens. It helps keep the grease at bay, meaning a quick wipe with a dry lint-free cloth can be all it takes to clean the glass.
If you try to wipe away smudges on ordinary glass without cleaning solutions, the grease will just follow the cloth strokes and spread on the glass.
The oleophobic layer on tempered glass also has a slightly slippery feel to it, so you can wipe it safely without scratching.
How to Clean Tempered Glass
Follow these steps to clean tempered glass without scratching or damaging it:
1. Wipe Gently With a Lint-free Cloth
Tempered glass exhibits remarkable resistance to smudging, making it easy to clean. Start with a dry wipe-down using a lint-free cloth (on Amazon) to remove loose stains and dirt. For more stubborn marks, you’ll need to put in some extra effort.
2. Prepare a Mild Solution With Liquid Dish Soap
A mixture of gentle dishwashing soap and warm water is often the secret weapon for removing lodged stains. Mix 1 ½ tablespoon dishwashing soap with 2 cups of warm water and put it in a spray bottle.
3. Wet a Lint-Free Cloth & Wipe the Screen Gently
Spritz the soapy water onto a lint-free cloth and use it to rub your woes away with gentle wipes. The diluted soap will work magic on tough spots and sticky smudges by breaking it down for easy rinsing.
For windows, panels, and shower doors, you can spray the soapy mixture directly onto the glass and let it sit for 10-15 minutes to dislodge stains. Next, wipe gently with a lint-free cloth from top to bottom.
4. Dry the Glass With a Lint-Free Cloth
Use a dry microfiber cloth to remove the soapy residue and dirt, then give the glass a pristine finish with a lint-free cloth. Don’t polish the glass with a crumpled newspaper as you would for ordinary glass. Doing so could scratch and damage it.
What Materials Should You Avoid?
The materials you want to avoid using on tempered glass include anything abrasive, like tough sponges, dishwasher brushes, and paper towels. Excessively harsh cleaners, bleaches, and chemicals like Windex or alcohol are also a big no.
These formulas could remove the oleophobic coating of your tempered glass, leaving it with an unpleasant look.
On the other hand, tough scrubbing materials run the risk of scratching the tempered glass and making it lose its aesthetic appeal. With electronic screen protectors, the situation is even more risky, as you could damage the screen beneath.
Tips for Keeping Your Tempered Glass Clean
Not all tempered glass is created equal. So while the tempered glass on your phone or tablet screen typically has a coating, the glass on your tabletops, glass doors, and windows might not.
That said, you want to take utmost care while cleaning and maintaining your tempered glass to boost its longevity. Follow these tips:
- Apply your cleaning solution on a microfiber (lint-free) cloth rather than spraying it directly on tempered glass screens.
- Wipe gently from top to down to avoid leaving streaks.
- Never use vinegar for cleaning tempered glass, as the acetic acid can be too harsh and damage the surface.
- For stubborn stains or areas with hard water minerals, use a soft microfiber cloth soaked in a mixture of warm water and gentle dishwashing liquid. Don’t reach for harsh chemicals like ammonia.
- Avoid using a squeegee scraper to clean tempered glass windows and doors. Dirt can get caught under the plastic blade and cause scratches.
- Avoid acetone or alcohol-based solutions, even if the label touts it as fit for tempered glass. The oleophobic coating usually wears down with time, and these solutions could damage your screen.