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How To Clean Paint from Glass

A home improvement project in your bathroom or other areas of your home will result in beautifully finished walls, but may also result in paint splatters on window and bathroom glass. You may be reluctant, and rightly so, to use a paint scraper that could scratch the glass or damage any protective coating that might be on the surface. Instead, use the following basic cleaning solutions and application techniques to leave your glass looking as new and clean as your freshly painted surface. Most household glass is fairly resistant to cleaning chemicals and to scratching. However, shower glass may be treated with materials that make it more susceptible to damage while cleaning. These instructions are created to minimize risk of damage to shower glass. Glass textures and protective coatings can vary, so test all cleaning solutions and application techniques first in an inconspicuous location.

If the paint spill is still wet, it should be easily wiped up with a clean paper towel wet with water. Dispose of the paper towels, and follow with a light soil cleansing according to the other article in this section.

For dry paint, avoid using acetone which can easily affect plastic laminates in your shower area as well as protective coatings that may be on the glass shower door. Instead, use turpentine applied with a cotton ball or clean rag. Turpentine is recommended by some glass door manufacturer's as being effective for removing paint as well as for removing silicone installation residue. When using turpentine, make sure to air out rags and properly dispose of cleaning supplies. Dampen the cotton ball or a corner of the clean rag with turpentine and work gently over the dried paint stain, one section at a time. Refresh cotton ball or turn to a clean section of the rag as necessary.

After the turpentine application is complete, wash the entire area with a dilute cleaning solution made of 1/2 cup of borax and 1/2 cup of dishwashing powder detergent mixed well in 1 gallon of hot water. Use a clean sponge to wash the glass shower door and remove any remaining paint/turpentine residue. To help achieve a streak-free finish, apply rubbing alcohol with a crumpled newspaper. Complete the cleaning process with a rinse of clear water, and use a squeegee to wick away excess moisture.

To help prevent stray paint splatters in future projects, use protective drapes on all surfaces and tape securely. In addition, it may be useful to have a waterless hand cleaner and clean paper towels near the project area so that stray paint can be removed prior to washing hands in the bathroom or kitchen sink.

For glass without protective coatings, a new, single edged razor can be effective for removing dried paint. There is a risk of scratching the glass. However, use of a new razor, held at a low angle to the glass will minimize this risk. Hold the protected edge or use a razor tool help at as low an angle is you can and slowly push the razor into the paint. If this technique pulls up paint that should remain, gently use the razor to cut a line between the paint that is to be removed and the paint that is to remain.

Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.

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