How to Clean Cloudy Glass Windows? Expert Tips

Maintaining a glass window should be a breeze… if not for the dirt, debris, leakage, and moisture that keeps getting it fogged up even on a sunny day. No matter how visually stunning your house may look, a dirty and blurred window can easily ruin it all! 

So how to clean cloudy glass windows and make them all shiny and spotless again? Keep scrolling through this article to learn more. 

A. Why Do Glass Windows Get Cloudy?

1. Water

The most widespread cause of a foggy/cloudy glass window is none other than water damage. Such issues may stem from air humidity, rain, condensation, or leaky windows, deteriorating and breaking down the seals. 

High-quality windows do not have to face these problems often, so the best way to reduce the risks of water dilemmas is to be cautious with your purchase in the first place. Make sure you only buy windows with channels or weep holes

2. Excessive Heat

Another possible culprit behind damaged/cloudy glass windows is excessive heat from cloudy films – often occurring with windows that stay too long under direct sunlight. The seals will get to the point of melting, allowing moisture and humidity to invade. 

Families living in hot climates have to face this problem way too often. Older window models tend to be more vulnerable to heat, too. One great tip to sidestep it is to install some Low-E coats over the window, which reflect UV rays and heat much better. 

3. Time

The older your window gets, the more vulnerable it will become; even simple tears and wear are more than enough to invite unwanted moisture. 

Even the most expensive, high-quality window cannot escape such a fate. Sure, you may clean the windows regularly, fix the scratched glass, shield them from scorching temperatures, etc. But they will still need replacements eventually. 

B. How to Clean Cloudy Glass Windows – Detailed Guide

1. For Regular Windows

Step 1. Use Water and Soap to Wash Them

Pick up your dish soap and hose to remove lingering cobwebs and dirt. We strongly suggest soft sponges to avoid scratching the glass. And for windows too tall, reach their top using squeegees and extended poles. 

And since it’s just a warm-up step, don’t spend too much time on it. Wash the windows quickly.

Step 2. Use Razor Blades To Scrape The Windows

Razor blades are the best weapons against all materials and substances, including mineral deposits or stuck paint on the glass. 

Hold the blade carefully in parallel with the glass. Next, move your fingers slowly up along the window to scrape the fog off. Avoid angling the blade, by the way, or your glass might get nicked! 

Step 3. Are The Windows Still Hazy? Use Glass Polishers. 

Try to look through the glass. Are you still having difficulty seeing anything clearly? Time to buff a little glass polisher for a better window shine. You can easily buy it at any automotive or hardware store! 

Pour some polish on your rag, then apply it to the glass through circular hand motions. Do not neglect any glass side; cater to both of them. 

Once you have covered the entire window, pick a dry and clean towel to wipe the polish off. 

2. For Double-Panes

Step 1. Remove The Window From Its Frame

Unscrew the windows from their frames and hinges, then settle them on flat surfaces (ex: large tables). Remember to keep the hardware within reach to use them for later window re-installation. 

Be extremely careful during this step. If the windows are too long or large, feel welcome to ask for a second helping hand! 

Step 2. Unscrew to Separate Its Panes

Most double panes have two glass sets bound firmly together by a seal and a frame. You should pull and separate them using a screwdriver. Do not forget to remove the pane’s rubber seals, too. 

Step 3. Wipe Off Condensation and Leave The Panes to Air Dry

Double-pane condensations are often the result of trapped moisture between two glass panes. Thus, you should pick a towel (as dry as possible) to wipe lingering water droplets there.

After that, let these panes dry in the air for about 1 hour in a nice, dry place where no water can infiltrate (ex: under or inside covered patios). If your neighborhood has moist climates, NEVER leave the windows outside! 

Step 4. Install The Window Seal to Avoid Condensation

Rubber seals around the glass panes serve as an anti-moisture lock. So if your current seal has been cut or broken, we are not surprised that your windows keep suffering from condensation. Wrap a brand-new seal around them before returning them to their frames! 

Step 5. Return The Panes to Their Original Installation Spot

Use whatever tool you have chosen in Step 1 to screw the panes together. Then install your windows on the wall again; ensure the windows and the wall are flush against each other, with the glass snugly fitting into the frame. 

C. Some Extra Tips for Easier Glass-Window Cleaning

1. Work on Cloudy Days

Some people might find it weird, but cloudy days are actually the best timing for window-cleaning tasks. Meanwhile, direct sunlight might make the cleaner solution evaporate and dry before proper washing, which leads to stubborn streaks that are difficult to wash off! 

Overcast skies also help reduce glass glare, allowing you to spot stains and smears more easily. 

2. Stay Far From Paper

Newspapers and paper towels have always been misused in drying and scrubbing glass windows. Do not fall into such mistakes; these materials will break down and scatter horrifying lint on the surface! 

Instead, turn to microfiber rags. They will grab moisture and dirt with ease, leaving nothing behind. 

3. Repel Rain

Do you live in rainy climates? Then we strongly recommend some high-quality rain-repellent treatments for your precious windows. These spray products let the rain droplets roll off your windows smoothly, resulting in much fewer stains. 

4. Use Lint Rollers to Defuzz Screens

For more convenient daily maintenance, you may use sticky lint rollers to remove water stains and dirt from the window screens. To deep-clean the glass, simply pop off the window screens to rinse them in water and soap. 

5. Magic Erasers Are Magic

While popping out the screens, let’s keep track of the grime with some good wiping in between. The best bet is to use eraser pads (sold in many cleaning stores) for quick scrubs. 

D. How Often Should You Clean Cloudy Glass Windows?

Window-cleaning frequencies may vary from house to house based on many factors – especially the location, weather, or even personal preferences. 

But at the very least, try to give them some good cleaning once or twice a month. And for regions of colder/rainier climates, light maintenance on a daily or weekly basis might be necessary.


We hope our readers can find excellent ideas and tips in our detailed guides on how to clean cloudy glass windows. Though we have strived to deliver the simplest, most straightforward step-by-step walkthrough, feel free to ask us for more support if certain steps still confuse you.