Stained glasses windows are surely amazing to look at with the intensive details and unique designs. However, making them is also more challenging than ever, especially the part where they need to be cleaned after soldering.
Cleaning the glasses after soldering is essential to ensure the attachment of the solder to the glass. It’s also one of the necessary steps for the application of any patinas to polish the work.
It’s a common struggle of stained glass makers since the cleaning requires effective methods and appropriate material to clean the glasses successfully. So, here’s a simple guide on how to clean stained glass after soldering to ease the challenging task.
Cleaning with Flux Residue Remover
The flux is the necessary element in the soldering process, which usually creates better solder wetting for seamless soldering. It’s also capable of protecting and securing the quality of the metal surface in the stained glass piece from re-oxidation. However, the residue from the flux is also problematic to remove during the cleaning process.
Fortunately, there is available flux remover in the market that you can trust for cleaning the stained glass. The remover helps get rid of the oily residue from the glass, making it clean and protected. Why protected? It’s because flux remover also has the ability to retain the beauty of the piece by protecting it from oxidation or discoloration.
How to Clean Stained Glass with Flux Residue Remover
Using the flux remover is one of the best ways to make your stained glass piece look clean and excellent. Typically, you can find this cleaning product in your local store and with various brands.
Choose the Right Flux Remover
So, the first step to clean the stained glass successfully is to check and ensure that the remover you’re buying is suitable for your needs. The suggested type of flux remover is those non-toxic as they don’t usually impose damage on the glass even when applied multiple times. Moreover, a water-soluble remover is also ideal for making the cleaning process convenient since the product is easy to be cleaned after use.
Apply the Flux Remover on the Glass
After ensuring the type and quality of the product that you’ll use, it’s time to apply it to the glass. But first, don’t forget to use protective equipment such as gloves and masks since you’re dealing with chemicals. Next, apply the remover on the part where you want to clean, on the glass, solders, and other parts.
Wipe the Areas
Once you evenly apply the remover on the areas you want to clean, you can get a damp cloth to clean the glass piece. You can also use a sponge if you want to be more precise with the cleaning. Moreover, you might encounter some difficulty with cleaning some of the stubborn residues; if this happens, using a soft brush can help. Finally, brush lightly on the areas with flux remover to avoid damage.
Rinse the Stained Glass
After ensuring that the flux residue is removed and the glass is clean enough, it’s time to wash off the remover. You can do this by rinsing the glass piece with warm water carefully. It’s an essential step to clean even the in-between areas of the project.
Wipe with Dry Cloth
Now that your glass piece is well rinsed, you can now use a soft dry cloth to dry it out.
Repeat the Rinsing and Drying
This step is necessary if you want to make sure that there is no leftover flux hiding on the surfaces of the glass piece. After drying, you can rinse the glass again with warm water and repeat the process if the water is still unclear. Once you find the glass clean and the water clear, you can continue wiping the piece again to dry.
Cleaning with Window Cleaner
Aside from the flux remover, other chemicals and products are also used to clean the stained glass after soldering. One of the most common is using a window cleaner; however, using this kind of product requires particular consideration.
There are two types of window cleaners that you can find in the market: ammonia-based and non-ammonia-based. The perfect kind for cleaning stained glass is non-ammonia-based because the toxic chemicals from the ammonia-based product can significantly affect the life span of the piece.
How to Clean the Stained Glass with Window Cleaner
After soldering, you might notice some streaks and grime on the stained glass, which can make your piece look unattractive. So, it will be necessary to get rid of them by using a non-acid-based window cleaner.
The first step in using the window cleaner is to apply the cleanser gently on the areas you want to clean. Then, wipe the glass with a soft cloth to remove the dirt and other residues on the piece. It’s simple and easy if you do it with utmost care and diligence.
Cleaning the Glass with Household Cleaners
Using the window cleaner and flux remover are the best option since they are really meant for cleaning. However, if you don’t have the budget to purchase them or you’re just too lazy to go to the market, there is still one option for you. You can use the available household cleaners at your house and other chemical ingredients.
Powdered cleaners can also help you with cleaning the streaks and grime on the glass. Although, it’s essential to check their acidity level to avoid regrets in the end. Moreover, you can also use baking soda to clean the glass.
In using these household cleaners, you can follow the same procedure as cleaning with the window cleaner. Simply apply and wipe them clean!
Cleaning the stained glass after soldering can be challenging, but it can be effortless with proper knowledge about the right cleaners to use and appropriate methods. Although it’s still important to note the essential tips in cleaning the stained glass, like using a soft cloth and applying products with low acidity levels. They are necessary to reduce the risk of damaging the glass piece you have worked on for several hours.