How to Clean Yellowed Frosted Glass


Frosted glass is a translucent panel of glass that has been sandblasted or acid etched to give the surface an opaque, sandy texture to diffuse light. The aging process can turn this “frosted” glass into a yellowish tint referred to as ‘stained’ glass. This type of frosting is slightly different from the original frosting, and it can look unattractive when used on windows or other places where lights are shining through. Today I am going to discuss how to clean yellowed frosted glass.

How to Clean Yellowed Frosted Glass

Summary: If your frosted glass is yellowed and has streaks or spots, there are a few things you can do to clean it. First, use a window cleaner with a soft cloth to gently wipe down the glass. Second, mix one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water in a spray bottle and spritz the glass with the solution. Finally, rinse the glass with water and dry it off.

How Did My Frosted Window Get Stained? 

The yellowing on the windows is usually caused by cigarette smoke. The nicotine stains are different in color than the white areas because the entire window was covered with a nicotine film that leaked inside your home and stained the glass from within. Other smoking products produce similar yellow fats or tar coatings that eventually lead to yellowing. Re-applying this (or any) stain treatment periodically should keep your windows looking good for years to come.

Step-wise Guide on How to Clean Yellowed Frosted Glass

Step 1:

Start by using a soft cloth to rub the yellowed frosted glass. If this does not work, you can use masking tape or duct tape made from cloth. Next, remove the dirt and grime on the glass using these tapes as they are safe and will not damage your windowpane. Repeat this process until all the dirt and grime are wiped off of the window pane. However, if there remains some residue, then proceed to step two below.

Cleaning Frosted Glass

Step 2:

Apply a mixture of vinegar and water in a one-to-one ratio to soften up any residue on your windowpane. This can be done either by spray bottle or by dipping pieces of paper towels into it before applying them onto the glass. The bottom line is you’re just trying to remove any leftover dirt, grime, or residue on your glass pane.

Step 3:

Take a soft and damp cloth and buff your windowpane until it shines beautifully again. If the job is still not yet done, repeat steps one through three until all residue has been cleaned off your glass pane.

Step 4:

Once completely done with cleaning your frosted glass, wipe off any drips of water using paper towels before they can cause streaks on your newly cleaned glass pane.

Step 5:

Finally, buff up some of the areas most touched by people (such as around doorknobs) that have become dull from the fingerprints to give it a clean and shiny look.

Buff Up Some of the Areas

Step 6:

Remember to use clean towels every time you wipe off any residue. If your window pane is dusty, rinse the glass before wiping it out to avoid adding more dust.

Step 7:

Use a squirt of WD-40 on your fingertips and work into the stain before using a damp cloth to remove the stain from the frosted glass window pane.

Step 8:

To clean frosted glass without leaving streaks, moisten paper towel or rags with vinegar or lemon juice and wipe down the windows.

Step 9:

If you want to clean frosted glass, you should first wipe it down to remove any dirt, grime, or residue. DO NOT use a paper towel or rag and spray window cleaner all over your windows.

Step 10:

Rubbing alcohol works great for removing smudges from glass panes. For example, if you have an electronic screen door, rub some alcohol onto the static cling side of the plastic, then run it across the pane to wipe away sticky residue.

Step 11:

Scrape off as many peeling decals as possible with a razor blade before washing and scrubbing with soap suds (use an old toothbrush). Rinse well, dry completely, then re-apply a fresh coat of wax to restore shine – clean these at least once a year.

Step 12:

The best way to avoid this is to remove them. To do so, spray the decals with rubbing alcohol (be careful not to saturate them), then use a soft, dry cloth or paper towel to rub off any residue left behind until all traces are removed. If you’re unsure that you got it all, re-apply the rubbing alcohol and wipe it down again to remove any trace of adhesive. Anything left behind can cause discoloration over time.

Re-apply the Rubbing Alcohol

Precautions While Learning How to Clean Yellowed Frosted Glass

  • If you have yellowed frosted glass panes in your window frames, try to find out why they got that way and take steps to prevent them from turning yellow again. For example, a thin layer of dirt or grime on the glass can cause the glass to turn yellow.
  • Use a spray bottle filled with water for cleaning windows instead of ladders or stepladders difficult to manage when working at high heights. By spraying water on dirty places, you avoid getting yourself up high where accidents are more likely to happen.
  • When using ammonia-based cleaners, follow instructions carefully and use care not to inhale fumes directly from the bottle because it is toxic if ingested or absorbed through skin contact. Always wear gloves when handling ammonia.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature of the water and cleaning solution you are using as certain solutions react to heat by emitting fumes that can irritate your eyes and skin and turn yellowed, frosted glass, even yellower.
  • Clean only a few panes at a time so that they dry quickly before moving on to the next ones. Avoid getting moisture from wet panes sticking to other panes or window frames as it may attract insects like ants which could damage the wall if they nest there in large clusters.
  • After wiping down all the glass panes with vinegar, rinse them thoroughly with water before proceeding to wipe them down with non-scented soap and warm water.

How to Clean Sandblasted Glass Doors?

  • Clean the glass with dish soap and lukewarm water, rinse off and let it dry.
  • Use white vinegar with 1/4 cup of salt added for stubborn stains and a clean sponge.
  • Use Windex® Multi-Surface Wipes to remove smudges and fingerprints on your windows and mirrors. It’s streak-free!
  • Rubbing alcohol keeps glass from becoming foggy, especially when using a humidifier or in areas where moisture is present in the air (like bathrooms).  If you use a humidifier, wipe down the outside of the unit every month or so. This gets rid of any accumulated dust that may be causing streaks on your mirror or windows.
  • Rubbing alcohol kills germs and even acts as a disinfectant.
  • Clean the track of sliding glass doors with Windex® Multi-Surface Wipes to remove dust, dirt, grime, and dirt that accumulates over time. A clean sliding door track ensures effortless gliding when opening and closing your doors.
  • To get rid of streaks in large mirrors or glass shower doors, use vinegar with a microfiber cloth, then rinse off with lukewarm water. This will leave the mirror streak-free!
Glass Shower Door

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Acetone Remove Frosted Glass?

There is no definitive answer, as frosted glass may require different methods to remove acetone.

Some people recommend using a hairdryer on low heat to loosen the frosting, while others suggest using a vacuum cleaner with the hose attachment.

Acetone can also be used in a bucket or pail to dissolve the frosting and then washed away with water.

Can You Use Vinegar on Frosted Glass?

It depends on the type of frosted glass you are using and the type of vinegar. If you are using regular clear glass, you can use vinegar to clean it. However, if you are using frosted glass, it is not recommended to use vinegar as it may cause damage to the frosting.

Will Magic Eraser Scratch Glass?

It depends on the type of glass and how hard it is. However, if you are using a soft cloth or a non-abrasive cleaning product, then the Magic Eraser should be able to scratch most types of glass.

Can Frost Be Removed From Glass?

Yes, frost can be removed from the glass. The easiest way to do this is to use a hairdryer. Just place the glass in the center of the hairdryer and turn it on high. Be careful not to overheat the glass or you may damage it.


Just follow these simple steps, and your glass will be sparkling clean in no time!  When cleaning your windows, keep in mind to wipe from top-down and bottom-up. Stay safe while doing this job by using a non-scented soap on the panes of glass that are wide open to fresh air so that insects don’t fly inside your home when you leave them wet with water after wiping it down. I hope you have obtained all the relevant information about how to clean yellowed frosted glass from this article. Thank you and have a nice day!

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

DIY Quickly